Finding Jesus in the Ten Commandments

by Tom Terry

In Luke 24 two of Jesus disciples were walking along a road depressed about the events surrounding Jesus’ death, not yet believing that he had risen from the dead. Jesus met them on the road and upon listening to them he did the following: “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (verse 27).

In relating this story, Luke tells us that Jesus can be found throughout the Old Testament. Here is one example of where Jesus can be found: the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17).

(1) “You shall have no other gods before me.”

Jesus is the God of the Old Testament. He is the Savior who brought Israel out of Egypt. As such, Israel owes its existence and freedom to Jesus. Paul said in Colossians 1:19, “In him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”

(2) “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Jesus is the image of God (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). We are commanded not to worship false images because there is only one true, uncorrupted image of God, Jesus.

(3) “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

There is no other name [Jesus] under Heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12; Romans 14:11; Philippines :10-11).

(4) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Jesus is the rest that we are seeking. Only in Jesus can we find rest from sin and the promise of eternal life. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

(5) “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

It is through Jesus that we give the Father his proper honor and due (Romans 11:36; Ephesians 2:18; Malachi 1:6).

(6) “You shall not murder.”

Jesus was wrongly murdered but his death brings us new life.

(7) “You shall not commit adultery.”

Jesus is referred to as the husband for his bride (the church). He is faithful in all of God’s house (Hebrews 3:6). It is impossible for God to be unfaithful, not only in his nature, but also because there is no “other woman” or “other church” for him to be unfaithful with.

(8) “You shall not steal.”

All things belong to God (Psalm 50:10; I Corinthians 10:26). It is impossible for God to steal since all things belong to him in the first place. Jesus referred to himself as the “Good shepherd” who lays down his life for his sheep (John 10). He owns us. He cannot steal what he already owns.

(9) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). No lie was found in Jesus’ mouth (I Peter 2:22).

(10) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Jesus could not covet since all things belong to him. He only desires that which is his.

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