The Key Text: I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Isaiah 44:22.
The bible is undeniably a great book, made of 66 internal Books, 2 Testaments, the greatest central theme is the about (1)how God relates to mankind and (2) the plan of redemption. Jesus Christ is the key figure in the bible as the entire Old Testament points towards his coming, and the new testament fulfills his coming.
The Law of God, more precisely the commandments, actually reveal the central theme of the bible which we have established is (1)the plan of redemption and (2)God’s relation to mankind. The aim of this post will be to show how we can vividly see the gospel message through the Law of God.
When many hear the term ‘Law’ they automatically think of something primarily negative, restrictions, a denial of rights for one to express themselves, something that is not a pleasure. We will see today that this is not the case with the 10 commandments. Let’s now see the first few verses of Exodus 20 where the 10 commandments are displayed in full.
‘And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’ Exodus 20:1-2.
We can clearly see that the very first part of the commandments does not tell us what we should do, but rather it points to what God has done…‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage’.
The first sentence also points us back to the Passover, which is the event that triggered Gods people being brought out from Egypt. The Passover was when God’s people were saved through the blood of a lamb (see Exodus Chapter 12). However we know that the Passover pointed towards the true lamb which would redeem and save God’s people, As John 1:29 says ‘The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’. It’s very interesting how we see here a great principle of the gospel right here in Exodus 20.
So essentially we now see that at the outline of the law God did not just give out a set of orders. Rather he shows what he himself has done first through the redemption which happened through the Passover (For us today our redemption comes through Jesus Christ). This is made more clearer in Isaiah 44:22:
I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
So in the verse above God speaking to Israel says, I have redeemed you, therefore return to me. To return means to turn around from what you were doing, so this here can refer to repentance. What leads us to repent??, let’s see the answer in the verse below.
‘Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance‘ Romans 2:4.
So it is the goodness of God that leads to us to repentance, to return to God. So if we look back at the 10 commandments we can now see that it’s now very clear that God shows us his goodness first before introducing the part that we have to play. God always acts first, because of his love. This is a continuous theme throughout the bible which shows us how God relates to us. Notice this theme also in the verse below:
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
God always acts first, because of his love. If we now go back to the first few verses of Exodus 20 we will now see this ever more clearly.
And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 20:1-2
In the ten commandments, God’s holy law, we see God approaching us with us love. Through the ten commandments he says…return to me. This is simply Amazing. He relates to us as though we are innocent, but yet were guilty and unworthy. This relation that God has to mankind then leads us to respond back with the love that comes through obedience. It’s not about the rules and regulations but it’s about responding to the relationship that God wants to have with us. ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments’, John 14:15.