“You can’t put new cloth on an old garment or new wine into old wineskins.”
Reading in Matthew this morning where Jesus is telling us we need him not some religious tradition or ritual. While circumcision, Sabbath laws and fasting are okay in their time in the New Covenant we simply can’t add anything to Christ. He is the New Covenant. Wasn’t he the one who said, “This is the New Covenant in my blood?” Why do people attempt to squeeze him into their religious observances?
Throughout Jesus’ time ministering on the earth, as recorded in the Gospels, he lived in a transitional period. The Pharisees were tenaciously clinging to their Judaism while the disciples of John were attempting to bring Christ into the old system. I think this is why so many have difficulty understanding Jesus. The approximately three year time period in which he walked the earth ministering and teaching about the New Covenant will never be repeated. On the cross he proclaimed “It is finished!” There is no going back to the Old and the good news is there’s no need to because in Christ we have all we need for life and godliness.
Although this may be elementary to some God is showing me lately more and more how error is allowed into our lives. Even in the most God loving churches there is a subtle attempt to marry the Old Covenant practices or should I say, “religious” practices, with Christ. It is just too scary to let go of everything but if we don’t we can’t have Jesus Christ. He is telling us choose me and let go of everything else you have been counting on. Don’t simply add me to your long list of religious practices trust in me only.
One of the Apostle Paul’s biggest challenges in Galatia was the infiltration of Judaism. There were Jews from Jerusalem telling them they had to be circumcised. Paul adamantly opposed this saying “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” A Christian is one in whom the Spirit of God dwells. If we are going about trying to be a Christian, rather than simply letting Christ be our life, we will find ourselves in frustration rather than faith.