This painting by Rembrandt is described by art historian Kenneth Clark as “a picture which those who have seen the original in Leningrad may be forgiven for claiming as the greatest picture ever painted”. If you look closely at the Father’s two hands you will see that they are different. One of the hands is modelled after a man’s and the other after a woman’s hand. This shows in a beautiful way the tenderness and strength of our Father God.
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.I see his face in every flower:
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice – and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.All pathways by His feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
Why do I (try to) obey the Bible’s command not to lie, yet feel comfortable ignoring commands instructing me to sacrifice certain animals or to not cut my hair or trim my beard? This seeming contradiction leads some to write off all of the Bible’s teachings as irrelevant and many Christians as out of touch.
The Old Testament contains at least three types of laws: Ceremonial, civil and moral.
Ceremonial laws dictated how God’s people, Israel, were to worship Him. Leviticus prescribes many sacrifices that were to be brought to the Lord. The New Testament shows that Jesus’ death on the cross was the sacrifice that all the Old Testament sacrifices pointed to. Since Jesus died once and for all I no longer look to the Old Testament law to instruct me in worship. I worship God by the new and living Way – Jesus Christ.
Civil laws dictated how God’s people were to live in community together. Civil law includes commands about how to harvest fields, how to build houses and how to cook dinner. These laws express God’s desire for purity and justice among His people. However, since these laws applied to the government of a specific nation at a specific time in history, they do not apply to us today.
The Moral law, revealed in the Ten Commandments, show God’s holiness and reveal His moral standard. Neither His holiness nor His moral standard ever change so this law does apply to us today. God is holy and He is cultivating a people who delight to be like Him.