A Fine Faith or A Faith fined

What did Jesus do when He died on the cross? The first answer that comes to a person’s mind is probably that He paid for our salvation. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul spoke of the death of Jesus this way: He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.

Even though Paul said the Law is dead, buried, and in the grave, people have kept trying to resurrect it. In the years both prior to and after the Revolutionary War, people were demanding strict adherence to Sabbath Laws.

In 1656, a Captain Kimble had returned from a 3 year stint at sea. When he met his wife on the doorstep of their house, he kissed her. Problem was, he kissed her in public and on the Sabbath Day, so he was placed in stocks for 2 hours.

In 1760 the Massachusetts legislature passed a law that fined any able-bodied person 10 shillings if said person was absent from public worship on the Lord’s Day.

One more example: In 1831, a woman was arrested for unnecessary travel on the Sabbath Day. She had violated the law by travelling to her father’s house on the Lord’s Day.

When we read the biblical record, we find that it was not the prostitutes and tax collectors who struggled with repentance, it was the people who were the most religious–the Pharisees.

When were are tempted to look down our long nose of religiosity, and judge others, we would do well to remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. –The Message

When we exhibit a spirit that is pious, self-righteous, and judgmental, we are trying to resurrect what Jesus buried. Jesus nailed the Law to the cross–leave it there!

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