Let’s begin by reading the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:17-18, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The Lord spoke these words early in His public ministry. He deemed it important to make this statement in view of the fact that He would be at odds with the religious leaders of His day. He made it clear from the outset that His intent was NOT TO DESTROY the law or the prophets, but to FULFILL them.

The term, ‘the law and the prophets’ or ‘Moses and the prophets’ was commonly used in reference to the Old Testament scriptures. For example, Acts 13:15 speaks of “the reading of THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.” In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, when the rich man desired that Lazarus would be sent to warn his brothers, we read in Luke 16:29, “Abraham saith unto him, They have MOSES AND THE PROPHETS; let them hear them.” So, in essence, the Lord is saying that He did not come to destroy the teachings or authority of the Old Testament, but to fulfill them.

We know that Christ Himself was under the law for we read in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, MADE UNDER THE LAW, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Rather than destroy the law, the Lord was made subject to the law. He upheld the law! Indeed, we read in Isaiah 33:22 that, “the LORD is our lawgiver…” The Lord Jesus went on to say in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Notice that the Lord did not say that the law would never pass. He said it would not pass until ‘ALL BE FULFILLED’, and, of course, He came to fulfill the law.

Christ has fulfilled the law. He has fulfilled the righteousness of the Law. He manifested it perfectly in His own most holy life. He fulfilled the types. He fulfilled the ritual teaching. He fulfilled the predictions of the prophets in his incarnation, in all the circumstances of His earthly life, His precious death and burial, His glorious resurrection and ascension.

Does that mean we are not under the law today? As Gentiles, we were never under the law. It is so important to understand that the law was not given as a way of salvation. Speaking of Christ, we read in Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” The law was never meant to justify. The law only condemns. Romans 3:19 teaches us, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” The law, by stating God’s perfect standard, declares that the whole world stands guilty before God. Yet, Christ has fulfilled God’s perfect standards and has fulfilled all prophesies concerning His first coming. So, we read in Romans 10:4, “For Christ is THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness to every one that believeth.” We are also told in Romans 6:14, “…ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Christ has satisfied God’s righteous demands. He always did His Father’s will (John 8:29). He always delighted to do His Father’s will (Psalm 40:8). In Christ’s sacrificial death, the most remarkable thing happened. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are now made the ‘righteousness of God’! That is what we are because Christ has fulfilled the law and the prophets! (291.8)