Friday: Further Study: Christ and the Law of Moses

Further Study: For more information on this week’s topic, read Ellen G. White, At the Feast of Tabernacles, pp. 447-454; Among Snares, pp. 455-462, in The Desire of Ages.studymore

Three times a year the Jews were required to assemble at Jerusalem for religious purposes. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, Israel’s invisible Leader had given the directions in regard to these gatherings. During the captivity of the Jews, they could not be observed; but when the people were restored to their own land, the observance of these memorials was once more begun. It was God’s design that these anniversaries should call Him to the minds of the people.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 447.

It was natural for the parents of Jesus to look upon Him as their own child. He was daily with them, His life in many respects was like that of other children, and it was difficult for them to realize that He was the Son of God. They were in danger of failing to appreciate the blessing granted them in the presence of the world’s Redeemer. The grief of their separation from Him, and the gentle reproof which His words conveyed, were designed to impress them with the sacredness of their trust.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 81.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Dwell on the incredible truth that though Jesus instituted these laws, when He enters into humanity He places Himself under them. What does this tell us about the character of God?
  2. Try to put yourself in the position of Joseph and Mary. Is it any wonder that they didn’t fully understand all that was involved with Jesus? Are there not a lot of things about Jesus that we don’t understand either? How can we learn to trust and obey, despite the many things that we don’t understand?
  3. What would you say to a Christian who argues that we are to keep the feasts? (Hint: You might start by asking, How do you intend to keep them, given that the feasts all centered around the temple, which has long been destroyed, and the shedding of blood, which has stopped?)


Friday: Further Study: Christ and the Law of Moses — 7 Comments

  1. “Dwell on the incredible truth that though Jesus instituted these laws, when He enters into humanity He places Himself under them. What does this tell us about the character of God?” It tells me that God is not a hypocrite like the Pharisees were (Mat 23:4) who commands us to do what He will not do Himself.

  2. One thing that I've learnt from this week's lesson is that irrespective of where we are, what our positions or status is in society today, if there are laws to be followed we must adhere to it, but it must not compromise our position in what we believe in as Christians. Jesus was in complete submission to the laws and obedient to the principles while on this earth as an example to us; that knowing he was the son of God, heir to the throne, he still abide by human laws, tells us that we must not think that because we have such important position we are exempted from observing any laws or that we can do anything we like. Christ is our example, we must follow likewise.

  3. Looking at the character of God, Firstly He puts up laws and then H He follows them it shows us How faithful He is and how He stands according to His words. It gives us a challenge to be able to do what we say

  4. Regarding the feasts question, I never met a Christian who says we must keep the feasts but most Christians keep at least two and right now most of the Christian world is preparing to celebrate Passover (Or as the English and only the English speaking Christians call it Easter and Easter is only a name the Anglo Saxons called Passover when they converted to Christianity in the 7th Century). Secondly the majority of Christians in the world count 50 days from the Passover/Paschal/Easter holiday to Pentecost which they also keep. Do they keep it centered on the Temple? No, they keep it centered on Christ regarding the Paschal Holiday and out pouring of the Holy Spirit regarding Pentecost.

    I do not think a Christian should say we must keep the feasts nor should a Christian say we should not, let each choose for them self.

    • Easter is not the Anglo-Saxon word for Passover, but in fact refers to the pagan god Ishtar. This is the pagan god of fertility. Easter is a festival that has been maintained and absorbed into Christianity,but is a pagan tradition. Note eggs and 'bunnies' being symbols of fertility.

      Whereas in celebrating Passover, we are to recall the ten plagues, the sacrificial lamb (which we now know pointed to Jesus)and liberation from Egyptian bondage. Most interestingly,on the first night of Passover, while everyone is gathered time is given to remember to expect Elijah, as the Messiah is coming.

      Whether we should keep the feasts, I agree that each should choose for themselves. However, it is important that we understand what we are doing and why.

      • I did not mean to imply that Easter was the Anglo-Saxon (English) word for Passover but rather it is what they called Passover. The Historian Bede in antiquity said regarding the Anglo Saxons when they converted to Christianity in the 7th Century: “Eostur-monath has a name which is now translated Paschal month, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre,,,,Now they designate that Paschal season by her name.”

        Prior to the conversion of the Anglo Saxons no people called Passover by the name Easter and to this day only English speaking Christians do, and thus only English speaking Christians sometimes are confused about what they are celebrating. Other Christians call Passover by a word derived from the Hebrew or Greek word in the Bible for Passover.

        It should be noted that the Church liturgy the Anglo Saxons adopted made no reference to Easter but rather only to the Passover with Bible readings from both the Old and New Testament Passovers.

        Decorated Eggs came into practice around the 14th Century and the “Easter bunny” around the 17th Century. How they came to be there is a matter of debate, there is no historical evidence the Anglo-Saxons ever celebrated their goddess with such things but other civilizations did. Some are convinced Christians in the 14th and 17th centuries borrowed thousands of year old pagan symbols from the Middle East and Far East and incorporated them into Christianity others are not so convinced.

        Regardless the emphasis should be on Christ and what he did, to this end perhaps we English speakers should drop the word Easter from our usage and use the Biblical name for the holiday as other Christians have always done.

  5. This part of the week's lesson has triggered some questions: Christ kept the law. In the Jews customary laws, one of them was the Feast of Tabernacles Lev. 23:41-And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
    Lev 23:42- Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: Do we still need to dwell in boots for seven days or we customize it? See repercussions in zecharia 14:16-19. Please help me understand.


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