The Mosaic Covenant

The Mosaic Covenant was given to the Children of Israel at the time of Moses, and is a well-known covenant. This covenant was made between the Lord and the Israelite people. This covenant was not made with the Gentiles or the Church, but with Israel only. Please see Deuteronomy 4:7-8, Psalm 147:19-20, and Malachi 4:4;

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” – Malachi 4:4 (my emphasis)
The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant. There were conditions for blessings for obedience, but judgment for disobedience. (Exodus 15:26, 19:5)

This covenant is far more than the Ten Commandments. The Law of Moses contains, I am told, 613 specific laws. There are 603 laws in addition to the Ten Commandments. I have not taken the time to count them, because they do not apply to Believers under the New Covenant (to be discussed later).

Blood sacrifices are a large part of the Mosaic Covenant. They were made for atonement of sin (Leviticus 17:11), but it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin. (Hebrews 10:4) This covenant included diet restrictions and expanded the death penalty to include things like cursing your parents or not obeying the Sabbath. I am quite relieved that Christians are not required to follow the Mosaic Covenant. The Law was strict, and impossible to keep.

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. – James 2:10 (my emphasis)
Keeping the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between God and the Israelites. (Exodus 31:13) It is interesting that the Sabbath is not named in the Creation account. The seventh day is not named. In the giving of the Ten Commandments the Sabbath was to be a time of rest. It was to be a time of staying at home. (Exodus 16:29, Leviticus 23:3) There is no command from the Lord to go to worship on the Sabbath. It would have been extremely impractical for the Israelites to go to the Temple every Sabbath because it took many of them days to get there! They were only required to go to the Temple three times a year.

The Israelites were not required to meet on the Sabbath. Christians, because we are not under the Mosaic Covenant, are not required to keep the Sabbath, just as we are not required to circumcise our male children. The Apostle Paul instructed the Church at Corinth to meet on the first day of the week. (I Corinthians 16:2) The Apostle John was worshipping the Lord on the Lord’s Day. (Revelation 1:10) The early Church met on the first day of the week, Sunday, for the Lord’s Supper. (Acts 20:7) They met as often as they could, even daily. (Acts 2:46)

Of the five covenants made with Israel, all are unconditional except the Mosaic Covenant. The conditional Mosaic Covenant failed and has been done away with. The Apostle Paul used those very words in II Corinthians 3:11 - “For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” “Done away” is translated from the Greek word katargeo (Strong’s G2673) which means “to render inoperative.”

This is confirmed by Paul in Romans 10:4 – “For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believes.” The Greek word for “end” is telos (Strong’s G5056) and can mean either “termination” or “goal.”

Under the Law of Moses only the Aaronic priesthood was valid. In order for the Lord Jesus, who was not of the Aaronic line, to become High Priest there must be a change of law. (Hebrews 7:12) The old order and the old priesthood was done away with.

Jesus brought an end to the Mosaic Covenant because He became High Priest.

“... that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” – Hebrews 2:17
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” – Hebrews 9:11-12
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an High Priest over the house of God.” – Hebrews 10:19-21
Praise the Lord for the Lord Jesus, our High Priest who sacrificed Himself for our sins. Praise the Lord that we are no longer under the Mosaic Covenant. Praise the Lord, always and ever!

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