A New Garment
Read Mark 2:13-28
Good Friday. The one day on time's calendar that all of creation had been waiting for. Mankind needed a way back to God. For years, the Law of Moses, with its many rules and requirements, amendments and legalities, was the standard by which man could approach God. But even then, it was from a distance. Now, I have to admit, my knowledge of “The Law” had gotten a little rusty (okay, a lot rusty). So, as a refresher, I pulled off the shelf one of my old trusty university books entitled, The Old Testament Speaks – Third Edition (maybe if I'd read the first two, I wouldn’t be so rusty).
This book is a complete survey of Old Testament history and literature. And it has a lot to say about “The Law.” For instance, the children of Israel were required to present offerings to God. But not just any offerings. At various times, they had to bring a Burnt Offering, a Peace or Fellowship Offering, a Sin Offering, a Trespass or Guilt Offering, or a Grain Offering. All of these, but the last one, involved the blood of an animal. But even that one was never presented on its own, but as a part of one of the others. Blood had to be shed in the payment for sin. The rules seemed endless, and there was no cutting corners. These guidelines had to be followed to the letter, all in hopes of being acceptable to God.
And that's where Good Friday came in. It was on this day, that the ultimate Sacrifice was made, the final sin-offering was presented. It was on this day that Almighty God made a way for mankind to come to Him... by becoming “the Way” Himself. Sin had a penalty. The debt against us was high. Jesus, through the Cross, paid it for us. And it’s important to note that He didn’t do it by adding to the system of Moses – patching up an old garment – but by giving us a new one.
Our reading for today is the last half of Mark chapter two. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to fit in with the Easter story. But let's look closer. Jesus was talking, making some very good points about the Sabbath, and about who really needed “a doctor.” But tucked in the middle of these verses is a gem, especially in the light of His death and resurrection.
"No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don't put your wine in cracked bottles." Mark 2:21-22 (The Message Bible)
Jesus had come to offer us something new. His mission wasn’t to help us patch up our old system – our old coat. No, He came to give to us a new one. And not just any new coat, but His very own garment of righteousness.
All things new… (Rev. 21:5). New wine goes into new bottles. A new garment goes onto a new person. Through the work of the Cross, Jesus has now made us acceptable to our Holy God. No more sacrifices need to be made.
His was the best. And the last.
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