On display in the center of the credenza in her living room stood two stone tablets. As a young believer, years ago she proudly purchased the life-sized replicas at a traveling antique market near her extended family’s vacation villa. Carefully she had unpacked them and placed them in their wooden stands just so.
Each stone tablet was laden with five high and holy commands, and each law Sally now knew by heart. However, for all these years the same dilemma faced her: no matter how stringently she purposed in living them, fulfillment remained out of reach. And complete fulfillment was the requirement. To break one law brought guilt of breaking them all. And guilt meant certain death.
The stone tablets had served Sally well. Not only did the commands reveal her sinful behavior, but over time sliced right through it to expose her darkened heart. Fortunately, she had surrendered to the conviction of her need for the Savior. Unfortunately though, in spite of her abundant Scriptural knowledge and self-discipline, the shadow of guilt that the stones cast upon her life still held her captive. And their lordship continually stirred forbidden passions within her. As a result, every morning before the stones, she knelt and labored in confession recalling her past sins and guilt.
One spring morning, a tall Jewish-looking gentleman clothed in clean, white linen knocked at her front door. Anxious over the unexpected interruption, Sally stood up whisking her knees and secured her sweater and the top button of her blouse. She paused hesitating to open the door, for through the peephole the man appeared foreign, and possibly even suspicious. Nevertheless, curiosity stirred within her and she cautiously turned the bolt lock and handle, opening the door.
“Good Morning, Beloved,” he greeted her. Morning sunlight poured into the shadowy foyer followed by the fragrance of cherry blossoms while melodious trills echoed in the trees outside, “I’ve come to bear your heavy burden.”
“Excuse me, Sir?” she inquired squinting and adjusting her glasses carefully on the bridge of her nose. His unusual presence and character intrigued her.
“Excuse me,” he replied politely and stepped through the open doorway advancing directly toward the stone tablets. Her mouth dropped open in offense at his leading. Abandoning the open door she watched his every move. Shafts of light beamed through the trees into the doorway and played crisscross on the smoky grey carpet. Her arms folded under a growing frown of indignation, she witnessed him reach for one of the stones.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” she demanded sharply with eyes unyielding. His profound sense of ownership caught her off guard. Lovingly, he lifted the stones to balance them horizontally, one over each shoulder.
Taking a confident step in her direction, he spoke to her face-to-face.
“Do you not know, Beloved,” He challenged, “that I alone have already fulfilled these for you?” Between the stones he held, his words hovered heavy, knocking at the door of her heart.
“Now, Sally– go, look into the mirror,” he instructed her.
“What-? What mirror?” she charged with her face twisted in confusion as she struggled to manage her heart’s upheaval at the sight of the stones’ removal. Her pulse escalated over the disruption, and she wringed her hands nervously.
Scanning the nearly vacant wall behind where the stone tablets had stood, she spotted to her consternation a lovely, antique mirror, ornate and hanging delicately in the space where the stones used to dominate.
“Where did that mirror come from?” she demanded, eyeing Him, and pointing to it in bewilderment.
“Look,” he directed her again.
Eyeing him with apprehension she moved guardedly toward the little mirror. As she approached, along the bottom frame she made out an aged engraving, “The Perfect Law of Liberty.” She nervously obeyed his instructions stepping directly in front of it. And in doing so, a strange reflection came into focus. Dumbstruck she stared.
Before her a brilliant reflection unfolded — unfamiliar and immaculate in nature. Slowly removing her glasses, she leaned in closer. Gradually, she recognized that the image before her was indeed her own reflection, purified. Her lips soon parted. As she focused in, she discovered that the reflection captured the very essence of the Sally she had always dreamed of becoming. Her eyes welled with tears.
In front of the mirror she stood still conscientiously absorbing the unbelievable consummation before her. A deep breath she took and exhaled slowly as she continued studying it in unbelief. Her hardened posture softened as the decades of tension in her face began melting. The new creation stared back at her in quiet confidence.
“Is that who you’ve been looking for?” he whispered to her, breaking her trance. Like a little child on Christmas Eve she cast her softened eyes over her shoulder into his. Glasses in hand, she blinked away tears. Her eyes gleamed with waves of awe and humility.
Before exiting with the stones through the open door, he left her with a challenge, “Remember who you are, Beloved.”
But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).
Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.
But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the [whole] person; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
There it was—the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person
The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!
But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded
But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.
3 For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],
And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.
For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Amp.
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified)
In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world
Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross.
For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God
For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it.
11 For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law.
12 So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love].
For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had [a]once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin.
And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One).
Furthermore, every [human] priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over again, which never are able to strip [from every side of us] the sins [that envelop us] and take them away
For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.
This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),
17 He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.
18 Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin.
1 John 3:5
You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [essentially and forever].
Ephesians 1:13b-14 When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:22 [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.