One of my favorite teachings as a pastor and theologian is Jesus’s earthly ministry. Since I have
been in the Christian ministry for a long time, I have heard a lot of controversies when it comes
to whether Jesus came to fulfill the Law or abolish the Law. Some theologians argue that he
came to do away with the Law because of some of his teachings. However, Jesus himself said
he came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. That is why I felt the need to share my insights
regarding the question, “How did Jesus fulfill the Law?”
In this article, I will discuss what it means that Jesus fulfilled the Law and help you understand
what laws he fulfilled. Join me as we delve into this topic and learn where in the Bible it says
Jesus fulfilled the Law and in what ways Jesus fulfilled the Law. You will also learn whether
Jesus contradicted the Law of Moses if he did away with the Old Testament laws and whether
Christians still follow the Old Testament laws. Continue reading to learn more.
Where in the Bible does it say Jesus fulfilled the Law?
The Bible says in the book of Mathew 5:17-18 that he came to fulfill the Law. “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 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.”
What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the Law?
Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law in that he was the only human to exist who was perfect without any sin and kept the whole Law. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who is every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Jesus did not break any Law of Moses; he expounded on why we should not break them too.
The book of Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” We all know that Jesus coming on earth to die for us is the extreme form of love that God ever showed us (John 3:16). He came to die for us because he loved us, and that, in Romans, is the fulfillment of the Law.
What laws did Jesus fulfill?
Jesus fulfilled several laws. Even his coming and birth in Bethlehem is a prophecy he fulfilled from the Old Testament. All the prophecies about the coming of the Messiah were realized in Jesus Christ, and he became the standard of the Law as he was perfect with no sin. Romans 10:4 says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Christ was also observant of ceremonial and moral laws, and even his sacrificial death was a fulfillment of a law prophesized in Isaiah. Therefore, it is clear that he did not come to do away with the Law but built upon it. He finished the Old Covenant and established the new one through his death and suffering.
In what ways did Jesus fulfill the Law?
As mentioned above, Jesus fulfilled the laws by actualizing the prophecies that were made in the New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem, just like the book of Micah had prophesized. Additionally, Christ fulfilled all the ceremonial activities that used to happen in the Old Testament. He fulfilled the Law by accepting to be baptized by John the Baptist just like any other Jew.
He also followed the Law and got circumcised at eight days, as it was a tradition among the Jews. Another way that Jesus fulfilled the Law was by going to the synagogue, sitting down, and reading the scrolls like in the Old Testament. The last and core way Jesus fulfilled the Law is by dying on the cross to save humanity, just as it had been prophesized in the book of Isaiah.
Did Jesus contradict the Law of Moses?
Whether Jesus contradicted the Law of Moses is often a common question because of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. He often said, “You have heard that it was said…,” and later notes, “But I tell you….” This makes several people conclude that Jesus came to do away with the Law of Moses.
However, Jesus was clear in the book of Mathew 5:17 that he did not come to abolish any law but fulfill them. Most bible scholars and readers agree that Jesus did not come to negate the Law but show us the reason for the Law.
For example, in the book of Mathew 5:21:22, Jesus expounds more on the Law that says, “You shall commit murder.” As usual, Jesus started with the words, “You have heard that it was said, you shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” He says that even if you are angry with your neighbor, you are subject to Judgement. In this passage, we see that Jesus did not contradict the Law of Moses but agreed with it and expounded on it.
Did Jesus do away with the Old Testament laws?
As mentioned above, Jesus noted that he did not come to abolish the laws of the Old Testament but to fulfill them. One significant way Jesus fulfilled the Law is by dying on the cross for us. In the Old Testament, the priests had to offer sacrifices every time believers went astray. However, Christ fulfilled this Law by becoming the sacrificial lamb, one who had no sin and was perfect and paid the price for all our debts. Therefore, Christ did not abolish offering sacrifices to renew a covenant once humanity had sinned, but he fulfilled this Law by being the lamb itself.
Do Christians still follow the Old Testament laws?
Christians do not follow all Laws in the Old Testament that Christ already fulfilled. A major law that Christians do not follow that is so significant in the Old Testament is offering sacrifices when we sin. Christ fulfilled that Law by dying on the cross, which marked the end of some traditions that were held on to after sinning. When he was on the cross, Christ said, “It is finished,” before he took his last breath.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.