Class 4 – Jesus Christ and the Law of Moses
Suggested Pre-Class Readings
In our previous class we saw the dealings of Jesus Christ with Noah, the brother of Jared, and Abraham. Abraham’s grandson Jacob (named later changed to Israel) has a son named Joseph (as in Joseph and the coat of many colors). Joseph took his extended family (the children and grandchildren of Jacob/Israel) into Egypt. As the decades and centuries passed, the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians for several generations. In this context Moses was born and called to deliver Israel out of bondage. Carefully read Exodus 3:1-14 and mark passages that stand out to you. What is the name that Jehovah tells Moses to use to identify him? Compare John 8:56-60. Can you explain why the people reacted the way they did in John 8:59? If you’re not sure of the answer, see the heading “John 8:53–58. “Before Abraham Was, I Am”” about 40% of the way down this page.
What is the law of Moses? Dr. Joshua Sears wrote, “The law of Moses is a collective term we use for the commandments, ordinances, and teachings that were taught and practiced among the people of ancient Israel. The Old Testament texts containing the law of Moses do not make it clear that this iteration of divine law would ever end—that is why the New Testament reports that, after the death of Jesus Christ, even Jews who believed that Jesus was the Messiah had a difficult time understanding that the law was fulfilled or what exactly changed with Jesus’s death. Although we use the collective term “law of Moses” to refer to the Old Testament’s legal material, the reality is that those texts present doctrinal ideas differently and contain numerous differences (even contradictions) in their presentation of how Israelites should live. To use a modern analogy, it would be like reading the General Handbook and discovering that in one section it describes three-hour church services while in another section it assumes that Sunday meetings only last for two hours. Each section would reflect a policy from different times in Church history. It shouldn’t surprise us that the law of Moses would have to adapt over the centuries—just think of how much we’ve had to learn and adapt in just the two centuries since Joseph Smith.”
Questions to focus on
How does Jesus Christ appear to interpret the ladder in Jacob’s dream? What does this mean?
Be able to explain three aspects of the Feast of Tabernacles and how each connects with a teaching from Jesus Christ given at the Feast of Tabernacles.
What are four specific ways that the Gospel of John depicts Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb?
What is the daily sacrifice, and how can we relate it to the idea of carrying our cross?
What passages of scripture from the New Testament could be used to show how Christ gave his life as a freewill offering?
Know what the Blue Letter Bible is and be able to use it appropriately.
Describe how blood was part of the original covenant Christ made with Israel and how this relates to the sacrament.
In the context of scripture and the writings of Joseph Smith, what is meant by the phrase “shedding of blood”? Justify your response with specific examples. What does this mean for us in terms of the sacrament prayer on the water?
Check Your Understanding
Practice Questions - Class Four
Optional Post-Class Readings
Insights from, conversations with, and writings by several individuals helped shape this class. These include Dr. Joshua Sears, Dr. Ryan Gardner, Dr. Avram Shannon, Dr. Matthew Grey, and Dr. Anthony Sweat.