Friday, March 29, 2013

Lent Day 42 (Thursday)

Exercise: Rest.  I actually changed out to go riding, but my wife reminded me that it was spirit night at a local bbq joint, and that I had commited to taking the kids out for dinner. While skipping a ride, especially one I could use before a big ride training ride Saturday, is not high on my list I'd rather skip it than force the kids to wait until after an evening ride to eat.  


Galatians 2:16-21
New King James Version (NKJV)

16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Thoughts: Holy week is always an interesting time to reflect, as it is full of a very rich history that is well preserved over the centuries.  It's not only the time of Christ's passion and death, but it's also the time of Passover.  This year, it's also been marred by the passion over the civil laws in the United States.  What comes to bear is that there are two sets of laws that have to be accounted for:  the laws of man, by which we have our government, and the laws of God, by which we have our faith.  If our faith is in ourselves, then the only law that really "matters" is the law of Man.  By the rights of free will, we are allowed to ignore God's law.  Mayim Bailik wrote about God's law this week in her spot about a 30 minute Seter, and I think speaks volumes, well beyond the rituals of Passover.  She said, "Can you choose to start your Seder before sundown? Of course you can. You can do whatever you gosh darn please. But halacha doesn’t change".  

Since we have free will, I feel that this statement is much more profound than we really allow ourselves to let sink in.  I can do whatever I gosh darn please.  God does not forbid it in so much as to remove my free will.  I can attempt to fly by jumping off a bridge.  Heck, I can blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.  I can deny Christ.  I can live whatever lifestyle I gosh darn please.  The law doesn't change.  Just as in physics, for every action there is a equal and opposite reaction.  The reaction to sin is death (or the absence of God).  At the point of judgement, you are subject to the law and will receive the punishments for the transgressions that you have accumulated.

To take the two laws back to similar consequences:  In civil law, I can attempt to go 120mph down Main Street.  More than likely I'll be caught immediately and put before the Judge.  I can state "I don't believe in your Laws" or any subset of that you wish.  The Judge will then read your sentence, and you will pay the penalty.  Whether or not you believe in the law, the law still exists.  There are big differences between Civil Law and God's law.  One difference is that God has allowed us free will that until the time of judgement, when we stand before the throne, we can do as we please.  There is no police officer there to arrest us on the spot.  There are no speed bumps to force us to slow down.  There are no "stop sticks" in place.  

The bigger difference is that no matter what our transgressions, how badly we've broken God's law, we always have access to the best representation.  Unlike lawyers in Civil law, who after the case they walk away, Christ represents us and took on our punishment.  He was tried, beaten and cruxified.  Not for his own sins, or breaking of any law, but for our Sins.  By his offering we are saved from the punishment that we all have earned through the law.  For even though we are saved we will be judged by the law at the time of judgement.  We will stand before the throne, and we will face our punishment.  I'd much rather have Christ as my defender than represent myself.

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