You're Right, You Can't

It’s just too much for any person to realistically perform. No, not the new job description at your work or the calling to be a mom of three little ones, but The Law, Moses’s law as it is spelled out in the book of Leviticus. In social media language “I can’t even” is the appropriate response.

Over and over and over the book of Leviticus told the ancient Jews what made them “unclean” in God’s presence. In 92 occurrences the word unclean restricts diet, physical touch, the furniture where a person could sit or lie down to sleep, and even the plaster on an interior wall of your home. Should the mold in the house not pass the priest’s inspection, the priest would order the house destroyed to the foundation (Leviticus 14:43-45). If you think reading the book of Leviticus is hard as you go through your Bible reading plan, imagine having to live under the code. “I. Just. Can’t”

Instead of declaring how good they were by keeping every nuance of the law, every honest Jew would have to declare an inability to do what the law said. Daily failure in some area of the law would only add to the weight of the guilt a person bore. There simply was no escape from the law. Like Paul wrote, the law is a prison guard keeping the inmate perpetually confined (Galatians 3:23).

Paul masterfully explains what we were unable to do (keep the law), Christ did fully (Romans 8). God then applies Christ’s full obedience to the law to our lives as if we fulfilled all the law ourselves. This is grace, God gives us something we do not deserve and cannot acquire. Our Lord’s righteousness is ours, having obtained it by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). “I can’t even” becomes “Jesus did.”

So we rest, not in our own good deeds but in Jesus’s.

And we read the laborious, repetitive, lengthy, and minute matters recorded in Leviticus and breathe a sigh of relief, “I don’t have to because Jesus did.”

And we live this life free from our old master whom we could never fully please and in joyful submission to our new master whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

Be encouraged, Christian, Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself leaving you free to live a joyful life to God’s glory.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.