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,”
This verse is very important, as Jesus teaches the Jewish people about his relationship to the Law in the Old Testament. The Law was given to Moses to guide Israel, as they lived in a pagan society. The Law was pure, holy and just. It reflected God’s very character. This why it would be foolish to abolish the Law. But the problem with the Law is that it could not save or deliver anyone. It only pointed out our need for salvation. So, Jesus while not overturning the Law, announces that He is the fulfillment of the Law. Meaning the Law could only be fulfilled by Him. When we disobey the Law, the only thing it shows is that we can’t measure up to the Law. It leads us to Christ. While the Law is good and helps keep order in society, its ultimate purpose is to lead us to Christ. Later in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus will show how the religious leaders have completely missed the point of the Law. They used it to lay burdens on people. They used it legalistically to justify their own existence. We must be careful today of “legalism”. During Lent, disciplines are not to be done legalistically, but done with the purpose to draw you close to the Lawgiver, Christ.
Heavenly Father, you revealed the Law through Moses to show us our need for Christ. Now that we are saved by Jesus, the Law can be a true guide for our lives in the power of the Spirit.