“God spoke all these words: I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. No other Gods, only me. No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments. No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name. Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work – not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you. No murder. No adultery. No stealing. No lies about your neighbor. No lusting after your neighbor’s house – or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:1-17
If we read the ten commandments as a checklist that can be followed to be in right standing, we may have missed the point. If we read them with a smugness on our face and satisfaction in ourselves, we may have missed the pint. If we read them and hear anything else than our absolute inability to obtain righteousness and stand before God on our own – we have missed the point.
The law was never meant to be fulfilled by man, and before He shared it with Moses, our Father had a rescue plan for our failure. When we read the ten commandments, we as a people of the new covenant – can read it with a contented sigh because we know the one God-man who fulfilled the law. Not for His own merit, but for our own good and the glory of His Father. This is good news.
Romans 8:1-4 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.