Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.
He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
The Torah is a contract. It is a contract that defines our affiliation with our Heavenly Father. It tells us how we belong to him and his Kingdom (Leviticus 26:10–12). A contract usually tells of benefits for those faithful to its terms, but it is useless unless it is also fitted with teeth for those who break them. Within the Torah contract are imbedded two major texts of curses designed to come upon those who dishonor it (Leviticus 26:3–13; Deuteronomy 28). These texts have often been misinterpreted as the curse of the Torah (Galatians 3:13), and therefore being nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14) have no more value (God forbid).
How could it be that the instructions which Moses proclaimed are our life ((Deuteronomy 32:47), that the statutes in which David found great rewards (Psalms 19:11), what the writer of the Book of Hebrews even called the Good News (Hebrews 4:2), are all of a sudden nailed to a tree (God forbid)? The Torah is an everlasting covenant, and even when covenantal addendums are made, they do not replace the former but are built upon them (Galatians 3:17).
Upon closer examination we realize that this so-called curse of the Torah ‘nailed to the tree' spoken of by Paul is not the Torah contract itself. The salary of sin (breaking the Torah) is death (1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23). The word ‘mavet:death’ in Hebrew actually refers to separation from God. The curse spoken of here is the condemnation to separation from the Father by the eternal courts of judgment; a form of banishment from the kingdom for breaking the rules. Paul also speaks of a written code (NIV)’, of a handwriting of ordinances (KJV) nailed to the cross which is often erroneously interpreted as being the Torah Itself. The truth is that it only refers to a legal document used in courts which is also called a certificate of debt (ESV). It is the document containing the list of legal charges against us. The Master often used analogies of debts and courts when he spoke of sin (Matthew 6:12). This list, this certificate of debt is the evidence against us that we broke the Torah. It is this list that is nailed to the cross with Messiah. Basically what it means is that Messiah pays our fine to the Judge and gets rid of the evidence that stands against us. We are given a clean slate, a chance to start again.
In Messiah, we are given a new chance to learn to live by God’s standards. The idea is that like the Children of Israel were rescued from the angel of death in Egypt in order to go and learn to live by Hashem’s standards instead of by those of Egypt, we also, are saved from HaSatan, that we may go and learn to live for Hashem in his way. We don’t obey the Torah in order to get redeemed; we do it because we are redeemed by the Lamb of God: Yeshua HaMashiach!
P. Gabriel Lumbroso
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