Where Is Jesus in the Moral Law?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Morality and Ethics, Part 8

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Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., continues to examine the Lord's encounter with the rich young ruler.

You know the commandments: “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not bear false witness,” “Honor your father and your mother.” (Luke 18:20)

Today’s big question: where is Jesus in the moral law?

We have previously considered how Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecies, sacrifices, and even the Law. In the account of Jesus and the rich young ruler, we saw Jesus remind the young man of the moral law given in the Ten Commandments. The ruler then had the audacity to stand before Jesus and claim to have kept it from his youth.

When we consider who Jesus really is, the response from the young man is quite a revelation to us. How easy it is to fall into the trap of overconfidence in ourselves.

Jesus stood before this man as God incarnate. He is fully God and therefore fully good. He is also fully man, and as an Israelite He subjected Himself to the requirements of the Law. No other man has ever kept the Law, not even the rich young ruler. Jesus however not only kept the Law, but as God, He gave the law. He totally fulfilled the law in both letter and spirit.

What does this mean for us? The standard has been raised. In Hebrews we repeatedly read how Jesus is the great fulfillment of all things including the Law. We are constantly reminded that all things have become much more in Jesus. Hebrews 10:29 therefore tells us that rejecting Jesus is worthy of the greatest judgment. We can strive all we want to keep the Law, but the great Keeper and Perfecter of the Law has done what we have not. If we look to the Law for moral goodness apart from Christ we miss the forest for the trees.

Jesus is our standard. He has always been the standard, because the Law itself always pointed to Him and is based on His perfectly good nature. Only through the substitutionary atonement of Christ can we become good. It’s not our goodness, and it’s not goodness we can earn, but it is the goodness that is perfected, fulfilled, and completed in Him and granted to those of us who know Him as Savior.

Christ is our Law. There is no good apart from Him. The rich young ruler went back to his life attempting to work for goodness and unwilling to receive the goodness only found in Jesus.

When Jesus asks you the question to give up your toiling life and follow Him, what will your reaction be?

Today’s big idea: the measurement of our goodness can only be based on our acceptance of Jesus, because we have no goodness of our own.

What to pray: ask the Lord to forgive you for putting false confidence in your own ability to keep the Law. Rest in Him alone.


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