Look Up and See the Reality of the Shadows
Can I ask you a question? It’s from the book of Matthew chapter 23:23. It’s about offering again. So I want to just find out about what this kind of offering is.
Let me ask you this: Was Jesus a Jew?
Had Jesus shed His blood yet when He said these things? Was He the greatest, most obedient Jew who ever lived? He was the perfect Jew, the perfect man. He writes these things before His blood was shed. He was speaking these things to Jews who had an obligation to the form and the shadow. They were commandments that they were to obey. He was speaking to people in the Old Agreement, the Old Covenant, and they weren’t allowed to disobey the law of Moses in that day. It was the day of temple worship and a day of priests. But already Jesus is taking us to Higher Ground.
Moses said we could divorce for any reason. There are men, Jesus said, who sit in Moses’ seat. Obey them. We are under the Old Law. Moses said you could divorce for any reason. Ok, Moses said that. But Jesus said, “Even though Moses said that, and we are in Moses’ covenant, I say to you that Moses only allowed you to divorce because of your hard hearts. Even though the New Covenant hasn’t begun yet, I’m calling you to Higher Ground to look at your own hearts.
Shouldn’t the woman caught in adultery have been stoned under that law? Of course. Jesus didn’t tell them not to kill her. That was the Old Covenant, the Old Contract, and yes, she should have been stoned. Jesus didn’t come to erase that Old Covenant. The Passover Lamb, Jesus, had not shed His blood yet. There was no New Covenant yet. But He was already calling men to Higher Ground.
He drew with a stick on the sand. He said, “Ok, I believe in the law of Moses. I am the perfect Jew. But I came to show you the reality of the shadow. And I say to you arrogant, self-righteous men and women, you throw the stone if you are without sin.” And the older ones first—who knew their own sins and admitted them with the wisdom and humility from their own scars—walked away sadly, and let it go. “Who condemns you, woman? Go and never sin again.” Higher Ground. It was the Old Testament. He couldn’t say, “Don’t throw stones at the woman.” That was the law of Moses, and He supported it. He was the perfect Jew. But He made them look at Higher Ground. They were looking at the shadows, and He said, “Look up, and see the Reality of My love and My righteousness.”