Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jesus: the Fulfillment of the Law

Them: Under the law.  Based on biblical stories, the Jewish people are law-abiding people; some are more anal than some but all of them lived their lives around rules to please God. These laws were written instructions which they read or were read to them on a regular basis. They lived with these laws since their forefathers were delivered out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses.  They broke these rules over and over gain; they offered sacrifices to appease God or to pay for their unrighteous acts.  The Pharisees, who thought that they got it, had to translate the laws into their own version so that they could fulfill them or be able to appoint a finger at anyone who would not be able to.

Jesus: The fulfillment of the law.  Throughout His life, Jesus campaigned for a new kingdom - the kingdom of heaven.  The expectation of everyone is that this new kingdom would involve a new militaristic administration with a new set of laws. A total change would be in place and expected.  In any type of political change, there would be those who are radical to favor the innovation. There are also those who are sentimental who would prefer to stick to the old and comfortable way of life.  As you can imagine, Jesus was creating a tension among the people regardless of heir social status.  Contrary to popular belief, Jesus said that he did not come to abolish them but to fulfill the law.
What does it mean to fulfill the law? 
The law that was impossible for any man to bear has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ when he walked the earth.  Jesus Christ, the man who lived a sinless life, was the only one approved by God.  Blameless, He was the only worthy sacrifice.  This was all God's plan... to give us a free pass to righteousness so that the world would know that He loves us (John 3:16).  This is love that is equivalent to the love that He gave to His son Jesus Christ (John 17:23).  That is very amazing!   Even better - "whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

You and I Now:  Free.    On our own it is still impossible to fulfill the righteousness that God desires of us.   However, we have been granted freedom through Jesus Christ.  We no longer live by the law but by God's grace.  Jesus paid for our freedom from unrighteousness and now He offers us the freedom to follow Him.  Will you believe Him and be free?  Then practice and teach the law also so that you will be called great in God's kingdom!

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