In our previous lesson, we began to dive in to Jesus’ perspective on the Mosaic Law. He spent time describing the Christian’s relationship to the Law and His own attitude towards it.
Now, let’s turn our attention to how Jesus himself was the righteous fulfillment of that Law! (Matthew 5:17)
Jesus Christ certainly fulfilled the Law in every area of His life.
First, Jesus was made under the Law. We find this in Gal. 4:4-5:
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship!”
Jesus, himself a man, was born under Law and He fulfilled it perfectly! For He was without sin and therefore He fulfilled the Law in His life sinlessly! And no one was ever able to accuse Him otherwise.
Jesus also fulfilled the Law in His teaching, which is what brought Him into conflict with the religious leaders. He didn’t follow their prescribed rituals and man-made traditions. Jesus did that and only that which was commanded by His Father through the Law. With this His Father was well pleased.
Jesus and His teachings opened up a new way of living, under the freedom of the Law and not under the burden of tradition.
Jesus also fulfilled the Law in his death and resurrection as He bore the curse of the Law. As Gal. 3:13 says, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us as He hung on a tree at Calvary.
And Jesus fulfilled the OT sacrificial Law by offering Himself as the sinless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
Therefore Jesus set aside the old covenant (the sacrificial system) and bought a new covenant through the shedding of His own blood. If anyone comes to Him and confesses their sins, they are washed in the blood of the Lamb and given new life in Christ.
This is the fulfillment of the OT Law!
So the question is raised, how can we fulfill the law today?
We can fulfill the Law of God by yielding to the Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus Christ’s sacrificial gift of new life through confession of faith in Him and then by allowing Him to work in our lives.
Romans 8:3 says, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.”
Our guilt of sin has been transferred to Christ as He bore our sins on the cross. We no longer have to carry around the guilt and condemnation of those sins. And therefore all who believe in Him and confess their sins before Him are no longer condemned by the Law but set free from it!
Christians whose hearts and minds are set on Christ delight in his righteous law and its fulfillment in their own lives.
You might be wondering, “Why does God call us to keep something we cannot keep?”
It is when we see our lack or our weakness that we should be driven into the faithful and trustworthy arms of God to provide what we cannot muster up on our own!
Trust me, if God requires it, He will make a way to provide it! And He has, through Jesus Christ, the perfect fulfillment of the Law. He is the only one who can give us the righteousness we need.
And then Jesus told His listeners that though not all the prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled, they will be! He says in verse 18 not one letter of the law will disappear before the fulfillment of everything has taken place!
Jesus told the disciples to follow and teach these laws/commandments, for in them people would live to please Him.
How will you follow Jesus by demonstrating love and honor for His precious Word?
No one’s heart is right all the time, and no one loves God or behaves as they should 100% of the time. We are fallen human beings, but we should not be content to remain as we are. We must strive to love God and please God and honor God, not being content with anything less. We should confess our sin of indifference and strive to live in His righteousness.
God is not looking for perfection, because we are not able on our own. But He is looking for obedience by yielding to His spirit and following His righteous laws even in today’s world that has veered so far away from them.
How will you strive to live differently as a result of these scriptures?