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Fulfillment of the Old Testament

Here is a truth: Jesus is the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament.

Let’s let Jesus tell us.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place.
Matthew 5:17-18 (NET)

It changed.  The moment that Jesus set foot on this earth, it changed.  The Old Testament spoke of this.  No, it shouted of this.  Things would change.  The Old Covenant would pass away and a New, better, Covenant would take its place.

Please understand that the things of the Old Testament were not tossed aside, but they were fulfilled in Jesus, they were consummated in Him.  The Old Testament priests are no more; Jesus is our High Priest.  The temples are no more; Jesus is our place of worship.  The Old Testament practice of Passover, wherein a lamb was to be sacrificed; Jesus has become the Lamb that has been sacrificed once and for all.  This is never to be repeated.  He is our King and He has established His Kingdom.

And the law as well:

24 Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.
Galatians 3:24-26 (NET)

Some other versions (NKJV, NASB, etc.) use the term “tutor” instead of “guardian.”  The law taught us about sin and its deadly effects on our souls.  But Christ has declared us righteous.  He took our sins and imputed His righteousness upon us.

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NET)

He took our sin; we get His righteousness.  Hardly seems fair.  That is Grace.

God’s laws were written on our hearts. So the laws are not tossed away, but they are not simply rules on a stone tablet any longer.  They are part and parcel of our lives and how we should live.  You see, God doesn’t change.  He required perfection before and He requires perfection now.  He knows that we can’t offer perfection ourselves, so He sent Jesus, the perfect and unspotted Lamb, to be the perfect sacrifice to take away all our sins.  His imputed righteousness makes us look white as snow before Father God.

Things changed.  People are not longer seen as Jew and Gentile, but rather as One in Christ.  Sure the Gentile is grafted into the tree, but the distinction is now gone.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:28-29 (NET)

Things of the Law changed as well.  For instance the food laws are don’t away with.  We can see this in various places in the New Testament.

17 Now when Jesus had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Are you so foolish? Don’t you understand that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him? 19 For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer.” (This means all foods are clean.)
Mark 7:17-19 (NET)

Peter received a similar revelation in Acts 10.

So doesn’t this show that God changed?  No! Perish the thought.  What it shows is that we changed.  When the food laws were in place, Israel was a nation chosen by God out from all other nations.  In the New Covenant, all nations (Gentiles) have been grafted into the tree and we are one with the Jew.  The laws pertaining to Israel no longer look the same since the boundaries of ethnicity, religiosity and politics all have changed, fused.

The New Covenant has come into effect; the Old Covenant has been done away with.

When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete.
Hebrews 8:13a (NET)

So quite trying to live your life to be good according to a rigid set of laws.  Christ died to free you from those chains.  He shows Grace to you.  He has died to take away your sins, once and for all, and has imputed righteousness to you.  He has justified you and you now walk in sanctification, a process of change that you actually participate in.  Sanctification is a process to change you, your mindset, your desires, your actions, so that they line up with the Word of God.

Now, you no longer walk in the old law; rather you are to walk in His righteousness.

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