One concept that we must remember upon reading the old testament law is that there is and has always been a form of forgiveness and redemption. For us living in the New Testament time, it is much simpler to gain forgiveness and maintain redemption for our sins unlike the Old Testament times. Nonetheless the concept of both existed throughout the biblical text. The purpose of me writing about the old testament law is to help people fully understand what sins we need forgiveness for and why redemption is so important, Romans 3:20. On request from one of my friends I’ve been asked to write about it and that’s why my articles has been about “The Law”.
Therefore please remember this concept going forward because I will be touching heavily on society’s most popular and beloved sins to commit. Societies favorite sins are fornication, Sabbath breaking, killing, steeling, lying, homosexuality, bad language, worshiping other gods and sorcery. Actually I think that’s all of the above lol. Either way, although we commit these sins we can also be forgiven of our sins.
What Is Forgiveness?
First forgiveness is an act of someone realizing their faults or trespass against someone else and honestly admitting their faults to the other individuals. Generally this act ensures a type of reunion of hearts between the two parties and their relationship is whole again. If the victim of the trespass is willing to forgive, then the trespasser is redeemed. The first example of this act is tin scripture when Joseph, The King of Dreams”, is reunited with his 11 brothers who sold him into slavery. As we can recall from the narrative, Joseph thought very highly of himself and his father loved him more than his other brothers. His older brothers became so jealous and angry at Joseph that they sold him to a group of Ishmaelite traders and lied to their father saying that he was died.
Joseph and Forgiveness.
Life for Joseph was terrible afterwards. He was sold as a slave to the Egyptians, almost forced to have sex with his masters wife. Then she lied on him and had him thrown into prison for a few years until finally he was set free for his gift of interpreting dreams accurately to the former pharaoh of Egypt. After all this his entire family travels to Egypt to find refuge from a drought in the land. Joseph seeing his family for the first time in many years must have felt all sorts of pain. Yet his brothers eventually begged for forgiveness and Joseph, after some well deserved mental torment forgave his brothers and they all were redeemed.
There’s a lot we could learn from Joseph’s story but the main takeaway is, of course, forgiveness. The Highest God wants us to be able and willing to forgive even the most painful trespasses. What Joseph’s brothers did was absolutely terrible and I bet gut wrenching. Not only was he sold into slavery, his father passed away soon after their reunion in Egypt. Could you imagine how the family must have felt having to live together again after all those years and trespass? It takes a tremendous amount of emotional, mental and spiritual strength to forgive faults as deep as those.
Forgiveness No Matter What.
Many of us may be victims of harsh tresspasses and we might want to refuse granting forgiveness. However in order to receive divine forgiveness and redemption we are required by biblical law to forgive any and all types of tresspasses. Christ even tells us in his prayer that we are obligated to forgive if we stand for christ.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
If we use this prayer everyday, it should help us to remember that we all have faults to own up to and we all deserve to be forgiven. Furthermore The Highest God wants us to reflect his lovingkindness on earth and show others that forgiveness is possible and guaranteed through Christ. Therefore, forgive.
Sometimes forgiveness is difficult to give depending on what fault was committed. Rebuking our trespassers before forgiving them is perfectly fine like Luke has said
Forgiveness and Rebuking.
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
The word “rebuke” means to express sharp criticism and disapproval of someone’s actions. Scripture uses this word a lot, especially in the New Testament. Rebuking someone is good if it helps the person become better than what they were before. For those rebuking a trespasser, it might encourage them to stop committing that specific type of trespass against others. Nonetheless, we still ought to forgive the trespasser no matter how many times they sin against us and we rebuke their actions. Scripture condones a healthy dose of criticism.
On the contrary most people believe that Christians following the doctrine must be super nice to everyone no matter what. Which is not the case. If someone is in the wrong and we know it, we need to sharply correct them. However some people will take it too far and start randomly criticizing people to demean their existence. That much criticism is completely unnecessary. Harbor some back bone, stand strong on what is biblicaly right and forgive the faults of others no matter what.
Forgiveness: Old Vs New Testament
Forgiveness in the Old testament wasn’t quite as easy to get as it is now. If someone felt conflicted for their sin, upon asking for forgiveness they were not only criticized by the judge but tasked with some type of punishment, and obligated to make an animal offering. Although there were two other ways someone could obtain forgiveness the most complicated way was more common. The burden of sin offerings fell upon everyone, the Israelite and the stranger. Even if someone didn’t know that they sinned, they had to give an offering. These offerings sound scary but they are a foreshadowing of our savior. Christ’s body and blood is basically all old testament animal offerings rolled into one. He became the ultimate everlasting sin offering. This is why he is called the lamb of The Highest God.
However prayer and fasting were still used to obtain forgiveness of sin in the old testament. If anyone felt conflicted of their sin it was customary to fast. Usually Isreal would inflict their physical body at random by refraining from eating or drinking for a space of time. They did this while praying and eventually they were forgiven of their sins Judges 20: 26, Ezra 8:22-23. Our New Testament Law focuses on this form of asking for forgiveness. We now use prayer in Christ’s name to replace the physical sin offering Hebrews 10:9-14. Fasting is now a means to subdue our fleshly and cardinal desires Acts 23: 33-34.
No More Physical Punishments
Our New Testament laws restrict us from executing the scary punishments of the old Law. Since we are no good at judging we are prohibited from giving judgmental punishments. I’m speaking more about the death penalty punishments and whipping punishments of the old law. These brutal punishments are reserved for Christ to inflict upon the wicked and the ones who refuse to repent before their physical death.
That being said, this is the embodiment of grace. A type of forgiveness that exists for everyone until death. Living is the grace period in which we are given the opportunity to sin knowingly or accidentally and still receive forgiveness unlimited times. Don’t forget however, we do not get to sin on purpose, that is another sin onto itself. Anyway the Old testament burdens are largely eradicated by Christ simply because his body is a new sin offering, which gives room for grace, and continual forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a necessary component of the biblical text. We are all granted this opportunity. We should forgive any and all trespasses in order for The Highest God to forgive us. Healthy rebuking is condoned through scripture as well. However, we need to keep this in mind while reviewing the old testament law. The old law is our way of understanding what sin is so that we can know how not to sin. Though there are punishments in the law, only Christ gets to execute those punishments on the un-repented individual after their death Romans 12: 17-21.
I hope that this eases your mind and hearts before I get ready to explain the old law.