Jesus & Moses
The revelation that came through Moses was given not primarily to individuals for their own walk with God, but to an entire nation for law and order. Even though the message was from God, it was not spiritual. It was not designed to change the human heart. Nor was it intended to detail – much less execute – divine morality. It was essentially a practical way of restraining fallen people from anarchy – a disincentive to unregenerate people who might otherwise rape, pillage and kill each other to the total destruction of society. |
To fulfill this function it was impossible, for example, to have the same penalty for hate – committing murder in one’s heart (of which perhaps all of us are guilty) – as for those who actually take someone’s life, even though as far as the sinner’s heart is concerned, wishing someone were dead but not acting on it for fear of punishment is no more moral than being more courageous and actually carrying out one’s wish.
Sins can differ hugely as to how much they threaten society but all are identical as to how much they appall God and – outside of Christ’s forgiveness – threaten our eternity.
Moses was called to focus on external, obvious matters – sins that grossly affect those sinned against and rip the fabric of society. It was so external that without two or three witnesses there could be no conviction. Jesus’ mission was to zero in on heart issues and to provide the way whereby hearts could be changed, as prophesied in such Scriptures as Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27.