What would the religious leaders of the Jews do when the Old Testament era came to an end? They thought themselves far superior to Jesus in their understanding of God’s statutes, and “they ridiculed Him.” They were “lovers of money” and had no sense that their time in authority would soon be over.
The prophets of earlier years, together with John the Baptist and Jesus Himself, brought divine “charges” against these “sons of light.” The Lord urged them to deal with their guilt. Jesus told them a story about a “dishonest manager” who at least had the sense to use his present power in a way that would bring him blessing in the new phase of life that was surely coming. Would the teachers of Israel recognize the opportunity they had to change course and seek “eternal dwellings” in the gospel age?
The Torah would never pass away, but the covenant administration of Sinai would soon give way to a worldwide church that would extend far beyond the borders of the Promised Land. Would the Pharisees see the signs of the times, or would they continue to insist that they were married to the Law long after the death of that “husband” (Romans 7:1-6)?
While the transition from Old Covenant to New might seem very distant to us today, people in every century can never escape the reality of their mortality and the coming Judgment Day. Each of us must turn to God, believing His Word. Like the rich man in the story that Jesus later told to further warn those spiritual leaders who rejected Him, the day would arrive when they would want a second chance to believe and obey the message of Moses and the prophets. What shall the worshiping assembly of the Messiah do when we are called to answer for our own failure to obey God’s Law? Our only hope is in the Man who has risen from the dead so that we may have life.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Sovereign Lord, You are God over all. We worship You. Your Word is perfect truth. When You speak of the future, grant that we would follow You today as those who believe in Your promises. Forgive our sinful impulses to live for present riches rather than for You. We need to care for the poor with earnest joy. There is a world beyond the grave. Help us to understand what that existence is like so that we will be wise in the affairs of this earth. Your Son has risen from the dead in accord with the Scriptures. Bless us, that we may obey His voice with the greatest reverence and serve Him with a life of gospel love.