Oliver Smoot was a freshman sorority pledge at MIT. He and his friends were tasked with measuring the Harvard Bridge with a new unit of measurement, so they developed the “smoot.” A smoot is 5’ 7” in length, which is also the height of Oliver Smoot. He measured the bridge by laying end over end—it was 364.4 smoots plus or minus an ear. Apparently, to this day, you can turn in math homework in smoots to your professor at MIT and he or she is obligated to make the conversion. But try that anywhere else and you’ll fail. Because you can’t make up your own unit of measurement.
Do you ever try to make up your own units of measurement with life? We try to invent the “Bob,” who justifies being angry with his wife but who would never drink too much. We invent the “Alice,” who justifies drinking too much but who would never cheat on her husband. We invent the “Louis,” who justifies cheating on his wife with porn but would never cheat on his taxes. Do you see my point? We can’t make up our own units of measurement. We fail.
But where we’ve failed, Jesus did not. He came to live under God’s perfect law perfectly. God now measures our lives according to Jesus. And when that happens, the measurement comes out true every time. You and I are free. “Great peace have those who love your law” (Psalm 119:165).