Perhaps the most prevalent critique against Christianity in our western culture is that it just doesn’t sound like much fun. “You can’t do this”, “you can’t do that”. It’s just life under another set of frustrating rules. And we all remember how much fun the rules from our childhood were, don’t we?
The unfortunate thing is that this reputation has been earned. When the world looks at a Christian they usually see someone striving with all of their might to just “get it right”. They see us constantly walking on eggshells, guilt-ridden for the small mistakes we make through the day; desperately trying to build in rhythms and routines of church, Bible study, and prayer to make ourselves feel like we’ve done enough to be called a Christian.
But, is that really what Christianity is supposed to be about? Me fighting with myself to do the right thing all the time for fear of doing it wrong? Simple answer: “No”. Why? Well, because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the true and better Moses.
After leading the people out of slavery in Egypt, Moses’ task was to stand between God and the Israelites, relaying to them the laws that God gave at Mount Sinai. And whenever they weren’t sure what to do, Moses was the guy to ask. So, in order to enjoy this covenant, the people of Israel were called to obedience; and where they failed, they needed to present the appropriate sacrifice (an amazing picture of what Christ would come to do!).
But notice God’s words in Exodus 19:5: “If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples” (Exodus 19:5). Essentially, to stay right with God, they needed to obey the law and do the sacrifices; if they failed to do so, they were out. Sound a bit like the way people see Christianity?
But here’s the good news: Jesus comes to us with a new covenant, made accessible to us through His death and resurrection. That Old Covenant was completely fulfilled in Him—He lived the perfect life and then died on our behalf. And this New Covenant is one of grace. We come asking, “What must I do?” Where Moses would answer with, “Do x,y, and z”, Jesus says, “Don’t worry, it’s already done. Just trust me.”
This is the true Christian life. Free from condemnation because we’re free from the law. It’s not a matter of, “You can’t do this” or “you can’t do that”; but rather, “The desire of my heart is to honour and love my Saviour”, because Christ, at every turn, shows us unending grace.