A Better Fulfillment of the Law
Continuing in the A Better Way Series, a study of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
- Jesus came here and saw the people of Israel “as sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36
- He saw a Jewish religion that had become corrupt.
- The scribes and Pharisees were corrupt in their emphasis on human tradition.
- They laid on their fellow Jews a burden too heavy to bear.
- They were hypocritical.
- Jesus was teaching a Better Way to live and worship and serve God, but the Jews accused Him of breaking the Law of Moses and teaching His disciples as well.
- This was not true, of course.
- He did criticize the scribes and Pharisees and the Jewish leaders and their un-scriptural application of the Law.
- They accused Him of trying to set aside the Law of Moses.
- He said they already had done so. Matthew 15:9
- Jesus came not to “destroy” (loosen, dissolve) but to fulfill.
- Destroy =
- Thayer’s Greek. “Lit. to dissolve or disunite”
- com “put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it.”
- Fulfill =
- Thayer’s Greek “to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to render full, i.e. to complete”
- com “bring to completion or reality; achieve or realize (something desired, promised, or predicted).”
- He came to complete the Law!
- Destroy =
Jesus is the End of the Law
- He is the end result of the Law; what it was meant to produce. Romans 10:4
- The Law of Moses had one primary purpose: To bring the Messiah
- Seed Promises Fulfilled.
- Seed of woman Genesis 3:15
- Seed of Abraham Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 22:18
- Seed of David 2 Samuel 7:12-13
- The Law Was Temporary
- Only was in effect until Christ came Galatians 3:16-19
- A shadow of better things Hebrews 10:1-2
- The Prophets proclaimed a new law would be given. Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Moses proclaimed there would be a new law-giver. Deuteronomy 18:15-19
- The Law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:26-29
The Law Was in Effect until the Cross
- “Till Heaven and Earth shall pass…”
- The law was in effect perpetually until it was fulfilled.
- Nothing short of complete fulfillment would do.
- “One jot or one tittle…”
- Jot = Hebrew letter “Yode” – smallest letter in Hebrew alphabet
- Tittle = tiny stroke used to differentiate between some Hebrew letters (like dot for the “i” or “j”)
- e., until every last single (seemingly) insignificant little detail is fulfilled.
- Since the Law of Moses was still in effect… Mathew 5:19
- One could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless they were faithful to God.
- The same is true with all 3 dispensations!
- Righteousness came through obedience.
- Jesus lived under the law His entire life and kept it perfectly!
- Again, Jesus is showing that He sis not trying to set aside the law, but He is preparing them for the New law.
- The Law ended at the Cross of Christ.
- “It is finished…” John 19:30
- The law was nailed to the cross. Colossians 2:14
- The New Covenant took effect upon the death of Christ. Hebrews 9:15-17
- The Old Covenant was in effect until then!
- Obedience to the Law was still required of the Jews, if they wanted to be saved.
Jesus Brought A Better Fulfillment of the Law
- Why was it fulfilled?
- The Old Law served its purpose perfectly…
- But still it was not designed to bring about full atonement.
- It was a shadow of something far better…
- Better promises. Hebrews 8:6-7
- A Better High Priest. Hebrews 9:11-14
- Better Sacrifices. Hebrews 10:1-18
- What was Fulfilled?
- All of the “seed” promises had their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.
- All prophesies about the Messiah. Isaiah 53:1-12
- All of the Sacrifices under the Old Law looked forward to Jesus, our perfect sacrifice.
- Jesus is our sin offering. Sins against God.
- Jesus is our trespass offering. Sins again man.
- Jesus is our burnt offering. Total dedication to God.
- Jesus is our meal offering. Thanksgiving.
- Jesus is our peace offering. Fellowship
- Jesus is our Passover. Salvation. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us…” (1 Corinthians 5:7)
- When was is Fulfilled? Galatians 4:4-5
- During the days of the fourth world empire. Daniel 2:31-45
- Roman Empire.
- Jesus born during reign of Augustus Caesar (27 bc-14 ad). Luke 2:1
- Jesus lived most of his life under reign of Tiberius (14-37 ad). Luke 3:1
- Everything was prepared to usher in the Gospel age.
- Common language.
- Extensive road system – patrolled by Roman legions. – safe travels, etc.
- Pax Romana – “The Peace of Rome” – a time of peace ushered in by Augustus’ succession and continuing through the reign of Tiberius.
- This was not the end of “law”, but it was the end of “the Law.”
- Now under law “of faith” Romans 3:27
- “law of liberty” James 2:25
- “law of Christ” Galatians 6:2
Today we are under the new law, the law of Christ.
- The New Law Romans 8:1-4
- No Condemnation in Christ – sins completely removed!
- Complete reconciliation
Are you in Christ? Sin separates us from God. Jesus came, to bring us salvation, forgiveness of sins. That grace has appeared unto all men. In Christ we receive the remission of sins, when we believe in Him, repent of our sins, confess His name, and put Him on in baptism.
Jack McNiel, Evangelist, Oak Grove Church of Christ