MOSES AND CHRIST
“The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (Jn. 1.17).
It is natural to us to say of the moral law, as the king of Israel said of that faithful prophet of the Lord, Micaiah, “I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22.8). It is true that the holy, spiritual law of God can yield no comfort, hope, or peace to any poor sinner of mankind. Yet the believer in Jesus Christ cannot hate the moral law; it is a transcript of his Father’s character, mind, and will. It is God’s good gift; it answers very valuable ends and purposes to the souls of His children. We know sin by the law, as we know Christ by the gospel. Though the law was given by Moses, a meek prophet, yet it is full of fiery wrath, it ministers condemnation, and denounces curses, even eternal death and damnation to every transgressor. Yet why, my soul, should you hate the law? That is not the cause of all these evils, but your sins, your violations of its holy, just, and righteous precepts. Here fix your hatred; here it is just. Believer, the law is your friend; it shows you your duty, it cuts you off from all legal hopes, it razes every false foundation, and every expectation from your own righteousness. The trumpet sounds its alarm louder and louder; the voice of words is shriller and shriller; and it will ever be terrible in its sound to your conscience, except you are under the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ.
Here, behold and admire the transcendent excellence of Jesus Christ “full of grace and truth”. Grace, even the free favour of God to sinners came by Jesus Christ. Truth, in every accomplishment of the ceremonial law; and in perfect fulfilment of every righteous demand which the moral law could exact, came by Jesus Christ. Here is your wisdom: to oppose the life and death of Jesus Christ to every righteous demand, to every terrible threatening, and every dreadful curse of the law. As He is your Husband, all debts, dues, and demands He for ever satisfied. Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it (Mt. 5.17). Says the immortal James Hervey, ‘Jesus is the Author of our faith, and the Former of our graces. In
His unpolluted life we see the path, in His meritorious death the price, and in His triumphant resurrection the proof of bliss and immortality. If we offend and fall seven times a day, He is the Lord our peace; if we are depraved and our best deeds unworthy, He is he Lord our righteousness. If we are vulgar in heavenly knowledge, He is the Lord our wisdom; His word dispels the shades, His Spirit scatters the intellectual gloom,. His eye looks our darkness into day. In short, we are nothing and Christ is all. Worse than defective in ourselves, we are complete in Him. We act by strength, and glory in a righteousness not our own.” William Mason (1719-1791)