During what we call “the Sermon on the Mount” Jesus made some very radical statements. He said things like “everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” He also said “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.” Both of these are amazing things to say wouldn’t you agree?
There is one other statement Jesus made that I would like to look at. He told the listening crowd “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law, yet we don’t sacrifice animals and we aren’t required to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. What could this possibly mean? If he didn’t do away with the Law and Prophets then why are these things not still required of us?
I think most people have a misunderstanding when it comes to reconciling the Old and New Testaments. In Jesus Christ the Old Law is fulfilled not abolished. Interesting choice of words isn’t it? I have two illustrations I would like to share with you and I hope it helps clear this up.
The first one is using a picture or portrait. You have to think of the Old Testament as a sketch. If you were going to paint something, such as a barn for instance, you would probably want to sketch it first. The sketch itself would be okay but it wouldn’t be what you would call finished. It wouldn’t be until you filled in all of the colors and shades. The Old Testament would be the sketch or outline, all along it was a sketch of Jesus Christ we just couldn’t see it clearly. Once Jesus came he filled or fulfilled the portrait.
The other example is that of the Old Testament being like a sonogram. Just as a sonogram shows us an image of a child not yet born, the Old Testament shows us a picture or image of Jesus Christ before he was brought into this world. Jesus was and is the full grown version of that sonogram. One time Jesus told the Jews “you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have life.” It is like being content to look at a picture when the real live person, shown in the picture, is standing right in front of you.
Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law he came to fill full the Law. Now that he has come we can see the intent of the law in all of its glory. No one can keep the law. It is only upon receiving Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit, that we can have the requirements of the law met in us. Jesus is the Law giver and the Law keeper. If he doesn’t dwell in us and live out
the Law through us we haven’t got a chance. It is only the perfect one, Jesus himself that can live the perfect life. I thank God he is living it within me.
Written by Louie