Why did Jesus say that he did not come to abolish the law?


Clarify Share Report Asked April 24 2021 Mini Carol Gibson

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
As Jesus noted in the rest of the statement cited in the question (found in Matthew 5:17), He did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it.

The moral portion (as distinguished from the ceremonial portion) of the Law that God gave to Israel through Moses in the books of the Bible from Exodus through Deuteronomy represented (and will always represent) God's requirements for human conduct. Those requirements are just and good. Perfect obedience or conformance to them would enable humans to obtain eternal life in God's holy (sinless) presence.

However, because of our universal sin natures, such perfect obedience and fulfillment of the Law's requirements are not possible for any mere human. Instead, the Law shows us our sin, and our need for deliverance from the penalty (eternal separation from God) for that sin.

To make that deliverance possible, God incarnated Himself in the person of Jesus, who was both truly, fully human, and -- because of the miraculous manner of His conception (Luke 1:26-38) -- also truly, fully God.

Because He was God, Jesus was able to achieve the perfect obedience to the Law's requirements that no one else could -- in other words, to fulfill the Law in its entirety. He then (although He in no way deserved it) died on the cross to atone (pay the penalty required by God) for all of humanity's disobedience, and rose from the dead to live eternally, to show that His atonement had been sufficient in God's sight.

As a result, the impossible burden of having to perfectly obey the Law (with its requirements that continue to exist, and that will always exist (Matthew 5:18)) has been replaced for Christians by putting their faith in the perfect fulfillment of the Law that Christ achieved, and the substitutionary payment of the penalty for being unable to fulfill the Law that He underwent, in their place and on their behalf.

April 24 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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