As we start this week’s devotion as part of the In His Steps series, I hope you have been enjoying these devotions. They have been written by myself along with Zach, Thomas, Vanessa, and Trevor. I know that I have enjoyed them and I know they have been a blessing to all of us who have been reading them.
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This week I spoke about how Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. We believe that God has a plan for us to live life to the full and the Lord calls us to this life by walking in His steps, living as He lived. The Scripture says that we seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added to our life. When we live as Christ lived, our life will be full, meaningful, and beyond our dreams. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness and we need to do the same.
As we start today, I want explain righteousness. The word righteousness means ‘equitable.’ That may seem strange, but it is a unique aspect of law that developed out of the insufficiency of the law to bring about the just result. In my message today, I gave this analogy. Imagine that I am a farmer and I have a cow. I named her Bessie. And someone comes on to my property and steals my cow and butchers it. I turn them in. They are arrested and then they are sent to jail as a punishment. So it seems like justice has been done, but I still don’t have a cow. So the law has punished the culprit, but the law has not made things right, which is where the word ‘righteous’ comes from.
When Adam, representing all man, sinned against God, the relationship that God created man for was lost. Mankind was made for God. He created us for relationship, but with the sin of Adam, God lost that which He desired. God established the law, the Mosaic law, to help people draw near to Him. The problem is that the rituals in the law were only symbolic and they were set in place to help the people’s hearts to move back to God for relationship. The problem was that the law was insufficient to draw people back to God. Even when they fulfilled the law, many were just going through the motions and their hearts were not with God. The righteousness of the law was insufficient. It did not restore the relationship. The crazy thing though is that God still honored the sacrificial system set up in the Mosaic law. The people kept offering their sacrifices through the priests and the Lord remained with them with His Spirit resting on the Ark of the Covenant.
When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John thought that he should have been baptized by Jesus not the other way around. But here is what Jesus said:
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus had already been through the righteous requirements of the law before this. He was circumcised at 8 days old. Last week, we talked about how he was made a Son of the Law at age 12. He is fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law in order to bring equity. Jesus does not abolish the law, but obeys it completely, but to its fullest extent which is more than sufficient to restore to God what He lost-you and me.
God wants relationship with you. He wants to be in full communion with you and this baptism sets the stage for the Creation to be restores back to its Creator.