Jesus & the Law

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Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

Because Lord Jesus brought a message that is different from the law of Moses, there are those who think that He was making the law null and void. But this is not so. In fact, the law had a message that was essential for men to learn. Romans 3:19-20 makes this very clear. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin”. Only Israel was actually under the law; yet the message of the law was such that it exposed the guilt of all mankind, Gentiles as well as Jews. The Lord did not set this aside. The law became our tutor or schoolmaster to bring us to God (Gal 3:24).

He came to fulfill the law. This does not mean that He came to keep the law, but rather to fulfill the law’s claims against mankind. The law demanded punishment and death for all who did not keep it. Therefore, if the Lord Jesus was to fulfill the law, He must Himself suffer and die to accomplish this great work of receiving the punishment the law demanded.

He has done this perfectly. He not only died on the cross, but He “suffered once for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). This was not the suffering inflicted on Him by cruel enemies on their bitter hatred. Rather, in those three hours of intense darkness, He suffered the excruciating agony of the judgment of God.

He has perfectly fulfilled the law and met all its claims on behalf of multitudes of redeemed sinners, who will praise him for eternity. Having finished that great work, He has been raised from among the dead and exalted!

L.M.Grant