Chuck had a tough decision on his hands. As a juvenile probation officer, Chuck played a major role in the growth and discipline of youth in the area. He was tough, yet somehow he was also compassionate. Maybe it was because he himself had children. With kids of his own, it was easy for him to put his own offspring in delinquents’ shoes.
So, when kids who were friends with one of his sons came into the courtroom, the sight of them came as sort of a shock.
These were kids who were in the same class as his son in elementary school. They were kids who played on the same sports teams and did the same extracurricular activities. Their parents and him would small talk at school events or if they saw each other in public. These weren’t kids with drug problems. They weren’t from a bad neighborhood. These were good kids, and their actions did not reflect their characters.
Moses also had a tough decision on his hands. His people were being held as slaves, and he was called by God to deliver them. Moses was educated in the ways of the Egyptians, who were holding the Israelites captive. Moses was even raised by them. So you could imagine the shock from the Pharaoh to hear that Moses was threatening to plague the land if the Israelites were not set free.
After God used Moses to set His people free, He brought Moses to Mount Sinai. This is where God gave Moses “the Law.” The Law was a contract between God and the Israelites. If the Israelites were to be God’s people, they had to obey certain rules. This also meant that God had stipulations He would follow. If the Israelites obeyed their end of the deal, God promised He would never leave them. He would be with them forever. Mount Sinai was where this all happened. It was where God presented the Ten Commandments to Moses.
Throughout the years, the Israelites failed to keep the Law. When it said not to marry people who weren’t Israelites, they married them anyway. Where the Law said not to worship other gods, the people put up altars to Baal. Time and time again, the Israelites would be disobedient, and God would remain gracious and not punish them. Eventually, through their own disobedience, the Israelites became slaves once again.
They were again slaves, and they again needed a Deliverer. This time they were determined that they weren’t going to break any of the rules of the Law. So, they tried to obey the Law as closely as possible, because they did not want to upset God. They tried to figure out all the rules God wanted them to keep, so that God would look down on them and deliver them from their captivity. And despite the fact that the Israelites didn’t keep up their end of the contract, God still kept up His.
This is when Jesus came.
Jesus arrived to the scene when the Israelites were under Roman captivity. And like Moses, he was sent by God to deliver the people. But, Jesus came to present the people a NEW Law – a New Covenant. He didn’t come to do away with Moses’ Law. Jesus came to fulfill it. Like Moses on Mount Sinai, Jesus went up on a mountain and shared what is now known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This is where Jesus presented his message of grace and truth. Where the Law of Moses pointed to the world’s problems, Jesus was offering the solution – himself.
Because of Chuck, I didn’t have to go to prison. When some friends and I broke into a house on my fourteenth birthday, we thought it was a pillar pointing to the end of our lives. I imagined myself going to jail. I imagined all of my friends and family looking at me as though I were a terrible person… because I acted terribly. But Chuck delivered me from a future that was looking grim. He was able to talk to the judge. I’m sure it was Chuck’s testimony to the judge which brought our sentencing down to a small fine. After everything, my charges were removed. It was through that experience, I gave my life to Christ.
It was Christ who delivered me, along with the rest of the world, from spiritual slavery.
Where Moses presented the people with the Law, Jesus perfected it. This is why Moses is the only Old Testament figure whom Jesus ever compared himself. Jesus fulfilled the Law in its entirety. We no longer follow the Law. We follow the One who fulfilled it. Does that mean that we still have to obey rules that were once a part of the Law? Yes. But we do it out of obedience to Christ, because of the grace and power he has given.
We do it because we are following Christ.
“And the LORD said to me… ‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.” – Deuteronomy 18:17-18