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“You wrote that the New Testament teaches that Christ is superior (and replaces) the Mosaic system of law, priests and the temple. Will that old, limited system be re-instituted sometime in the future?” — Nick
The Mosaic Law is at the core of the history of Israel. It shaped the identity of the nation, forming the basis of its deep religious traditions, politics and ethics.
The sacrificial and priestly system provided a means for expressing repentance, receiving forgiveness and restoring relationships with God and fellow man.
These functions were acknowledged for their importance by Jesus and by first-century Jews who had converted to Christianity (Mt. 5:17-20; 7:12; Gal. 3).
The writers of the New Testament went on to indicate, however, that the old law was insufficient to save one from one’s sin.
Indeed, the old legal system became a “curse” because it continued to demand allegiance even though no one could ever obey all of it or find final and complete forgiveness through it (Rom. 3-5; Gal. 3).
The discussion of Melchizedek (a couple of weeks ago) revealed the New Testament understanding that Christ is the only necessary “high priest:” he is the new tabernacle; he has a new and “better ministry;” he inaugurates a new covenant and is the once and for all, sufficient sacrifice for forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation (Heb. 7-10).
Because Christ is the fulfillment of what the “old system” anticipated, there is no need for the old system to be in some way “re-instituted.”
“Old things are passed away . . .” (II Cor. 5:17); Christ raises believers “to a new kind of life” (Rom. 5-6). In the eschaton, there will be a new heaven and new Earth: God will be on the throne; redeemed men will inhabit the new place — but this is not a new version of the Mosaic system. This is an entirely new state of being (Rev. 20-21).