Chapter 3: A Satisfied Law

Before considering this chapter, we need to remind ourselves that the ark represents God's justice, and that the reason why this is so is because the ark housed the tablets containing the law of Ten Commandments - which law is the very basis of universal justice.

The fact that the law was housed in the ark might give some the idea that the Ten Commandments amount to little more than a cold and lifeless list of prohibitions, all of which were located in a cold, dark box. This, however, could not be further from reality for, in truth, . . .
'The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom.' (PP52)
We might say, therefore, that the Ten Commandment law is a word picture of the character of God. This being the case, we can understand why it was so important for God to uphold His law by meeting all of the demands of justice. Obviously, God could no more change or abolish His law than He could change or abolish His character and, as such, the penalty for all sin simply had to be inflicted.
Instead of inflicting the eternal penalty for sin on the transgressor, however, God took the accusing finger of His unchangeable law and, in perfect harmony with the spirit of that law, He pointed that finger at Himself.
'The bitter cup was apportioned to us. But the dear Saviour took the cup from our lips and drank it Himself.' (ST07-08-97)
'In order for man to be saved, and for the honor of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin.' (AG80)
'To save the race from eternal death, the Son of God volunteered to bear the punishment of disobedience. Only by the humiliation of the Prince of heaven could the dishonor be removed, justice be satisfied, and man be restored to that which he had forfeited by disobedience. There was no other way.' (1SM308)
'Christ has satisfied justice. He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made.' (7BC974)
And so it was that the Law-maker condescended to suffer and to die in the place of the law-breaker, and thus it was that Justice was permitted to inflict the full penalty for our sinfulness upon the sinless Lamb of God. In this act, Justice was satisfied - and mercy was satisfied.
'Justice and Mercy stood apart, in opposition to each other, separated by a wide gulf. The Lord our Redeemer clothed His divinity with humanity, and wrought out in behalf of man a character that was without spot or blemish. He planted His cross midway between heaven and earth, and made it the object of attraction which reached both ways, drawing both Justice and Mercy across the gulf. Justice moved from its exalted throne, and with all the armies of heaven approached the cross. There it saw One equal with God bearing the penalty for all injustice and sin. With perfect satisfaction Justice bowed in reverence at the cross, saying, it is enough.' (7BC935/6)
'Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. His sacrifice satisfies fully the demands of justice.' (DA753; 6BC1070)
Please take special note of the glorious, hope-giving, soul-watering words . . . the sacrifice of Jesus was enough. And why was it enough? Because it satisfied fully the demands of justice.
The significance of these words cannot be exaggerated. In fact, they are the very foundation of our hope, the very fabric of our faith, and the very springboard of our love. These words assure us that the law of God was not abolished at the cross, as many claim that it was, but that it was satisfied. In other words, Jesus - the living representation of the law of love, He who willingly served as the instrument of God's mercy, was nailed to the cross - that being the instrument of God's justice.
The mention in Scripture of the law being nailed to the cross does not in any way support the idea of an abolished law. Rather, it speaks of the permanent, indissoluble union that took place at Calvary between God's Justice and His Mercy.
In the light of the above, we must conclude that it was easier for God to give His Son as a sacrifice for sin than it was for Him to change or abolish His law. Should this thought not convince us, once and for all, that the law of God is 'unchangeable, unalterable, infinite, and eternal?' (LHU147)
In fact, 'there is no argument in favor of the unchangeable character of God's law, so forcible as that presented in the cross of Calvary. If God could have altered one precept of his law to meet man in his fallen condition, then Christ need not have died.' (RH10-09-88)
Those who claim that God abolished His law at Calvary need to realize that if the law of God is a word picture of the character of God, and if God's character is perfect, then the law cannot be changed any more than God's character can be changed - for any change to that which is perfect will only ever render it imperfect.
Just as the cross has not lost any of its significance, so the law has not lost any of its significance. What was abolished at Calvary, however, was not the law, but the condemnation of the law. Now, as a result, we may rest in the knowledge that the demands of the law have been met in full, that the penalty for our sinfulness has been paid in full, and that the sacrifice of Jesus was enough to reconcile the entire world unto God.
Now, even today, with deep-felt gratitude and with great rejoicing, we may celebrate the glorious fact that . . .
'Christ has satisfied justice. He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made.' (7BC974)
This, therefore, is one of the all-important lessons that is taught by the sanctuary and its services. This is the key that opens the treasury of Christian hope - which is not just a fragmentary or a fleeting hope, but a hope that is absolute.
Sweet Lamb of God

We have been told that Jesus is now standing before the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place, and that here He is pleading His blood in the sinner's behalf. Describing that which was shown him of this scene in vision, John the Revelator had the following to say:
'Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne.' (Revelation 5:6)
Can you picture the scene? Jesus, the precious Lamb of God - covered in blood, - looking as if He had been slain - "his appearance disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness?" (Isaiah 52:14)
Even now Jesus is standing before the throne and He is pleading His shed blood as being of sufficient value to redeem you and I. Even now He is demanding that mercy and forgiveness be showered upon us, not because we are worthy of being shown such kindness, but because He is our representative, because He is worthy, and because He has paid the full price for our sins and for our sinfulness.
This is the hope that inspires us with working faith and active love. This is the hope that is to us as an anchor to the soul. Do these thoughts not inspire you my dear reader? Is this not the kind of food that faith thrives on? Does Jesus' self-sacrificing love not motivate you to sacrifice yourself for others?
Please won't you join me in a prayer of thanks . . .
Thank you sweet Lamb of God. Thank you for loving us with a love that was willing to endure untold suffering for us, a love that was even willing to die for us. Thank you especially in that you endured such pain and horror, not because we loved you, not even because we were your friends, but in the hope that we would one day accept your friendship and your love, and in the hope that we would one day love you in return.
Truly Master, you do deserve to be loved. Help us to meditate long and hard on the significance of Calvary so that we might understand, and that our love for you might be nurtured by our understanding.
Thank you especially for giving us absolute hope. May this hope fill us with faith and love, that we might reflect your character and bring glory to your name.
'Jesus suffered the extreme penalty of the law for our transgression, and Justice was fully satisfied. The law is not abrogated [abolished]; it has not lost one jot of its force. Instead, it stands forth in holy dignity, Christ's death on the cross testifying to its immutability. Its demands have been met, its authority maintained.' (HP15)
Now, 'if the sinner repents and confesses his sins, he will find pardon. By Christ's sacrifice in his behalf, forgiveness is secured for him. Christ has satisfied the demands of the law for every repentant, believing sinner. . . . The atonement that has been made for us by Christ is wholly and abundantly satisfactory to the Father. God can be just, and yet the justifier of those who believe.' (AG138)
In this light, therefore, 'mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is satisfied to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King.' (2MR233)
Thoughts For Meditation
The sacrifice of Jesus is enough.
If His sacrifice is enough, can I add anything to it?
If His sacrifice is enough, what more is needed?
His sacrifice satisfies fully the demands of justice.
If the demands of justice are fully satisfied, can I do anything to further satisfy those demands?
If the demands of justice are fully satisfied, should this thought not fill me with a hope that is absolute?


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