The Law Covenant made with Israel was binding upon them when they accepted its conditions, to the extent that it was a REAL covenant. And well it is for Israel that theirs was only a typical covenant and its conditions, penalties, etc., only typical; because, had that covenant been real, they in coming under its conditions would have become individually liable to its penalty, DEATH. For though this penalty is no worse, but in fact the same, that was upon them and the whole world, before, as sharers of the condemnation upon Adam their representative, yet there would have been this difference: that instead of one man's disobedient act and one man's penalty, to be met before another covenant could be ratified or put into operative force, there would have been the disobedience of every one of the millions of Israelites to be met by a corresponding price. Nothing short of ten million saviours would have been a corresponding price for ten million individual sinners. Consequently, only one man's disobedience and penalty, being thus far settled by one man—Christ Jesus, it follows, that if Israel's covenant had been real, if its Mediator brought them under a new condition of individual obligation, then indeed the Law Covenant would have been a curse and injury and not a blessing; for under that covenant all would have been individually condemned to death. And not one of those individuals could have life or any other blessing under the New Covenant, because if individually liable under the Law Covenant, each Jew would require an individual redeemer to die for him—to pay his ransom price, death.
But that their covenant was not real, but typical only, can be clearly shown in two ways: First, because no new covenant could be made by the Creator, with any of the race, offering them life on any conditions whatever, SO LONG as they were already under his own condemnation, as unworthy of life for the violation of a former covenant. In other words, the sin, the condemnation, the penalty of the covenant violated by the race representatively, through Adam must be fully paid by a ransom—[a corresponding price]—before any new covenant guaranteeing life could be ratified or instituted.
The Law Covenant was not preceded by settlement or cancellation of the claims of the Adamic covenant against the Israelites. True it was preceded by sacrifices of bulls and goats (Heb. 9:19-22) as, or representative of sin-offerings, but it must be evident to all that those sacrifices "could never take away sin" (Heb. 10:4 and 11,) because they were not a ransom; that is, they were not a corresponding price for man's sin. The price of man's sin was man's destruction—man's death, and not the destruction of bulls and goats. The death of millions of bulls and goats would not settle the penalty of the broken covenant; nothing could settle it short of the death of a perfect man, against whom the original covenant had no claims. No, such sacrifice for sins was made until Jesus was "made flesh" for this very object and gave himself a ransom. And in this act of giving himself a ransom, we have seen that the man Christ Jesus mediated the New Covenant and the only real covenant ever ratified or sealed since the fall in Eden.
That the Law Covenant was not a real one, but only typical of the New Covenant, is proved also by the fact that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9), and that "as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL MEN unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18.) For if Israel, or any of the race were justified to life, i.e., freed from the condemnation of death which came through the violation of the Adamic covenant by the mediation of the death of bulls and goats as a sacrifice for sins, so as to make another covenant with them possible, before Jesus came, then the Apostle was in error on the subject; for in that case it would not be true that the justification to life came on all through Christ, EVEN AS the condemnation came on all through Adam.
But all were justified by the one Mediator whose sacrifice was real and complete, and the only satisfaction of the penalties of the original covenant; hence the only mediation capable of establishing another covenant. Consequently, the Covenant of the Law based upon a typical and not an actual mediation or sacrifice for sins, could only have been a typical covenant, since it is impossible for any covenant to be of more value than is given it by the ratifier: The ratification being typical, the covenant could be no more.
It follows then, that the Law Covenant was introduced in order that sin might be recognized in its full enormity; that the individual responsibility under the new covenant might be illustrated, and that the necessity of the help, or mediation of the sacrifice given by the man Christ Jesus, might be shown. Since the Law was not the real new covenant, but only its type, it follows that in being placed under it, and being unable to meet its requirements, Israel incurred no additional guilt to that which they in common with all mankind already were under, incurred through Adam's failure. Hence the benefits resulting to them, through Jesus' ransom, which cancelled the old and ratified the New Covenant, is the same exactly as that of all the rest of mankind. The end of their typical covenant, by the introduction of its antitype, the new, removed entirely and forever, all the provisions of their typical covenant, whether as seen from the above standpoint, it (typically) increased their sin and condemnation, or whether viewed as a typical favor and blessing; in either case it passed away totally when the real took the place of the typical.