We have spoken often about the use of God’s Law and its primary purpose: to drive us to our Savior. The Law was never intended to save us, only to demonstrate how it could not save us, because we simply cannot keep the Law. We need a Savior who could!
In my studies I have found something else that I believe will serve as a great encouragement to you today regarding the difference between the Law and the Gospel. We’re going to focus on the two men most closely connected with both: Moses and the Law . . . Jesus and the Gospel.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. (Exodus 34:29-30)
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. (Mark 9:15)
What a perfect picture these two accounts give us regarding the difference between the Law and the Gospel! The law repels; the Gospel attracts. The law says “GO, walk the straight and narrow every step of the way.” The Gospel says “COME, running with great wonder!” The Law is the great reminder to God’s people about the distance between a Holy God and a sinful people and how man cannot hope to bridge that chasm.
The Gospel is the “good news” to God’s people about how the gulf between a holy God and a sinful people has been bridged by the only One who could bridge it: Jesus Christ. From the very first moment of the Christian life, when God raises us from death to life, forever removing the bright barrier of the law, we are told to “COME” and follow the One who is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus has both paid our way and paved our way to the Celestial City. Jesus wants us to follow Him everywhere; He leads us as a Shepherd who will provide for His sheep and protect them . . . even at the expense of his own life.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15)
You see, the Lord Jesus Christ is the greater Moses. He is the perfect Moses, who delivers His people from the bondage of sin and death. His life and death revealed more of God’s holiness and justice than the Law could ever deliver. He was born to die—to die for sinners who could not pay the penalty for their own sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might have eternal life.
That, beloved, is the difference between the Law and our Lord. The law says “GO” and can only say “GO.” The Lord says “COME,” and as you do, you find that you are received by open arms and nail-scarred hands that will never say “GO” and will never let you go!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!