What about All Those Laws in the Old Testament?

This week, I was interviewed by a newspaper in western Kentucky about an upcoming conference in Paducah (www.AnswersinGenesis.org/outreach/event/Paducah2012).  After asking me various questions about creation, evolution, what we believe about Genesis, and dating methods etc., the reporter then asked a question that went something like this: “Well if you believe the Bible, why don’t you obey all those laws in the Old Testament—for instance all the laws in Deuteronomy, Leviticus and so on?  Laws about stoning people who committed various sins/crimes?”

I find I am getting these sorts of questions more and more.  When reporters hear us give confident answers about the creation/evolution/age-of-the earth issues, then they resort to asking about the Bible and the laws in the Old Testament, thinking they are pointing out that we really don’t believe the Bible, because if we did, we should be obeying all those laws detailed in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, etc.

The first thing I said to him was, “Well Christians don’t sacrifice animals like the Jews did—because Christ’s death and Resurrection changed all that.  As the Scripture states, ‘who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.’ (Hebrews 7:27).”  I then went on to explain that we are under the New Covenant (a new legal agreement, if you will), not the Old Covenant.

I must admit, it is difficult to explain this in summary form to a reporter on the phone—but here is the essence of what I also explained:

The laws of the Old Testament, sometimes called the Old Covenant or the Law, were made up of over 600 rules and restrictions. If one rule was broken, the person was as guilty as if all were broken (James 2:10). The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:25 that “now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (i.e., the Law). The author of Hebrews sums up the issue of the Law, writing, “In speaking of a new covenant, he [Christ] makes the first one obsolete” (Hebrews 8:13).

The sacrifice of animals and the priesthood were all types and shadows that pointed to Christ. We no longer need animal sacrifices because through His death and Resurrection, He secured an eternal redemption,” something that the blood of animals could never do (Hebrews 9:12). We live in a world where not even one person is without sin (Romans 3:19), so we could never keep the 600+ laws of the Old Covenant perfectly! But Christ came to earth, kept the Law to perfection, died in our place, and was resurrected not only to give us salvation, but also to free us from the Old Covenant and establish a new one—a covenant based on His atoning blood (Luke 22:20).

Please pray for wisdom as we attempt to answer the many questions we receive from the media and the public as a whole.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken