Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them… Joshua 1:2
As great a man and leader as Moses was, he was not sufficient to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. Moses had to die before the people could enter their rest. It was only for Joshua to lead them across the Jordan to possess the promises of God.
And Moses is not sufficient to lead us into the promised land either. The law will never get us where we want to go. Just like Moses, it had to die for God’s plan of redemption to be fulfilled.
You see, the law puts the power in my hands. If I’m good enough, if I obey it perfectly enough, I will be saved. For God to redeem us to Himself, it had to be His work and not mine.
Sadly, many Christians today are still trying to live according to the law. Maybe not the one Moses brought down from the mountain, but a law nonetheless. We live trying to be good enough for God. We live trying to obey the rules of conduct we’ve laid out for ourselves. We think if we can just master the actions, God will be pleased and accept us.
Religion is deceptive. It makes me feel good about myself and about my situation. Religion puts me in control, puts me in the pilot’s seat. If I can just stick with the program, I don’t have to go through the painful process of dying to myself and giving up control to the Father.
But, just like the Israelites, Moses has to die for us to enter the Promised Land. Religion, the law, works…they all have to go if we are to enter into the rest Christ has provided. We cannot hold on to our own efforts AND receive the grace of God at the same time. Forgiveness is either a free gift or it is earned; we cannot have it both ways. And if earning our salvation were possible, Moses would not have had to die, and Jesus would not have had to come.
Remember, salvation by anything less than a totally free gift of God’s grace is no salvation at all.