Journal Entry // March 29, 2023
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. (ESV)Matthew 5:18
Just as Jesus previously stated that he had come to fulfill the Law and not abolish it, he then says that the Law will be present and active until it is all accomplished. This accomplishment of the Law is its actual complete fulfillment in Jesus. When will the Law be accomplished? When Christ returns and ushers in a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, the Law is still vitally important. Jesus tells us that every stroke of the Law is essential for not even the tiniest dot that was written will pass away before it is accomplished. In our minds, we want to move on from the Old Testament and into the New Testament. We want to devalue the Law and make it irrelevant to our modern post-resurrection lives. Jesus tells us just the opposite. The Law and the Prophets are still of value and we would be wise to continue to learn from them as they reveal the heart of our Savior.
As I have reached this point in Jesus’ sermon, it is easy to think that I am fully tracking with him during this discourse. I see the Beatitudes being worked out in my life. I can see my life as both salt and light and understand the importance of maintaining, building, and growing in my relationship with Jesus. Then I come to this section and I feel like I already understand and value the importance of the Law and the Prophets. I love to read and study the Old Testament and truly value the way it has enriched my life over the years. My thoughts have caused me to step back this morning and take a hard look at how I am engaging with the Old Testament. I may enjoy reading the stories and seeing Jesus foreshadowed and fulfilled in his earthly ministry, but do I truly understand and value the role it plays in my life?
I don’t know that I think about the Ten Commandments all that often, yet Jesus is using this sermon to illustrate the way each commandment should penetrate and change my heart. I don’t know that I think about the book of Deuteronomy all that often, yet Jesus used it exclusively during the wilderness temptation. I need to not only learn and understand the Old Testament, but I also need to let it better inform and engage my heart to see Jesus more clearly. I need to value the Law and the Prophets the way Jesus values the Law and the Prophets. How does he value them? They will not pass away until they are all accomplished.
I want to grow my heart in a deeper relationship with Jesus and it begins with the Law and the Prophets. If I want to better know about my Savior, then I should look intently at the Law and the Prophets. He is the fulfillment of all they wrote and everything that was written will be accomplished in Christ. The Gospels and the New Testament are important, but I need the full background story to see Jesus fully at work during his incarnation. As John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he truly was the One, Jesus replied by encouraging them to tell John all that he was accomplishing and fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. This is important for me as well. Life may be chaotic and the world may seem to be out of control, but the work of Christ is moving forward. All that was written in the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled and accomplished in the return of Jesus. His second coming will usher in the fullness of his kingdom and the establishment of a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus will come and bring me home.