Came To Fulfill the Law

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament (Tanakh), God provides a written record of the Messiah in pictures. These pictures were intended to show the Jewish people how to recognize Him when He came. Jesus claimed to be this Messiah. In this blog, we will show how Jesus proved His claim of being the Messiah.

Let’s start by giving an example of His claim by looking at Matthew 5:17–18. Jesus was giving His famous Sermon on the Mount teachings.

Matthew 5:17–18 (KJV)
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18For verily I say to you, Till heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The Amplified Bible words these verses in the following way.

Matthew 5:17–18 (AMP)
Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished.

The word “fulfilled” (πληρόωplēróō) [g1096] means the true or correct interpretation of Scriptures. While the word “destroy” (καταλύωkataluō) [g2647] means to give a false or incorrect interpretation. Jesus was telling the religious leaders that He was the true correct and true interpretation of Scriptures. He didn’t come to lead them astray by false teachings.

The smallest letter or jot in the Hebrew alphabet ( י ) is called yod. A tittle is a small stroke or little hook used accent some Hebrew letters. By the jot and tittle, Jesus showed that He fulfilled even the least of all that was written of Him in the Old Testament. Jesus, The Messiah, fulfilled even the smallest details of the Scriptures.

In verse 17, Jesus of Nazareth, the person, was saying that He came to fulfill or complete the Law and the Prophets. He claims to be the correct interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures. The Old Testament provides the picture. The New Testament provides the person. The connections made between the Old and New Testaments will be referred to as picture-to-person.

Dr. Richard Booker states on page 15 in his book, Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts, “Focusing on the pictures rather than the person is religion. Focusing on the person is relationship. We have a relationship with the person, but the pictures helps us better to know the person.”

In verse 18, Jesus says the Law will not change at all until the heavens and Earth passes away. For then, all things will change (Revelation 20:11–21).

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1–3 (NRSV)
1Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

This event is also told in Mark 9:2–13; Luke 9:28–36 and referenced in 2 Peter 1:16–18.

The appearance of these two greatest of prophets is quite interesting. On one hand, Moses represented the Law or the Torah. On the other hand, Elijah foretold the coming Messiah. It can be said this scene picture-to-person of the Law and the one, Jesus, whom would fulfill the Law. God the Father confirms this.

Matthew 17:5 (NRSV)
While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

As stated earlier, this blog will show how the Old Testament provides the picture. We will be using the Feasts of the Lord from Leviticus 23 to demonstrate how this is done. The next few blog entries will be an overview of the Feasts to whet your appetite for what is to come.

Until next time,

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom!)