My question was:"Could you give us a rundown on which laws no longer apply, and which do, because of Jesus getting himself killed? You say the "ceremonial" stuff is out, but there's a lot of "stoning" for what appears to be non-ceremonial action/thought."Unless you are saying all the laws are out since Jesus got nailed, I'm still waiting for the answer. And waiting, and waiting, and.....
The Law as given by God to Moses, both on the stone tablets and by further inspiration, is specified in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The Law was part of a theocracy in which God Himself was the head and was represented by Moses and the Priesthood. Whereas the Law was given to the Jews, they were also given a choice: would they accept the Law and the God of the Law as their authority? They agreed to this.
Exodus 24:3 & 4 - When Moses went and told the people all the LORD's words and laws, they responded with one voice, "Everything the LORD has said we will do." Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.
Thus we have what is known as a covenant arrangement, along the lines of a contract in today's terms. (I find no codicil in here about needing a temple to perform sacrifices, as there was not yet a temple, so my question to Jews today remains unanswered.) The covenant was between God and man. The people of Israel stood in for mankind as a whole, because they were the last remnant of people on earth who still worshipped to any extent the Creator God. By the way, even though the Law was given to the Jews, a non-Jew could come in to the congregation by belief and action and be one of God's people as well, just as Rahab did for one example.
Of course, people being people the Jews as a whole didn't do a very good job of keeping the Law and would, as a nation, stray. In fact, much of the Old Testament is an account of a nation that strayed from God, and came back, and strayed, and came back and so on.
The Law was for a people but also for individual people. No matter what the state of the people of Israel, individuals could be obedient or not as they would. Thus, even when the nation itself was in rebellion to God, there would be an Isaiah or a Jeremiah or an Elijah calling them back to God.
But no one man could keep the law perfectly and God knew this. He inspired Paul to write on this subject rather clearly in discussing Abraham, one of the fathers of the faith and a Patriarch in the line of the Jews. Well, The Patriarch in fact.
Romans 4: 1-3 - What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Even Abraham was unable to do nothing but good. His "works" could not save him. The Jews could do their best to keep the Law, but they would fail and be required to give sacrifices and repent. In doing this, they were not actually atoning for their sins but they were believing and obeying their God. Thus, righteousness was 'credited' to them. The sacrifices were 'types' representing the One True Sacrifice to come, Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10: 1-7 - The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God.' "
Jesus came as a fulfillment of the Law, the answer to the question of sin and redemption and presented himself to the Jewish people as their Messiah. But the ruling scribes and pharisees of that time did not want to lose their position and power and rejected the idea of Christ. They wanted a Messiah who would set up an earthly kingdom, deposing the Romans and thus taking over the world (and putting those same scribes and pharisees in places of even greater authority). They wanted a Messiah who gave them earthly things. But Jesus came to do much more than that and many Jews heard and became followers of Christ. Frankly, you could just as easily call Christian believers "Jews" and require those calling themselves Jews now to simply identify themselves as Hebrews. Because at the time of Christ there was a split between Jews who accepted the Christ and those who rejected Him.
Romans 2:29 - No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
By that verse, I am a Jew and glad of it! In any event, when Christ died on the cross the atonement was begun and once He rose again and ascended to Heaven it was completed. Several things took place:
1) The temple veil was ripped in half from the top down, God's way of saying that He would no longer have a presence in the Temple and that the Holy of Holies was no longer there...and thus invalidating further sacrifices.
2) The theocracy of a people ruled by God, which had become a practical mockery by this time, was over. God had presented a new covenant between Himself and mankind, through Jesus, and once again this covenant was by choice.
3) Those who rejected (and reject) Christ are therefore still accountable to the Old Covenant. So when I say the ceremonial laws passed away, I am referring to the sacrifices and offerings which prefigured Christ. Christ has come and there is no longer a need to prefigure Him, obviously. When I say the Law was nailed to the cross I also mean that, for Christians, we are now to be led by the Spirit of God within us and guided by the principles of the Bible. The Law was fulfilled in Christ and we who have accepted Christ as Savior will not be judged by the Law. But rejectors of Christ are technically still under the Law so for you who will not accept Christ, all of it still applies to you and by that Law you will be judged by the Creator God after your life in this form is over.
4) Within the generation living when Christ was crucified (as he predicted specifically) the Temple was torn down stone-by-stone and the (now useless) sacrifices were ended completely.
5) The question of sin was now answered in Christ, who fulfilled the Law completely, paid the penalty for those who could not fulfill that same law, and then rose from the dead as the first of many who would live eternally with Him by accepting His sacrifice and receiving his Spirit.
II Corinthians 3:6 - He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Oh, as for the Jews finding a nailed messiah laughable, well, the non acceptance of your nailed messiah speaks for itself. Interpret their scriptures as you will, they read them quite differently.
Psalms 22:16 - Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
Yep, nothing clear about that...in fact even though it is in poetic language (Psalms being songs to be sung rather than prose to be simply read), Psalms 22 is quite specific at times about the crucified Christ, albeit being written several centuries earlier. For instance:
Psalms 22: 7 & 8 - All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
"He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
Now compare to the testimony of the actual event in approximately AD 33:
Mark 15:29-32 - And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
Matthew 27:41-43 - Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Which makes ya wonder. Shouldn't God make these things a little clearer? After all we're talking eternal damnation here!
It is crystal clear. It is abundantly clear. Jesus spent three years proclaiming it, and his disciples and followers have continued to pass on the message ever since. It is proclaimed clearly and continuously in the Bible. Here are a few of the numerous passages that directly speak on this subject.
John 14:6 - Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 3:16-18 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Matthew 1:21 - She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Luke 19:10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Mark 16: 15 & 16 - He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Acts 4:10-12 - Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Romans 5:1-11 - Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
I Timothy 1:3-5 - This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
No secrets here - Jesus' mission was predicted in the Old Testament, He proclaimed it while He lived, He fulfilled it in dying and resurrecting, his disciples have published it continually thereafter. There is no confusion at all, what there is, however, is choice.
Choose to accept Christ, or choose to reject Him. No mystery, no secret, and it is on you to decide.