Matthew 5:17, 18

Christ is the Fulfillment of the Law

Matthew 5:17, 18

17 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly say to you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will be no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

The commandments, spoken by God, then written with His own finger are a declaration of the principles of love; a revelation to earth of the law that exists in heaven. This law of heaven has existed for all eternity and it was against this law that Lucifer transgressed. The Law is an extension of God’s character and the beatitudes we have just reviewed, like the law of God are a revelation of God’s Character.   The Ten Commandments, ordained by the hand of the Mediator – spoken by Him, through whose power the hearts of men could be brought into harmony with its principles.

God revealed the purpose of the law when He declared to Israel, “Ye shall be Holy men (nation) unto Me.” Exodus 22:31

Upon the Mount Saini the Pre-incarnate Christ spoke with great thundering and a great quake while a devouring fire rested upon its summit. All of Israel lay prostrate upon the ground, listening in awe to the sacred precepts. What a contrast to the scene upon the sun drenched mountainside as Christ spoke to the multitude. Soon the people began to see that Christ was opening before them the principles of the law that had been brought before Israel on Mount Saini. As God’s law had existed in heaven before the fall of Lucifer, it had existed on earth from the moment the Pre-incarnate Christ spoke his first words, commanding that the light of heaven should shine upon the unformed planet earth. (Genesis 1:3)

The long bondage of the Israelites in Egypt represented to a degree, the bondage that all mankind suffers under the curse of sin. Upon Saini He had spoken in a way to impress them with the power and majesty of God. Yet He still talked to them with love and compassion. Now, under the summer sky, Christ’s voice rang out yet His words were calmly spoken, uttered with an earnestness and a power that stirred the people until their hearts melted. With each word spoken the people were astonished waiting for his words to become the hallow repetitions and lifeless tradition of Pharisees, Scribes and rulers. Each word of this sermon brought deeper and deeper understanding upon the people about the principles of God’s law and His love for them.

The Ten Commandments had become a burden to the people by the traditions and ceremonies for purification that were heaped upon the law by the Pharisees and Scribes. The Ceremonial Law that pointed to Christ as the redeemer of the world was clouded in obscurity, faded by the vain repetitions of man until their meaning was forgotten by the people. Jesus brought these all back in focus for the people. With Joy, the burden of slavery was lifted from them.

To those that listen Christ firmly declares “Till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all is fulfilled.”

It is the Creator of men, who is the Giver of the law, who declares that it is not His purpose to set aside its precepts. Everything in this world and in the heaven above is subject to the law of God. It is upon obedience to these laws that the order and harmony of the natural world depends. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Here He uses the word fulfill in the same sense as when he declared to John the Baptist His purpose to fulfill all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15)   that is, to fill up the measure of the law’s requirement, to give an example of perfect conformity to the will of God. His mission was to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” Isaiah 42:21. He was to show the spiritual nature of the law, to present its far-reaching principles, and to make plain its eternal obligation.

Because the law of the Lord is perfect, and therefore changeless, it is impossible for mankind in its sinful condition, to meet the standard of its requirement. This was why Jesus came as our Redeemer. It was His mission, by making men partakers of the divine nature, to bring them into harmony with the principles of the law of heaven. When we forsake our sins and receive Christ as our Saviour, the law is exalted. The apostle Paul asks, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31.

The new-covenant is, “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16. While the system of sacrifices which pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God that should take away the sin of the world was to pass away at His death, the principles of righteousness embodied in the Ten Commandments are as absolute as the eternal throne. Not one command has been annulled, not a jot or tittle has been changed. Those principles that were made known to Adam and Eve in the garden as the great law of life will exist unchanged in Earth made new. When the earth is recreated, Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s law of love will be obeyed by all beneath the sun

“Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” “All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” “Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that Thou hast founded them forever.” Psalms 119:89; 111:7, 8; 119:152.

2 thoughts on “Matthew 5:17, 18

  1. From the ancient jewish perspective:
    Jesus was the messiah, the awaited fullfillment of the OT. The Jews awaited him and hoped that he would accomblish a new covenant with God. Philip the apostle was sure: „We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth“ (John 1,45): the messiah. On the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus spoke to Moses (law) and Elijah (prophets) about the fullfillment of the OT in Jerusalem. God told the disciples not to worship the Law and the Prophets any longer. They should only listen to Jesus: This is my Son (…) Listen to him“. On then cross Jesus said: „It´s finished“ – he has accomblished everything to install the new covenant. On the way to Emmaus he assured: He has fullfilled Moses and the Prophets and accomblished what God wanted! Jesus said about fullfilling the OT: „These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.“ The Jews believed: The law could only pass away as a whole, not one jot or one tittle shall pass. Only when a new covenant begins the old passes away as a whole. Oh Glory days: “the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious”, but “if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (2 Cor 3): the new covenant, the Law of Christ: “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6,2) the “new commandment”: “That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13).
    “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13)


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