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Take the Wheel

Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash.

Let's use an example of traffic laws. There are explicit rules on what you are and are not allowed to do. You can go at a green light, and turn right on red after a stop if there's no sign, but you cannot go straight or turn left on red. If you blow through a red light, the police pull you over and fine you. Those are laws.

Say you ran a red light and you got a ticket. You'd have to pay that fine. There are consequences you must pay for breaking laws. Now imagine some man comes along and offers to pay all of your tickets now and in the future. You will no longer be fined for breaking traffic laws. The police won't stop pulling you over, but this man will intercede before the judge for you and pay your fine.

The traffic laws are Torah. Before this interceding man, Jesus, you had to pay all the fines for breaking the laws. After Him, you still get a ticket but you don't pay the consequential fee. Does the law no longer apply? No, they're there to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe on the roads. Just because the punishment no longer comes doesn't mean that the law is unimportant.

Now consider the etiquette of driving. If you cut someone off in traffic or tailgate, the driver you antagonize will not be happy, but so long as you're not recklessly driving, the police don't ticket you. These are cultural things. In many places in the United States, using your car horn is a last-ditch effort. In India, for example, it's commonly used for the smallest upsets.

A policeman cannot give you a ticket for over-using your car horn in India or under-using it in the nice parts of America. If he did, he would be putting what he considers right, his culture, over the law. It would be especially worse if he pulled over an offender of etiquette and ignored someone who ran a red light.

This was the problem with the pharisees of Jesus' time. They held their traditions as higher than G-d's laws, and would punish those who infringed on tradition but ignored those who violated the most basic of G-d's commandments.

(Now, if you want to continue the analogy, the Holy Spirit drives for you, both according to legal laws and behaving respectfully on the road.)

If you never got fined for breaking traffic laws, would you go out and break them all, and tell others to break them too? Not unless you were an anarchist. Society tends to look down on those who have enough to pay their way through fines and continue to violate, they think it disrespects the intent of the law.

So, consider that even though Jesus paid it all, that we are no longer bound to the penalties of the law, that it was still made in our best interest. Following it not only keeps us safe, but pleases the Judge and Law Giver that made it for us.

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