Why does Peter say the Law was hard to bear when Moses said the Law was not hard?


I would like clarification on Acts 15:10 where Peter said the Law was a yoke too hard to bear, and in Deuteronomy 30:11 where God said it was not hard.  Also in Luke 1:6 where they followed perfectly the commands.  Seems a conflict in thought that I can't figure out.



"For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it" (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

Moses noted that what God required of Israel was hard in the sense of being difficult to understand or to put into practice. God didn't give a law that was impossible to follow. Yet, that didn't mean that people treated it as doable. "O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me" (Micah 6:3).

"But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob; and you have been weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought Me the sheep for your burnt offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings, nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, nor have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities" (Isaiah 43:22-24).

It was their disobedience to the Law that made the Law a burden to the Israelites.

In comparison to the Law of Moses, the Law of Christ is an even easier law. "Come to Me, all you 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" (Matthew 11:28-30). Such is always the nature of God's laws. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3).

This is the same as what Paul stated: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1). The Old Law appeared to be slavery when contrasted to the New Law. The Old Law wasn't a hard law, though the people made it hard for themselves, but in comparison, the New Law is a breeze.

Instead of rejoicing in the lightened burden, there were among the Jewish Christians those who wished to impose the old Law of Moses on Christians. "But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses" " (Acts 15:5). Peter's response was: "Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" (Acts 15:10). Peter is not saying the Law was impossible to bear -- that is, that it was God's fault for giving too hard of a law. Peter is saying that the very Law the Jews failed to keep, they are now want to impose on other people.

The Law of Moses wasn't impossible to keep. The passage in Luke 1:6 proves that. Zachariah and his wife did keep the law. Therefore, anyone arguing that it was too hard must deal with explaining why some still managed to follow it if it was so hard.

There is a lesson here for today as well. There are people who still want to impose the Old Law on Christians. But why? Why seek to follow two laws when God only asks of us to follow one and that one is the easier law?


Thank you for taking the time to reply back. I will be studying your comments.

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