Canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
As much as Leviticus tells us of the blessings incurred by those who walk in Hashem’s instruction, it also tells us of the curses that befall those who don’t (Leviticus 26). There is a common teaching out there that claims that in his death and resurrection, Yeshua conquered and annulled the curse that comes through disobedience and that only the blessings remain. In essence, this would mean that the Torah has lost its teeth; there is no more retribution for sin.
This view of the Torah is due to misinterpretations of Paul's letters, especially the one written to the believers in Galatia, is mostly due to mistranslation. This misinterpretation in turn is partly due to the influence of a translation done under an erroneous theology that discarded the writings of Leviticus asuming that the ancient Hebrew Scriptures are obsolete. The translators obviously were not familiar with the religious, theological, cultural, and social context of Paul's Letter to the Galatians.
One of the statements in question is, “Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us … (Galatians 3:13)” which most people interpret to mean that the Torah itself is a curse. This would this fly in the face of its life giving purpose (Psalms 19:7) and eternal status (Psalms 19:9), and go against everything King David said about it (Psalms 119. In addition, it is also recorded in Biblical and historical records of the life of the disciples, that they actually were very religious. Torah observance was in fact part of their testimony. Either Paul's statement is a forgery, Paul was wrong, the translators got it wrong, or there is a misunderstanding of its meaning. I stand for the two last options.
John the Disciple taught much about the nature of sin. He said that sin was the actual transgression, or breaking of Torah commands (1 John 3:4) and that those who say they don't sin deceive themselves (1 John 1:8). The Torah with its definition of sin is supposed to be life-giving to us (Deuteronomy 4:1). When it does not, could it be that it is because we are wrong? I have travelled to many places, and have very often seen people transform the good that is given to them into a curse or something evil.
I heard a statement on the news the other day. Some law-maker claimed that crime would go down if they decriminalized a certain activity currently considered against the law.: When the law is altered, the criminal is no more a criminal. On the other hand, it doesn't change the behavior or the heart of the law-breaker, and it endorses criminal activity. In a Roman court of law, a record of debts, or law-breaking activities, is brought to the judge by the prosecutor. It is the same in the heavenly court but this time, it is the Accuser of the saints who brings legal charges against us, and he does so demanding the death penalty according to the. The death mentioned here is not the biological death which we all partake of, but the death that separates us from God forever. We must never forget though that the only reason we do not get the punishment of this death is because Mashiach takes it for us in a settlement out of court. The charges against us are not deleted; they are just paid by someone else! The credit found in the virtue of his innocent suffering is enough to pay for our debt. He is the only one whose righteousness successfully defied death and conquered it. In Yeshua, The prosecutor found its match!
We owe him our lives. Our lives belong to him and we should live in a state of eternal gratitude. When asked "How are you?" A famous radio show host always answers,”Better than I deserve”. That should be the sentiments that runs through our being day and night, for we certainly are “better than we deserve”!
P. Gabriel Lumbroso
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