We find the law of Moses again being spelled out but this time in a particular example. We read that back then if someone took the Lord’s name in vain then they were to be stoned to death. It is interesting that Moses makes sure that the people knew that there is a same law for those who are part of the tribe of Israel and those who are outside of it and happen to be living within the Israelite community. So regardless of who you are, there is no one above the law and the law is applied equally.
We find in these verses, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, the saying an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The significance is that back then there was a state sponsored death penalty which would be enacted if someone murdered another. If someone maimed them, then they were to receive the same punishment and the same maiming by the authorities. I wonder how that would be carried out. But Jesus, when he comes upon the earth, institutes another law. He says: “You have heard it said…but I say to you.” That happens frequently when he is about to change something that the law had commanded all along, but now with Jesus and the covenant in place there is a new law.
For this law Jesus says turn the other cheek, offer another cloak, walk another mile. Capital punishment is no longer Scriptural, it is against the will of God. It also just makes so much more sense for the nature of God to be one that he is a God of grace and glory and forgiveness, and everlasting love, and … That is just who God is.