1. ANOTHER LAW
a. How does the Bible describe a law that was contrary to us and was nailed to the cross? Colossians 2:14; Ephesians 2:15. Since the principles of the ten commandments existed in the perfection of Eden, how do we know this description cannot be referring to that law? Genesis 1:31.
b. What are some of the specific things contained in this law of ordinances? Colossians 2:16, 21. Are these sabbaths and other laws connected to the original moral law given at creation—or are they a shadow of an event that was to come in the future after they were given? Colossians 2:17.
“In Eden, God set up the memorial of His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon the seventh day. The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the work of His hands and the subjects of His authority. Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind. There was nothing in it shadowy or of restricted application to any people.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 48.
2. THE LAW OF ORDINANCES
a. Are these things that were a shadow of a later event actually referred to as a law—and if so, what kind of law? Hebrews 10:1.
“God’s people, whom He calls His peculiar treasure, were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God who made the world, whose claims are binding upon all men in every dispensation, and which will exist through all time and eternity. The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1094.
b. While the sacrificing of animals was taught to the ancient Hebrews to illustrate (foreshadow) the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who was to come, what point needed to be understood? Hebrews 10:2–4, 6.
“Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things. Many forgot the true significance of these offerings; and the great truth that through Christ alone there is forgiveness of sin, was lost to them. The multiplying of sacrificial offerings, the blood of bulls and goats, could not take away sin.”—Ibid., vol. 7, p. 933.
c. What only has power to cleanse from the guilt of sin? 1 John 1:7.
“A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony. . . through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins.”—Ibid.
“The death of Jesus Christ for the redemption of man lifts the veil and reflects a flood of light back hundreds of years, upon the whole institution of the Jewish system of religion. Without the death of Christ all this system was meaningless. The Jews reject Christ, and therefore their whole system of religion is to them indefinite, unexplainable, and uncertain. They attach as much importance to shadowy ceremonies of types which have met their antitype as they do to the law of the ten commandments, which was not a shadow, but a reality as enduring as the throne of Jehovah.”—Ibid., vol. 6, p. 1097.
3. THE CEREMONIAL SYSTEM
a. Who was among the first to make the sacrifices of animals in this way? Genesis 3:21, 24; 4:2–4; Hebrews 11:4.
“The sacrificial offerings were ordained by God to be to man a perpetual reminder and a penitential acknowledgment of his sin and a confession of his faith in the promised Redeemer. They were intended to impress upon the fallen race the solemn truth that it was sin that caused death. To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. It was the first time he had ever witnessed death, and he knew that had he been obedient to God, there would have been no death of man or beast. As he slew the innocent victim, he trembled at the thought that his sin must shed the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. This scene gave him a deeper and more vivid sense of the greatness of his transgression, which nothing but the death of God’s dear Son could expiate. And he marveled at the infinite goodness that would give such a ransom to save the guilty. A star of hope illumined the dark and terrible future and relieved it of its utter desolation.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 68.
b. What system was further developed after the people did not understand the plan of salvation at Mount Sinai? Exodus 25:8.
c. Why was the shedding of blood necessary? Hebrews 9:22. What did the sacrificial lamb symbolize? 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:19; John 1:29.
“He brought his hearers down through the types and shadows of the ceremonial law to Christ—to His crucifixion, His priesthood, and the sanctuary of His ministry—the great object that had cast its shadow backward into the Jewish age. He, as the Messiah, was the Antitype of all the sacrificial offerings. The apostle showed that according to the prophecies and the universal expectation of the Jews, the Messiah would be of the lineage of Abraham and David. He then traced His descent from the great patriarch Abraham, through the royal psalmist. He proved from Scripture what were to have been the character and works of the promised Messiah, and also His reception and treatment on earth, as testified by the holy prophets. He then showed that these predictions also had been fulfilled in the life, ministry, and death of Jesus, and hence that He was indeed the world’s Redeemer.”—Sketches From the Life of Paul, pp. 103, 104.
4. WHY WAS IT DONE AWAY WITH?
a. As long as the ceremonies were continually taking place at the temple, in what did Israel believe as their hope of salvation? Isaiah 1:10–15.
“The Son of God is the center of the great plan of redemption which covers all dispensations. He is the ‘Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ He is the Redeemer of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam in all ages of human probation. . . . Christ is the substance or body which casts its shadow back into former dispensations. When Christ died, the shadow ceased. At the death of Christ the typical system was done away, but the law of God, whose violation had made the plan of salvation necessary, was magnified and made honorable. The gospel was good tidings of great joy to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses; for it presented to them a coming Saviour.”—The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.
“Jerusalem was the metropolis of the Jews, and there were found the greatest exclusiveness and bigotry. The Jewish Christians who lived in sight of the temple would naturally allow their minds to revert to the peculiar privileges of the Jews as a nation. As they saw Christianity departing from the ceremonies and traditions of Judaism, and perceived that the peculiar sacredness with which the Jewish customs had been invested would soon be lost sight of in the light of the new faith, many grew indignant against Paul, as one who had, in a great measure, caused this change. . . . Some were zealous for the ceremonial law.”—Sketches From the Life of Paul, p. 71.
b. Instead of all the sacrifices, what was God looking for? Isaiah 1:16–18; Psalm 51:17–19.
c. What does the plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ bring that the sacrificial system was unable to do? Acts 4:12; Hebrews 7:28, 19.
“A more clear and glorious light now shines upon the Christian. Those who lived before the coming of Christ looked forward by faith to His coming, but what had to be grasped by faith by them is assurance to us; for we know that Christ has come, as foretold by the prophets. It is just as essential for us to have faith in our Redeemer, who came to earth and died our sacrifice, as it was for the ancients to believe in a Redeemer to come, represented by their offerings and sacrifices.”—The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.
5. DO WE NEED THE CEREMONIAL LAW TODAY?
a. Why do we have the ceremonial law on record in the Bible? 2 Timothy 3:16.
b. What is Jesus doing in heaven today? Hebrews 8:1–5; 3:1.
c. What are we to be doing since this new system is actively in force in heaven? Hebrews 4:14–16.
“It was Christ’s desire to leave to His disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed—that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, pp. 1139, 1140.
“The messengers of the cross must arm themselves with watchfulness and prayer, and move forward with faith and courage, working always in the name of Jesus. They must exalt Christ as man’s mediator in the heavenly sanctuary, the One in whom all the sacrifices of the Old Testament dispensation centered, and through whose atoning sacrifice the transgressors of God’s law may find peace and pardon.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 230.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How do we know that the seventh-day Sabbath is not included in the shadows of the Old Testament?
2. What are the distinctive features of the two laws—moral and ceremonial?
3. Because of so much death, what attitude have we lost when an animal dies?
4. What made it difficult for the Jews living near the temple to understand that the ceremonial system was over?
5. What benefit do we receive today from studying the sanctuary service?