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 Matthew 5.17-18

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TomL
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PostSubject: Matthew 5.17-18   Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:03 am

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Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. - ASV, biblegateway.com
This is a key passage in the understanding of fulfillment. The passage says that Jesus did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. And he gave conditions for this fulfillment. Heaven and earth must pass away, and all things must be accomplished.

These verses are contained in what we have come to know as the sermon on the mount. It is in a group of varied teachings. Overall, Jesus is teaching about life in the kingdom. Which brings up an interesting question. Why would Jesus be telling people about life in the kingdom if there was no chance for them to be in the kingdom? For them to be in the kingdom, the kingdom would have to be established.

What is meant by "all things" being "accomplished"? Well, what is the immediate context? Is it not the Law and the Prophets? It makes sense, doesn't it, that for the Law and the Prophets to pass away, they must be accomplished. Once accomplished, there would be no further need for them, so they would pass away.

The question for today is, is the Law still operational? Some people say that the Law is still operational except those parts of the Law that were fulfilled by Christ. And what were they? The sacrificial laws, because Christ became the supreme sacrifice, hence the sacrificial system is no longer needed. Then, doesn't it make sense that anything connected to that sacrificial system is no longer needed either?
What about the priesthood? With no sacrificial system, is the priesthood needed? Wasn't the purpose of the priesthood to administer the sacrificial system? Well, if Christ is the supreme sacrifice, then the priesthood is no longer needed.

Then, what about tithing? Wasn't the purpose for the tithe to support the priests? So, the supreme sacrifice of Christ, done away with the entire sacrificial system.

But, Jesus said that not one, not even the smallest part of the Law would pass away till all is accomplished, completed or fulfilled.
When Jesus was crucified, before he gave up the ghost, he said, "It is finished." The Greek word, "teleo," indicates an end or completion.

What came to an end at the cross? Was it not the Old Covenant sacrificial system? No more priesthood, no more tithing. That is a real big chunk of the Law that was finished.

Once again, keep in mind that Jesus said that not one, not even the smallest part of the Law would pass away till all is accomplished, completed or fulfilled.

Unless, all things have been accomplished, completed, fulfilled or came to an end, somewhere, the sacrificial system must still be operational. Perhaps by a remnant of Israel that have remained faithful to the sacrificial system, which also means there must be a temple, or at least a makeshift temple, and a makeshift priesthood.

The point is, if just a very small part of the Law is fulfilled, then all must be fulfilled. And Jehovah gave the completion of the sacrificial system an exclamation point when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.

A huge chunk of the Law has come to an end, and yet, some would say, all things have not been fulfilled.

Notice in the text, Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets, and that not even the smallest part of the Law would pass away until all is fulfilled. And that is what I believe Jesus was saying when he said, "It is finished." The Law and the Prophets came to an end on the cross. The Old Covenant sacrificial system was fulfilled, and the New Covenant system was inaugurated by the blood of Christ.

What else do we need to show that all things have been fulfilled through Christ? The Old Law has passed away, and a New Law was in place by the blood of Christ. That is essentially the message of fulfillment. That all things have been fulfilled by the blood of Christ.

But that doesn't really prove the coming of Christ in the lifetime of the apostles, does it? Does it have to? When you consider all that has been accomplished by Christ. The end of the Old Covenant, and the beginning of the New.

The question now is, what is the New Covenant? And what is included in the New Covenant? We know that the Old Covenant is no longer operational, but the New Covenant is operational. But that would mean that the Law has passed away, does it not?

Just as the Old Covenant had a kingdom, so does the New Covenant. The kingdom of Christ, represented on earth by the church. Just as the Old Covenant had it's Jerusalem, the New Covenant has it's New Jerusalem. Just as the Old Covenant had it's priesthood, the New Covenant has Christ as High Priest, and we as His royal priesthood. And, as His priests, we have our reasonable service.

So, the entire Old Covenant system is gone, and the entire New Covenant system operational. What more has to happen to prove that Christ fulfilled all prophecy?

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study - Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. - 2 Timothy 2.15; ISV, isv.com
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