What Jesus Said Concerning The Old Testament Law
That Jesus, was born, lived and died under the Old Testament Law of Moses, there is no doubt (Lk. 2:21-24; Mk. 1:44; Heb. 9:16,17). While on Earth, Jesus made some statements regarding the Law of Moses. A look at these statements will be a great use of our time.
During the discourse commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7, Jesus made the following statement: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Mt. 5:17). The word destroy, as used here, simply means to loosen down (disintegrate), or to demolish (Strong's, 1999). Although he came not to destroy, he did come to fulfill. When something is fulfilled, it is finished, completed. The Old Testament prophecies concerning Christ were fulfilled by the things accomplished in his birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. The Lord said in Matthew 5:18: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (emphasis mine, DO). This teaches us unequivocally the Old Testament has been completed or fulfilled.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" is what Christ stated to the Jews in John 5:39. Of course, the Jews were familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures. In fact, Jesus tells them they thought they had eternal life by those scriptures. Yet, it was those same scriptures that testified of Christ. Jesus says to them to search the Scriptures (read them, investigate them) for if they did, it would be evident that he was the one being prophesied of.
There was a time when the disciples of John asked Jesus "art thou he that should come, or do we look for another" (Mt. 11:3). Even today, there are those who do not accept that Jesus is the Messiah, the one whom the prophets of old foretold of. However, Jesus responded to this inquiry by saying: "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me" (vs. 4-6).
The Hebrew writer penned Jesus as saying, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God" (10:9) and the penman goes on to say: "He taketh away the first that he may establish the second" (Heb. 10:9). It seems past finding out how anyone could read a passage such as this and not understand there is something that was taken away and another which was established. The context reveals to us that the Law of Moses was that which was taken away and the New Testament is that which was established. The following passages substantiated the claim: Hebrews 8:13, 7:12, 8:6-8, and 9:15-17.
Notice as well, Jesus taking away the first to establish the second was the will of God. The things accomplished by Jesus were in the eternal purpose of God (Eph. 1:11, 3:10,11; 2 Tm. 1:9). Jesus completely accomplished the Father's will and declared from the cross, "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30).
May we purpose to listen to all that the Lord says as revealed in the Bible not excluding what he said concerning the Old Testament Law.
- Donnie Oliver