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Fulfillment Embodied

Journal Entry // March 25, 2023

“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. (ESV)

Matthew 5:17

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Whenever we wonder why the Old Testament is important, Jesus fulfilled it. Whenever we question the importance of the Law in our everyday life, Jesus fulfilled it. Whenever we suggest that we simply follow Jesus by walking in love, then we must remember that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. If we are to take up our cross and follow Christ, then we must always remember that Jesus came not to abolish the Old Testament, but to fulfill it. Jesus moves into this next section of his sermon to begin unwrapping what he means in this statement. He will bring clarity and understanding into this phrase over the next thirty-one verses. Helping us to see and understand that the Law is for our health and fellowship with God. The demands of the Law have been fulfilled in Jesus and the ethics are now better understood in light of this fulfillment.

If I want to know Jesus, I can read the New Testament and see the course of his life and the impact he made on the world during his incarnation. Truly this is an excellent way to know Jesus. Yet, if I want to know and more fully understand him then I must spend time in the Old Testament. The New Testament gives us a window into his 33 years or so of ministry activity in human form. The Old Testament reveals to us the backdrop of these 33 years. The fulfillment of the Law and Prophets was his purpose in coming and it is important that I learn about Old Testament Jesus.

Although parts of the Old Testament are difficult to understand and difficult to read at times, I really enjoy reading about the many different lives and stories that God used throughout history to proclaim his love for us. There are so many teachable moments in the Old Testament full of good stories that are relatable to me in my everyday life. It is good to read through the Old Testament and see Jesus at work.

This is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets… Jesus himself. As I love Jesus and want to draw closer to him, I need to remember that he is the fulfiller of the Law. He is the perfection of the Law lived out in history. Because he never sinned, Jesus experienced the full force of temptation. He experienced the maximum level of temptation and he never faltered. I falter early and often in my temptation. Jesus never did. He fulfilled all the Law and the Prophets. Praise his name!

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