Last updated on September 22nd, 2014 at 03:22 pm
I find it quite interesting that, even before Christ came to be the ultimate sacrifice, God made it as easy as possible for the poor to come to Him, as well as the wealthy, as is illustrated in Leviticus 12:8, if a woman can’t afford a lamb, she is to provide doves or pigeons as sacrifices instead. Why? God doesn’t want to make it hard for us, He wants it to be as easy as possible for us to come to Him, with Satan’s constant manipulation though, it is often us that make it difficult, far more difficult than it actually is.
As happens further in the Bible, the Jews modified and tightened the rules God laid down, and Jesus discussed these often. The same thing happens with Christianity, I’m not particularly directing this at Roman Catholicism, but confessions to priests seems to me to just be complicating the process. I see nothing wrong with having a chat with a priest, pastor, minister, parent, friend, about something that is troubling you or causing you guilt and asking them to pray about it as well, but we don’t need a mediator to talk to God. Christ does that for us and we can talk directly to Him, so why complicate it? It’s like adding an unnecessary middle-man into a company. It can waste time and result in a reduced employee happiness. Similarly, if we aren’t talking directly to Christ (and I’m not saying that Catholics don’t do that too, I’m just using this particular thing as an example), then we lose part of the experience of having a relationship with Him, and it is hard to truly love someone that you don’t have a relationship with.
When writing to the Galatians in chapter 4:19, Paul is in anguish, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you“, as the Galatians are losing faith. I have no doubt at all, that the pain Christ feels as we complicate having a relationship with Him is at minimum far greater than what Paul feels. In Romans 3 through to 6, Paul establishes that while there is law, law and subsequently works are not how we reach Christ, but through faith alone that we are able to develop a relationship with Him. Developing a relationship we are able to love Him.
Paul establishes that while the laws were set out and should be obeyed, they are not how we reach Christ. In reaching Christ though and loving Him, it’s like a relationship with any one we are close to, be it a parent, friend or spouse. We don’t want to upset them or disappoint them, and so in general we will obey them. So while God’s laws may seem oppressive or impossible, once a relationship with and love for Christ is developed, all of a sudden, they become much easier. Of course, no one is without sin and everyone falls again and again, but when we maintain a relationship with someone, we often change to more like the person we are around a lot. So if we are spending lots of time with Christ, we become more Christ-like, and so doing the things that God requests are no longer a chore or restrictive requirement, but something we are happy to do for Him.
Just a clarification that is brought up in the comments:
Another example my original point is where the Jewish leaders created laws surrounding things like how far you could walk on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath and other things like this which are not part of God’s law. I am not just targeting one particular thing, I’m talking about man-made religious rules in general that get in our way, complicating things and making it harder for us to develop a relationship with Christ.