“On Your Mark”
The Spirit of the Law (Chapter 3 Verses 1-6)
The holy, righteous anger burns (v5). The hardness, the obduracy of these people so distresses the Lord, he issues the command, and it is done immediately, that withered, deformed hand was made as whole as the other. A glorious shining work displaying the almighty power of Jesus Christ. He did not touch, or even say, be healed. Not even the most rabid Pharisee could call that work that was forbidden on the Sabbath day. Once more with great mastery the Lord cuts off their every escape route, they are left with not a leg to stand on. The reaction? Well of course they relented, this care, this compassion of Jesus made them desist from their madness? No it did not (v6). It made them worse. It was wrong for the Lord Jesus to heal on the Sabbath day, but not for them to spy on him in the Synagogue, not for them to be filled with rage, and plot murder on God’s holy day? They, are the ones who are violating God’s holy law. You see, when Jesus took the initiative in the Synagogue that day, when he did that which was right. And do remember for him to have done nothing, would amount to doing wrong. There are sins of omission too. When Jesus healed that man, he signed his own death warrant. I tell you religious people devoid of grace can be as angry as hell, when God interferes with their warped religion. These people are so blinded by their idolatry of God’s law that they failed to see that Jesus was much more devoted to it than they were (Matthew 5.17-20). He fulfilled it, they merely observed it. They plotted and conspired to murder the lawful Jesus on their Sabbath day? A most holy business indeed?
But do you see that these men are actually guilty of murder? It constitutes the actual crime of murder (Matthew 5.21-22). Because God says that the lust and passions that lead to murder are just as wicked as the actual deed itself. It is the sin of the heart against the fifth commandment (1John 3.15). So in God’s sight anger is equal to murder and makes us worthy of hell. These men had already violated the command. They had murdered the Son of God. Do you think it is possible for a Christian to become like this? Yes it is, definitely! What is more important to you, the rules or the Ruler? Jesus was perfectly innocent of this charge. But us? We have broken every command in the book. But then that is why Jesus came, to call sinners to repentance and faith, that through trusting him, in his great power and atoning blood, not in our rule-keeping, albeit, Sabbath-keeping, we will be saved.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)