Jesus’ Fidelity: Matthew 5:17-18
Jesus’ fidelity to God’s law is seen in many ways, but especially in his adherence to its original meaning and in his dedication to fulfill everything the law required. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7, Jesus repeatedly emphasized the original meaning of what was written in the law, in contrast with the oral teachings of what was said by the teachers of the law. In addition, he specifically said that he had come to fulfill every last detail of the law. Consider what he said in Matthew 5:17-18:
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. I tell you the truth, 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 (Matthew 5:17-18).
The Apostle Paul echoed this idea in Romans 8:3-4, where he said that Jesus actually had fulfilled the whole law, not just for himself, but on our behalf as well.
The Bible says that the Law is a schoolmaster that points us to Christ, that brings us to him, prepares us for him. The Law is given and it’s a reflection of God’s character. But we fail to keep the Law. And so when Jesus comes he shows us perfect humanity fulfilling its intended purpose, which is relationship with God typified with faithfulness to God’s commands. So Jesus comes, showing us true humanity in the way it’s supposed to be, but also fulfilling that law for us. Jesus fulfills the Law in his continual faithfulness to covenant keeping, law-abiding behavior. So that he becomes our righteousness. The Bible says that God is both just and the justifier. And so he comes with his Law, and then he comes with his Son keeping the Law for us. So he both is the just one, and the one who justifies us in Christ. – Dr. K. Erik Thoennes