Did Jesus Christ come to institute or to fulfill the Law
(Genesis-Deuteronomy) and the Prophets (Joshua - Malachi)?
Let us look at Matt 5:17-18 a little bit closer: "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. I tell
you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the
smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any
means disappear from the Law until everything is
First of all, Jesus is talking about "the Law" and "the
Prophets". This was the way people of His day refers to the
Bible, which we now refer to as the "Old Testament"! The
"law" contains all of God's commandments. Jesus clearly says
that He did not come to abolish the Old Testament nor its
laws, but to fulfill them. What does "fulfill" mean? Let us
look to the Bible for clarification.
Matt 1:22-23 "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord
had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son, and they will call him
Immanuel"-which means, "God with us.""
Matt 2:14-15 "So he got up, took the child and his mother
during the night and left for Egypt, 1where he stayed until
the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had
said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son.""
Matt 8:17 "This was to fulfill what was spoken through the
prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our
John 19:28-29 "Later, knowing that all was now completed,
and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I
"Fulfilled" clearly means completed. The shadow has met its
reality. It has been accomplished.
In this context we can better understand Matt 5:18-19:
"Until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter,
not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear
from the Law until everything is accomplished." God's law
was not abolished. It was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The
shadow found its reality!
In this context, we can also understand Matt 5:19 "Anyone
who breaks one of the least of these commandments and
teaches others to do the same will be called least in the
kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these
commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
This text is followed by verse 20: "For I tell you that
unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees
and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter
the kingdom of heaven." In other words, no one can enter the
kingdom of heaven, for: Rom 3:23 ". . . all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God" All have transgressed God's
laws! We are all sinners! None of us is righteous! Is there
any hope for us?
Yes in the fulfillment of Jesus on the cross, Rom 3:24-25
"and are justified freely by his grace through the
redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Come to Jesus and accept Him into your life right now. Come
experience a fulfilling life with God as your partner. Why
don't you invite Him right now by answering the Altar's call
invite Him into your life. He will help you through your
mess and will help you be victorious!
Matthew 5:17-18 pretty much spells it out. "Think not
that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not
come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you,
Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no
wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
The Bible is very clear, as the above answers show, that
Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets and not to
take away the law.
I just finished working with a group of guys whose church
teaches that Jesus took away the law. I think some call it
dispensationalism. These co-workers claimed that since Jesus
came we are no longer under the law. While it is true that
the sacrifice of Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the
sacrificial law, this does not mean that it is now ok to
drink animals blood, for example. (This was our actual
argument! Satan is still teaching this because he knows it
is against God.) We are to still follow the 10 commandments.
Now that the law is written on the hearts of those with the
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love will naturally follow the 10
commandments, but that darn flesh is still wrapped around
us, so we still need those rules! Rules lead us to Christ
and they helps us discern truth.
Jesus' fulfillment of the Law does not give us license to
sin or reason to ignore the Old Testament. He fulfilled the
law by being the ultimate sacrifice and now, the ultimate
high priest so that our bodies can be temples and we can be
Also, as far as the prophecies are concerned, not all of the
prophesies were fulfilled in the first coming. This is why
Jews today do not believe that the Messiah has come yet.
They expect Him to fulfill all of the prophecies in one
coming. SO, this is another reason to keep the Old
Testament. There are still predictions of many prophets to
Bottom line. Fulfillment does not mean elimination of!