Q. Did God make a mistake when he implemented the Law? I ask this question because when reading Acts and Hebrews, there are many statements made about the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old. Several places mention that the Law cannot save you, only the new “High Priest” (Jesus) can accomplish that. I realize any plan devised would be inferior to His ultimate plan of giving us his own son as a sacrifice for our sins, however, couldn’t there have been a better plan implemented until His ultimate plan was revealed in Jesus?
A. God does not make mistakes. The Bible makes it clear that the Law was not given for the purpose of saving people. It was given to communicate God’s standards of righteousness and to demonstrate that sinful man could never meet those standards (Romans 3:20). God’s plan was to prove to us that without a redeemer we are hopelessly lost, and to show His love for us by becoming our redeemer Himself (Colossians 1:13-20).
We should remember that right from the beginning, God planned to have His Son die for the sins of the people. 1 Peter 1:18-20 tells us He was chosen before the creation of the world to redeem us.
One reason the New Covenant is better than the Old is the Old Covenant sacrifices were only symbolic of the Lord’s sacrifice. As such they couldn’t save anyone, but could only set the sins of the people aside temporarily. Therefore they had to be repeated year after year (Hebrews 10:1-4).
But when the Lord came He offered Himself as a once for all time sacrifice for sin that made us perfect forever and never had to be repeated (Hebrews 10:12-14).
The phrase “once for all time” means no one who believed in a coming redeemer was left out. From the first man to the last, whether they knew His name or not, everyone who died believing in Him is saved. It also means that in every life all sins are paid for, from the first to the last.
In Colossians 2:13 Paul said when the Lord went to the cross He forgave us all our sins. The Greek word translated “all” in that verse means “each and every, any and all.” That means we no longer have to provide periodic substitute sacrifices as evidence of our belief. And that’s another reason the New Covenant is better than the Old.