Matthew 5:17 - Fulfill

from a conversation with my friend Michael Shea

You are right to say many people will pick and choose single blurbs of scripture from the OT law to support often discriminatory actions. It is wrong to take scripture out of context and abuse it to gain some end.

If you're questioning why Christians (who have tattoos and cut their sideburns and eat pig meat when Leviticus clearly speaks against such a thing) fail to uphold to Mosaic Law, consider what Jesus said in

Matthew 5:17
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

For Christ to fulfill the law means that He has satisfied it completely for us. The law called for perfect obedience under threat of a “curse."

Galatians 3:10
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." (Deuteronomy 27:26)

For anyone to perfectly obey the law would mean to live a perfect and sinless life. Because man would inevitably fail at the 607 laws weekly, on the Sabbath a spotless lamb would be sacrificed, and the shedding of blood atoned for the many's sins.

Because Christ lived out the law to its fruition, and then continued on to pay the penalty of breaking the law, He became the fulfillment of the law, completing it's bind on man.

If the law were to bear the same relationship to mankind today, then it was not fulfilled when Christ first came, and Jesus failed to accomplish what He came to do.

The NT writers believed this was true as well:

Romans 10:4
"Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."

Galatians 3:23-25
"Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."

Ephesians 2:15
"by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace"

There's a really great analysis of Matthew 5:17-20 in response to a similar question on Islam

No comments: