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 truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. ~ Matthew 5:17-18
Thousands of high school and college graduates walk across stages and receive their diplomas each spring. They’ve fulfilled all scholarly criteria vital for their success. And because they’ve done so, these students are no longer bound by the school’s rules. After graduation, that student is free, no longer bound by regulations or academic expectations.
But imagine if students could receive diplomas without completing their work. What if a man or woman could graduate due to someone else’s finished work?
Jesus didn’t come to change God’s standards. Jesus, our teacher, didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, He came to fulfill them. Jesus gives us salvation through his finished work on the cross, and every believer who is in Christ is no longer bound by the Law or the Prophets. We grow in Jesus who changed everything for us, by completing God’s Will written in His Word. Jesus is the turning point for the people of God.
Jesus fulfills the sacrificial system by becoming--once and for all—a sacrifice that eternally redeems us (Heb. 9.22). Also, Jesus fulfills the priesthood. He’s our high priest, and this fact allows us an eternal pathway and connection to God (Heb. 7:23-24). Jesus fulfills the geographic temple worship by becoming our temple, so we now worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23). Jesus fulfills the law of circumcision by sending the Holy Spirit to circumcise the heart. By doing so, God’s people are no longer defined ethnically, but they’re spiritually created into a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a people of his own possession that proclaim His Glory to the world (1 Peter 2:9).
Jesus didn’t come to change the law, but he fulfills it through his death and resurrection. We no longer live under the Old Covenant for he’s given us the New Covenant. Jesus is the mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant (Heb. 9:15). Let us receive and rejoice in the New Covenant purchased by the blood of Christ.
Jesus didn’t change the demands of the law, but fulfills them so that we can receive salvation through his finished work on the cross. We receive our “diploma of salvation” based on the work of Jesus.
Rejoice in the fulfillment of the Law! Rejoice in the completed work of the cross!