Christ Kept the 10 Commandments
April 7, 2015
Adam broke the ten commandments in the Garden. But Christ kept the ten commandments in the "wilderness," under far more intense circumstances than what was originally required of Adam.
He kept the first commandment. He brought glory to God the Father while he was on earth (Jn. 17:4). He feared, believed, and trusted his Father (Heb. 2:13; 5:7; Lk. 4:1-12). Christ was zealous for the Father's glory (Jn. 2:17) and thanked his Father constantly (Jn. 11:41). He yielded complete obedience to him in all things (Jn. 10:17; 15:10).
He kept the second commandment. No one ever worshipped like Christ did (Lk. 4:16). He read, preached, prayed, and sung God's word with a pure heart (Ps. 24:3-4). He condemned false worship (Jn. 4:22; Matt. 15:9). Moreover, the one who is the visible image of God did not need to make unlawful images of God.
He kept the third commandment. As God's image-bearer (Col. 1:15), he perfectly revealed the Father (Jn. 14:9). He only spoke the words the Father gave to him (Jn. 12:49). In other words, he did not ever take God's name in vain, but only spoke the truth about the Father and brought glory to the Father by living in a manner conducive with who he is (the Son of God).
He kept the fourth commandment. "And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day..." (Lk. 4:16). He did works of piety, mercy and necessity on the Sabbath (e.g. Mk. 2:23-28). In addition, the Lord of the Sabbath secured our eternal Sabbath rest through his death on the cross, resting in the grave on the Sabbath, and resurrection on the Lord's day.
He kept the fifth commandment. He always did the things that were pleasing to his heavenly Father (Jn. 8:29). On the cross, even as he was dying, he took care of his mother (Jn. 19:27). He also kept the laws of the land (Mk. 12:17; Matt. 17:24-27).
He kept the sixth commandment. Jesus preserved life. He did so both physically and spiritually. He saved sinners from their sins (Jn. 5:40). He also healed many people (Matt. 4:23). He was meek, gentle, kind, and peaceable while on earth (e.g., Matt. 11:29). His life was a life of mercy and compassion (e.g., Lk. 18:35-43).
He kept the seventh commandment. Christ, the husband, laid down his life for his bride (Eph. 5:22-33). While I have no doubt that he would have found certain women attractive, he would never have crossed the appropriate boundaries regarding male-female interactions, and his thoughts would have always been pure regarding those of the opposite sex (cf. 1 Tim. 5:2).
He kept the eighth commandment. Christ gave freely (Jn. 2:1-11). He opposed robbery (Jn. 2:13-17). John 2 has in view, among other things, Christ keeping the eighth commandment. The one who was rich became poor so that we, in our poverty, might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9).
He kept the ninth commandment. He always spoke the truth (Jn. 8:45-47) because he only spoke the words the Father had given to him (Jn. 12:49). He stood for the truth because he is the Truth (Jn. 1:14, 17; 14:6). He did not flatter (Matt. 23) or speak the truth unseasonably or conceal the truth (Matt. 26:64).
He kept the tenth commandment. The one who owns heaven and earth is the one who also said: "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Lk. 9:58). The one who could have easily supplied his every need and desire only received that which came from the Father's hand (Lk. 4:1-12). He did not covet that which was not rightly his, but through patient endurance received his inheritance through the cross.
In Reformed circles we must in our preaching do a better job of explaining how Christ perfectly kept the law. It is one thing to say over and over again, "Jesus kept the law perfectly for us [as a covenant of works] so that we could be saved"; but it is another thing to explain precisely how he kept the law and what was involved in his law-keeping. Hearing about Christ's active obedience, and God's gratuitous imputation of that active obedience to us through faith, should never be reduced to mere pithy statements.
Pastor Mark Jones is so thankful for the active obedience of Christ to the ten commandments.