January 12, 2021 (Matthew 5:17-18 NIV)
17. “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. 18. For truly I tell you, 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.
There have always been people who have tried to get around the law. They look for loopholes and exceptions so that they can claim that the law doesn’t apply to them. In other places, we see Jesus calling religious leaders to task for their attempts to get around God’s Law for their own benefit. Jesus made it clear to the religious leaders, as He did to His listeners, that they shouldn’t try to get around God’s Law.
This statement might be a bit of a problem for Christians since we proclaim that we’re living under grace and not under law. How can we make that claim? Why aren’t we supposed to follow all of the Old Testament laws, including the dietary laws?
The key to understanding this passage from a Christian perspective is the phrase “until everything is accomplished.” My understanding of the phrase is that everything was accomplished at the cross and in the subsequent resurrection. That series of events accomplished the fulfilling of the Law and brought us into a relationship with God based on grace. Because of that grace, we can live confidently, knowing that God’s love for us is more than enough. We don’t need to look over our shoulders to see if anyone, especially God, is taking notes on all the things we do wrong. Instead, because all the requirements of the Law were accomplished in Jesus Christ, we can experience God’s presence with joy instead of fear.
Lord, while I live in Your grace, keep me living in a way that would draw others to you.