Question: Why don’t Christians today obey all the laws and instructions of the Old Testament?
The short answer is, we did. That needs to be explained, doesn’t it?
Israel is the nation ruled by God, and “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). You shall be different than those other nations around you that are not the nation ruled by God. You shall be a nation set apart to me. Count how many times Leviticus 19 reminds Israel, “I am the LORD your God.” This long list of instructions tell the Israelites how to do “I am the LORD your God.” The chapter closes simply and straightforward: “Do them” (Leviticus 19:37).
Jesus did them. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). He fulfilled all righteousness, then offered the most incredibly, ridiculously wonderful trade of all time: his righteousness for our sin. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2Corinthians 5:21).” We obeyed the Law when Jesus obeyed the Law, and we are righteous because he is righteous; his righteousness became ours.
This does not mean that the Law goes away. “You shall be holy, for I am holy” is in the New Testament, too (Matthew 5:48; 1Peter 1:16). The key is a verse right in the middle of Leviticus 19, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v 18). Jesus, who is holy, says this verse sums up everything, all the Law and the Prophets hang on two commandments. Jesus obeyed all the Law so we can obey it’s heart, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:40).
God, You so loved the world that You sent Your one and only Son. Anyone believing in Him will receive eternal life. In Your grace, You did not send Your Son to condemn me. In Your holiness, You would have been justified to do so, but Your Son became condemnation so I might receive justification in His Name.
The Name of Jesus is the Name above all names. May I never mix it with any others. May I always hold it high. May I walk in Your ways, increasing Your reputation in this world. May I humble myself and direct all glory to You.