Wednesday, July 24, 2013
IT IS ACTUALLY FINISHED
But, how he did fulfill it?
Think of it this way: A child is the promise of an adult. Once the child grows up and becomes an adult he has fulfilled that promise. Can you find the child inside that man anymore? No, but the promise of adulthood has been fulfilled.
In this same way, Christ fulfilled the promises of the Old Covenant - all of them - and now all of those are embodied by Christ.
But, wait, did Jesus really accomplish everything that the Father called Him to do? Yes. At the end of his ministry, in John 17:4, Jesus assures us that that he has accomplished all that the Father had sent Him to do:
"I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do." (John 17:4 ESV)
Jesus said that He came “not to abolish the Law and the Prophets”but to “fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
And He did fulfill them. But most Christians are taught that this statement implies that the Old Testament Scriptures are still intact; that we should hold both in equal regard and relevance for daily Christian life. However, that’s not at all what Jesus meant. As the writer of Hebrews explains:
“By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)
The Old Covenant was only a shadow that pointed to Christ, but He is the reality. Now that He's here and He has fulfilled all of those promises, we no longer live according to the Law. As Paul emphasized:
“For all the promises of God in Him are ‘Yes’, and in Him ‘Amen’, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Cor.1:20)
And also in Ephesians, Paul goes so far as to say that Jesus actually did “abolish the law”:
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Eph.2:14-16)
So, when Christ fulfilled all of the Law and the Prophets, He brought them to an end. He accomplished what they were pointing to and prophesying about. He completely fulfilled the Old Covenant - both the Law and the Prophets - and now we who follow Christ (both Jew and Gentile) are under one new and everlasting covenant.
Rather than become enslaved again to the Laws of the Old Covenant, we are now free to follow Jesus and are therefore are called to obey the “Law of Christ” which is to love God and love others as Jesus commanded. (Galatians 6:2)
This “Law of Christ” is forever established in His marvelous cross, creating another, final exodus of all peoples from sin and into newness of life through Him.