When God issued the Ten Commandments with a litany of expectations for Jewish life, he expected obedience. He also expected their attitude toward him to be worthy of his blessing. Over the years commentaries and elaborations of the law began to take precedent. If we return to the original purpose of the Mosaic law, we could make a great discovery.
The ancestor of the Hebrew people, Moses, was noted by God for his faith that led to righteousness. This creates what may appear to be a conundrum. Was faith outside of the law more important than the law? If this was so, what was the purpose of the law that God gave?
Over the centuries the conduct the Mosaic law pointed toward Jesus as the absolute perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Therefore, the conduct of the law was merely ritual without faith. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul declares faith in Christ for salvation as the ultimate solution. He also said that it mattered little if a person was a Jew or Gentile; if they were circumcised or not their grounding in God must be on faith, not just the performance of legalism.
The great value of the law was to assist people in the understanding they could never reach final perfection through the law. In other words, the Mosaic law was a reflection on mankind’s inability. The Scripture says, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Let us review. Faith is what leads to righteousness through Christ, not the blood of animals. The establishment of the law pointed toward Christ as our substitute for the punishments that we do deserve, but Jesus took that on himself while hanging on the cross. Compliance with God’s instructions with faith in Jesus did not do away with the law. He fulfilled it!
The book of Hebrews helps us to understand that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice but also the high priest that administered his sacrifice before God. By accepting Jesus as our Savior, we receive his mediation before God in our behalf. When God looks at us, he sees the blood of Jesus. Anyone that does not have Christ as Savior denies himself the covering of his sacrificial blood for sin.
The law helps us to understand our inability to stand before God on our own merit. The second value of the law is that it points to Christ on the cross as the ultimate and final sacrifice for sin. The third benefit of the law is that it declares the basis on which we stand and the shelter where we can hide.