Kruiz edited
Law Out of Business
Monday in Lent 1
6 March 2017
Consideration of legal precedent is essential to the practice of law. To know what a court has decided in the same legal jurisdiction can help an attorney decide how to argue the case of his client. The principle of "stare decisis," to which proponents of an unlimited right to abortion constantly appeal, is part of the concept of legal precedent. Since the Supreme Court has set down a right to abortion in its Roe v. Wade decision, those who fear that the court may overturn the precedent continue to intone the "stare decisis," which is an abbreviation of stare decisis et non quieta movere, "to stand by and adhere to decisions and not disturb what is settled."
 
While in the case of abortion the principle of stare decisis is used to prop up an immoral law, stare decisis is still an important part of jurisprudence. A law that has been overturned, by precedent is overturned for all persons. So, when the Supreme Court of the United States overturns the precedent of Roe v. Wade is overturned all unborn children would again be protected as persons under the law and accorded the unalienable rights guaranteed by our Creator. When a law is found to be invalid for one, it is invalid for all.
 
So when Christ shows the law not to have power over His person, who bears our flesh by reason of the incarnation, then it has no power over us, with whom He shares flesh. He has set the precedent in Himself establishing the divine stare decisis. The law's tyranny can no longer stand over us. Christ has overturned its authority. He takes the law's full accusation and He shows its invalidity by rising from the dead after the law has worked its worst. Ultimately, it cannot apply to Him. Therefore, in Him it cannot not apply to us. We are free. Jesus Christ has put the law out of business.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
 
"This was truly a remarkable duel, when the law, a creature, came into conflict with the Creator, exceeding its every jurisdiction to trouble the Son of God with the same tyranny with which it troubled us, the sons of wrath (Eph 2:3). Because the law has sinned so horribly and wickedly against its God, it is summoned to court and accused. Here Christ says: 'Lady Law, you empress, you cruel and powerful tyrant over the whole human race, what did I do that you accused, intimidated, and condemned Me in My innocence?' Here the law, which once condemned and killed all men, has nothing with which to defend or cleanse itself. Therefore, it is condemned and killed in turn, so that it loses its jurisdiction not only over Christ, whom it attacked and killed without any right anyway, but also over all who believe in Him.
 
"Here Christ says: 'Come to Me, all who labor under the yoke of the law. I could have overcome the law by My supreme authority, without any injury to Me; for I am the Lord of the law, and therefore it has no jurisdiction over Me. But for the sake of you, who were under the law, I assumed your flesh and subjected Myself to the law. That is, beyond the call of duty I went down into the same imprisonment, tyranny, and slavery of the law under which you were serving as captives. I permitted the law to lord it over Me, its Lord, to terrify Me, to subject Me to sin, death, and the wrath of God; none of which it had any right to do. Therefore, I have conquered the law by a double claim: first, as the Son of God, the Lord of the law; secondly, in your person, which is tantamount to your having conquered the law yourselves' (Mt 11:28).
 
"Paul speaks this way about this remarkable duel throughout his writings. To make the subject more joyful and clear, he usually portrays the law by personification as some sort of powerful person who condemned and killed Christ. Christ then overcame death and conquered this person in turn, condemning and killing him. Thus in Eph 2:14-15: 'He has slain the hostility in Himself'; and again, on the basis of Ps 68:18: 'When he ascended on high he led a host of captives' (Eph 4:8). He uses the same personification in the epistles to the Romans, the Corinthians, and the Colossians: 'for sin He condemned sin' (Rm 8:3).
 
"By this victory of His, Christ has driven the law to flight out of our conscience, so that it can no longer confound us in the sight of God or bring us to despair and condemn us. Of course, it does not cease manifesting our sin, accusing, and terrifying; but when the conscience takes hold of this word of the apostle: 'Christ has redeemed us from the law,' it is encouraged by faith and receives comfort. Then, with a kind of holy pride, it insults the law and says: 'I am not threatened by your terrors and threats at all, for you have crucified the Son and God, and crucified Him in a supreme act of injustice. Therefore, the sin that you committed against Him is unforgivable. You have lost your jurisdiction, and finally you have been conquered and strangled not only for Christ but even for me as a believer in Him.' He has granted us this victory. Therefore, the law has gone out of existence for us permanently, provided that we abide in Christ. Therefore 'thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ' (1Co 15:57).

Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 4.4-5
Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
 
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, You have overturned the law's precedent by defeating the law's power in Your death and resurrection. Grant that I might remain in You by faith so that what You have done might be mine. Amen.
 
For Pr. Robert Paul, who has accepted the call of Memorial Lutheran Church and School to be Headmaster, that the Lord would be with Pr. Paul, Amy and the children as they prepare themselves to move to Houston
 
For the family of Scott Cameron, who was taken from this vale of tears, that they would grieve as those who have hope in the resurrection of the flesh and the life of the world to come
 
For all those who are living in the Lenten discipline of the Christian Church that they might faithfully follow Christ to Calvary to see the glory of their salvation
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Isenheim Altarpiece (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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