Under the Law

I was reminded this morning that Jesus not only came in the flesh, being God yet living like one of us. He also entered into the same type of systems of the world that we live within.

In particular, I noticed in Galatians this morning where Paul says that Jesus was born under the law:

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Galatians 4:4-5

Jesus came into the same situation where we live, into the physical world and in all of its systems to be able to purchase us back from it. In this particular case, I want to make note of the part that says that he was born under the law, to redeem those under the law.

No one had been able to fulfill the law in its fullness and completeness. Each detail of the law demands obedience, or it is broken. Each part is perfect and demands perfect execution. It is God’s law and he expects that it is completely followed.

Yet no one had ever done it. And after Jesus, no one has done it since.

But Jesus did it. He fulfilled the law. He did everything that the law required. He fulfilled it all. Completely. And because he did so, he was undeserving of punishment, but instead completely pure and worthy as a sacrifice before God.

Paul goes on to make a comparison to Ishmael and Isaac. He says that he can either be Ishmael, like the son of Abraham born to a slave woman. The slave woman, Hagar, is a worker in Abraham’s family. We can be a servant, just as we would be as servants to the law if we are born only to the law and this was our redemption, our way to please our master.

Or we can be Isaac, like the son of Abraham who was born to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Sarah was connected to Abraham because Abraham loved her, and their child Isaac didn’t have to work to be loved because he was a child of their marriage. Isaac was a child of the promise, the promise that Abraham made to Sarah, but more importantly, a child of the promise – the covenant – that God made to Abraham.

Paul is asking the Galatians the same question that he might ask us today. Which are you? Like Ishmael? Or like Isaac? Through the law, and your attempts to make God happy by trying to work for him and fulfilling all of His commands, we could be like Ishmael. Or because the law has already been fulfilled through Christ, we can be a child of the promise. Which one are you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *