There are some Christians who sought to bind us to the obligations of Old Testament Laws. Perhaps they thought that they were superior to Christians who were free from these Laws. These Laws served a good purpose; they brought order to a barbaric society in the Bronze Age. However, if we had to be subject to these Laws, then we would risk spiritual death, and suffer guilt and alienation from God.
Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head. (Leviticus 20:9)
If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife – with the wife of his neighbor – both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)
If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)
If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people. (Leviticus 20:18)
The punishments for any of these violations are so harsh that we could call them human sacrifices. The people of their time thought that blood have to be shed to appease the angry land for these violations. Fortunately, Jesus has fulfilled the obligations of the Old Testament Laws. It was Jesus who said “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Matthew 9:13)
In Acts chapter 15 the Christian disciples had abolished almost all but just a few of the Laws. Peter said that the Law was a burden that the disciples nor their ancestors could carry successfully. Paul and Barnabas described that non-Jews were becoming followers of Christ, and there were no distinctions between the Jewish believers and the non-Jewish believers, for they all received the gift of Holy Spirit. The disciples finally did away with the burdens of the Law because they found confidence in Christ.
Jesus had talked about the issue of Laws in his ministry. He taught us the principles of following the spirit of the Law in his Sermon on the Mount. Prohibitions and punishments have been turned into a way of daily living. He also pointed out two principles as being fundamental: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And also: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22) These principles should be safe, since they were from our Lord who we trust.
Also be sure that by following Jesus faithfully we will be made pure, as people who belong to him alone and eager to do good. (Titus 2:14) That is also a good news!