The great point of contention between Christ and the Jewish religious leaders at His time was about the traditions by which they interpreted God’s holy law (Mark 1:22, 44; 2:19, 24; 7:1–14; Luke 6:9). Christ made it clear that it was not He but rather they who were destroying the law, making it of none effect by their traditions (Matt. 15:3, 6, 9; Mark 7:13).
Christ declared, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18). By fulfilling the law Christ simply “filled” it “full” of meaning—by giving men an example of perfect obedience to the will of God, in order that the same law “might be fulfilled in us” (Romans 8:3, 4).
Jesus the great Lawgiver Himself thus reaffirmed the pronouncements of Sinai as binding upon His followers, and announced that anyone who would attempt to annul them would “in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). The law can’t change because it is an expression of the will of God. “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). A change in the moral law is no more possible than a transformation of the character of God, who changes not (Malachi 3:6). The principles of the moral law are as permanent as God is.
When Christ spoke of His coming to fulfill the law and the prophets, He was referring to the ceremonial laws of Moses (sacrifices, temple ceremonies, annual sabbath feasts) that pointed to Him as the Messiah (Luke 24:44). These were abolished at the cross (Colossians 2:16; Ephesians 2:15). But He had not come to abolish any part of the Moral law which He Himself had given (Exodus 20:3-17).
God will not modify or alter His expressed will. His “word” will accomplish His beneficent purpose, and “prosper” (Isaiah 55:11). There can be no change in the divine precepts to bring them into conformity to man’s traditions.
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In His service,