For a moment, can you imagine what it must have been like to live under the old covenant? Some of the rules and regulations might have been easy. For instance, I don’t think I would have a problem with “do not murder” or “do not worship idols.” But I can only imagine how the the weight of all the minute details of the law must have felt after a few years. For instance, read these few verses from the book of Leviticus and think about how you would obey them today:
Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him…Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight…Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly…Do not go about spreading slander among your people…Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt…Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself…Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed…Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material…When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased…Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it…Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard…Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves…Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary…Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them…Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God…(Selected verses from Leviticus 19.13-32)
How many of those rules did you break yesterday? How many of those rules are you going to break today? And that is just a list of rules from one chapter of the Book of the Law; there are hundreds of others.
It doesn’t take long to realize that there is something wrong with this system, as the writer of Hebrews said in chapter 8, verse 7. The real question is, “What is wrong with it?” Is it that there are too many rules? Is it because there is not enough freedom? Is it because the Law was too strict?
Let’s keep thinking together…