And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.”
And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.
Today’s passage in Deuteronomy concludes Moses’ detailing of the specific laws… Most of the laws are miscellaneous but can still be loosely categorized by the 10 commandments…
- Deuteronomy 23:19-24:22: 8th commandment (Do not steal)
- Deuteronomy 25:1-16: 9th commandment (Do not bear false witness)
- Deuteronomy 26: 10th commandment (Do not covet) + conclusion
Now that this section of Deuteronomy is complete, let’s take a wide-angle view of chapters 12-26. Specifically… how is God’s character revealed through this section of Scripture?
First, consider this: The following phrase is found eight times in chapters 12-26: “So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” It usually follows a command of capital punishment.
Conversely, Moses mentions the “sojourner” twelve times. And each time, the context is how to show compassion and is usually grouped with laws describing how to care for the fatherless and widow as well.
What does this teach us?
First, God is severely holy and perfectly just. But. He is also compassionate.
There is no greater illustration of the coupling of these two character traits than in the death of Jesus. In today’s passage in Mark, we see the conclusion of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. We read that Jesus was cruelly scourged and mocked. WHY? Why did Jesus allow himself to be so cruelly treated? Why did He submit himself to the treacherous authorities? Why? Why?
Because of his perfect justice and compassion. There had to be shedding of blood for the payment of our sin. But because of his compassion, he offers a substitute for the offering of our own blood as payment. He offers his blood. He is both the righteous judge and the bearer of iniquity – both the King and the Servant – both the Lion and the Lamb. He is both just and compassionate. He is our God!!