Centuries before Roman law declared, “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (Ignorance of the law excuses not), God gave the same to Moses. The number and detail of Levitical law is overwhelming to read and no doubt, even more overwhelming to keep. A careful numbering of Levitical law brings the total to 613 commandments (248 positive “i.e. “Remember the Sabbath” + 365 negative “i.e. Thou shalt not kill”). The majority of the commands (603) were given to further describe the keeping of the Decalogue (Literally, “Ten Words” or Ten Commandments). Yet, Jesus was able to summarize the whole into one word, namely, love: “Love God and love others as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-40).
Whether it’s one, ten or 613, the Bible says that none of us can keep the law without sin (Rom. 3:23). Claiming ignorance of God’s law does not excuse us. Only an appropriate sacrifice will satisfy. Thankfully, the complex law and sacrificial system were satisfied in one person, Jesus Christ. He has kept the law and offered Himself as the unblemished sacrifice for our sin, those we committed knowingly and unknowingly. He bore our sin and guilt that we might receive His righteousness!