Lie — Jesus did away with his Father's harsh laws

The Story

The Old Testament tells us about a God that was very harsh. He imposed unreasonably restrictive laws on the Jews.

His son, Jesus, was a much nicer person. At his death he cancelled all those laws and replaced them with guidelines for love and good feeling toward others.


While many of God's laws and commandments were specifically intended for the governance of the nation of Israel, the larger more important laws were meant to apply to all of mankind. People such as Abraham and Noah are reported to have followed God's commandments long before Moses delivered them to Israel.

Moses was a Levite, not a Jew, and he presented the Ten Commandments to all of Israel, not only to the Jews. The Jews were only one of twelve tribes within the nation of Israel.

God's laws were not only for Jews, and Jesus did not cancel God's laws. (E.g. see Lie — The Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross.)

What remains to be answered is, were those harsh laws his Father's?

The Bible

The Father

God the Father was hinted at, but never revealed, to the Israelites, Noah, Adam and Eve, or anyone else.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … — Genesis 1:26
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us … — Genesis 1:26

It wasn't until Jesus's time that humanity learned about the existence of his Father.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. — Matthew 13:35

The God of the Old Testament

Several authors tell us that the God of the Old Testament was actually the being that was born as Jesus. It was Jesus himself that created the universe, under the direction of his Father.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. — John 1:1-3,14
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ — Ephesians 3:9
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him — Colossians 1:16

The New Testament contains references to Jesus that referred to God in the Old Testament.

OT: Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. — Isaiah 44:6
NT: And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive — Rev 2:8
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. — 1Corinthians 10:1—4

Jesus explicitly identified himself with the YHWH (יהוה) of the Old Testament.

OT: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. — Exodus 3:14
NT: Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him … — John 8:57—59

Notice that his listeners very well understood what he meant; they were about to stone Jesus for the blasphemy of claiming to be the God of the Old Testament.

The Laws

It's true that the laws that Jesus (as YHWH) gave to the Israelites through Moses were the Father's laws, but they were also Jesus's laws. And most of them applied to all mankind for all time.

When Jesus was born as a person, he didn't change his mind about these laws; he didn't do away with them; he didn't weaken them; he didn't do anything to destroy them.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. — Matthew 5:17

What Jesus did do was to amplify his laws. Just as he had made a physical covenant with Israel, he now made a spiritual covenant with those that chose to follow him. The same eternal laws were still in effect, but rather than being blindly followed as literal physical laws, they were now to be followed with spiritual understanding.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. — Matthew 5:17

His laws aren't harsh, they are liberating. For instance:

  • Rather than don't kill, Jesus tells us that the spirit of this law is to not even hate. Hate is a terrible thing to bear, and without it we much freer to live our lives in peace.
  • Rather than don't commit adultery, Jesus tells us that the spirit of this law is to not even think about it. Having a faithful spouse and family, living without wanting others, frees us of worry and stress.
  • Rather than don't work on the Sabbath, Jesus tells us that the spirit of this law allows us to physically rest and to devote our time to spiritual learning and helping others. Knowing that one day in seven is for physical relaxation, for being free from our worldly jobs, greatly improves our mental health.


Why do people want to believe that the laws are harsh, and that they were the Father's not Jesus's?

People believe that any law that restricts them personally is harsh. They resent it. They don't want to be controlled.

By associating the laws with a different time and a different people, they are disassociating those laws from themselves.

By saying that the God of the Old Testament wasn't Jesus, they are somehow giving him permission to change those laws.

By ignoring Jesus's actual message, and treating him as a wimpy, bleeding-heart do-gooder, who simply wants us to be nice, be respectful, they are giving themselves the ability to decide what is right and what is wrong. That, of course, is exactly what constituted mankind's first sin.