This week we are to start talking about Jesus’ and our relationship to the law because this manifesto of the kingdom of God may appear to be a odds to the law which God gave in the wilderness to govern the nation of Israel. Remember that Israel was waiting for their Messiah who would usher in, what they believed, was a political kingdom which needed laws and regulations.
But first. We spent a lot of time talking about forgiveness last week and on how hard it is to forgive people who have done really hurtful things. I read a prayer on Monday that you might want to pray when you find it difficult to forgive somebody.
Father, only you understand how much I’ve been hurt by this person. I don’t want to carry the pain for another second. I don’t want to be a bitter person. But I need your grace and the power of the cross to release my hurt and to forgive those who’ve hurt me. This is the turning point. First, I need to experience your forgiveness. You know all the ways I’ve hurt others, and I’m so sorry for my sins. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I accept your grace and forgiveness, and I need it daily. Today I’m turning to you, and I’m choosing to forgive the way you have forgiven me. Every time the memory comes back, I’ll forgive that person again until the pain is gone. Heal my heart with your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Verses 17-19 address THE RELATIONSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST TO THE LAW
Matthew 5:17-19 CEV Don't suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen. If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom.
There has been a great deal of misunderstanding concerning this relationship.
John 1:17 CEV The Law was given by Moses, but Jesus Christ brought us undeserved kindness and truth.
Matthew 15:1-3 CEV About this time some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem. They asked Jesus, “Why don't your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? They don't even wash their hands before they eat.” Jesus answered: Why do you disobey God and follow your own teaching?
Matthew 5:17 CEV Don't suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.
Christ was the fulfillment of the law.
(1) There is no more need for sacrifice. Jesus became the sin sacrifice for the world as the Lamb of God
John 1:29 CEV The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said: Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
(2) Jesus became our sacrifice of burnt offering, the offering of consecration both required by the Law. Read the book of Leviticus 1-7 for instructions on sacrifices.
(3) Jesus became our peace offering, making peace between man and God
Ephesians 2:14-15 CEV Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles, and he has united us by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Christ gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace.
(4) Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath law, which was the rest that God had given to His people.
This rest was obviously not rest from wandering in the wilderness or capture of the land when they went into Canaan.
Hebrews 4:8-10 CEV If Joshua had really given the people rest, there would not be any need for God to talk about another day of rest. But God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come. On that day God's people will rest from their work, just as God rested from his work.
There were 39 prohibited Sabbath activities.
Matthew 12:2-8 CEV Some Pharisees noticed this and said to Jesus, “Why are your disciples picking grain on the Sabbath? They are not supposed to do this!” Jesus answered: You surely must have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry. He went into the house of God, and then they ate the sacred loaves of bread that only priests are supposed to eat. Haven't you read in the Law of Moses that the priests are allowed to work in the temple on the Sabbath? But no one says they are guilty of breaking the law of the Sabbath. I tell you there is something here greater than the temple. Don't you know what the Scriptures mean when they say, “Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others?” If you knew what this means, you would not condemn these innocent disciples of mine. So the Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.
David and his followers ate the bread in the temple.
1 Samuel 21:1-6 CEV David went to see Ahimelech, a priest who lived in the town of Nob. Ahimelech was trembling with fear as he came out to meet David. “Why are you alone?” Ahimelech asked. “Why isn't anyone else with you?” “I'm on a mission for King Saul,” David answered. “He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I ordered my soldiers to stay somewhere else. Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?” “The only bread I have is the sacred bread,” the priest told David. “You can have it if your soldiers didn't sleep with women last night.” “Of course we didn't sleep with women,” David answered. “I never let my men do that when we're on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we're on a regular mission, and today we're on a special mission.” The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David. (emphasis mine)
The priests had to work preparing and making the sacrifices.
The law condemns all men to death and has no power to save.
Ezekiel 18:4 NKJV “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Romans 8:3 CEV The Law of Moses cannot do this, because our selfish desires make the Law weak. But God set you free when he sent his own Son to be like us sinners and to be a sacrifice for our sin. God used Christ's body to condemn sin.
Christ's death upon the Cross fulfilled the righteousness of the law.
Colossians 2:14-17 CEV God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory. Don't let anyone tell you what you must eat or drink. Don't let them say you must celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival. These things are only a shadow of what was to come. But Christ is real!
Matthew 5:18 CEV Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.
Jesus is saying that the law is to be fulfilled.
Jesus did not come to get rid the Law or make it invalid. Instead, he came to fulfill the true meaning and purpose of what the Law was about. Where the Law said do not lie, do not steal, do not commit adultery
Exodus 20:1-17 CEV God said to the people of Israel: I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves. Do not worship any god except me. Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day—not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me. Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you. Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not desire to possess anything that belongs to another person—not a house, a wife, a husband, a slave, an ox, a donkey, or anything else.
Deuteronomy 5:6-21 CEV I am the Lord your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves. Do not worship any god except me. Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me and worship idols, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. Do not misuse my name. I am the Lord your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. Show respect for the Sabbath Day—it belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of the week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day—not you, your children, your oxen or donkeys or any other animal, not even those foreigners who live in your towns. And don't make your slaves do any work. This special day of rest will remind you that I reached out my mighty arm and rescued you from slavery in Egypt. Respect your father and mother, and you will live a long and successful life in the land I am giving you. Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not desire to possess anything that belongs to another person—not a house, a wife, a husband, a slave, an ox, a donkey, or anything else.
Jesus obeyed the moral law perfectly. He never sinned.
1 Peter 2:22 CEV Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.
Hebrews 9:7 CEV However, only the high priest could go into the second part of the tent, and he went in only once a year. Each time he carried blood to offer for his sins and for any sins that the people had committed without meaning to.
Hebrews 3:1 CEV My friends, God has chosen you to be his holy people. So think about Jesus, the one we call our apostle and high priest!
Hebrews 4:14 CEV We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. This is why we must hold on to what we have said about him.
Hebrews 5:10 CEV This is because God chose him to be a high priest like Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:20 CEV Jesus has gone there ahead of us, and he is our high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.
Does anybody know the significance of Melchizedek
Genesis 14:17-20 CEV Abram returned after he had defeated King Chedorlaomer and the other kings. Then the king of Sodom went to meet Abram in Shaveh Valley, which is also known as King's Valley. King Melchizedek of Salem was a priest of God Most High. He brought out some bread and wine and said to Abram: “I bless you in the name of God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. All praise belongs to God Most High for helping you defeat your enemies.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
Hebrews 9:12 CEV Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls.
Hebrews 10:10, 19-20 CEV So we are made holy because Christ obeyed God and offered himself once for all. My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ himself.
Where the Law talked about the coming Messiah, Jesus was that Messiah, the one born of the virgin
Isaiah 7:14 CEV But the Lord will still give you proof. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:18, 25 CEV This is how Jesus Christ was born. A young woman named Mary was engaged to Joseph from King David's family. But before they were married, she learned that she was going to have a baby by God's Holy Spirit. But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
The seed of Abraham
Genesis 22:13, 18 CEV Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in the bushes. So he took the ram and sacrificed it instead of his son. You have obeyed me, and so you and your descendants will be a blessing to all nations on earth.”
Matthew 1:1 CEV Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors.
He was to be a prophet
Deuteronomy 18:17-18 CEV Then the Lord told me: Moses, they have said the right thing. So when I want to speak to them, I will choose one of them to be a prophet like you. I will give my message to that prophet, who will tell the people exactly what I have said.
Matthew 21:11 CEV The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Psalms 110:4 CEV The Lord has made a promise that will never be broken: “You will be a priest forever, just like Melchizedek.”
He was crucified, and rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10; John 2:19-31; Matthew 28:6-7; Luke 24:6).
Psalms 22:1, 11-18 CEV My God, my God, why have you deserted me? Why are you so far away? Won't you listen to my groans and come to my rescue? Don't stay far off when I am in trouble with no one to help me. Enemies are all around like a herd of wild bulls. Powerful bulls from Bashan are everywhere. My enemies are like lions roaring and attacking with jaws open wide. I have no more strength than a few drops of water. All my bones are out of joint; my heart is like melted wax. My strength has dried up like a broken clay pot, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You, God, have left me to die in the dirt. Brutal enemies attack me like a pack of dogs, tearing at my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones, and my enemies just stare and sneer at me. They took my clothes and gambled for them.
Luke 23:33 CEV When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,” they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus.
Luke 24:6 CEV Jesus isn't here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you,
Matthew 28:5-7 CEV The angel said to the women, “Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. He isn't here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. Now hurry! Tell his disciples he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. This is what I came to tell you.”
Now back to our sermon:
Jesus had said
Matthew 5:17-18 CEV Don't suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.
Matthew 5:19 CEV If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom.
He had been talking about Himself and the law now he shifts His preaching to the people in the crowd and that includes us if we meet the requirements of the Beatitudes earlier in the sermon.
Now this doesn't mean that our righteousness is based on our keeping the law but our relationship with Christ will give us the desire and the Holy Spirit in us gives us the ability to keep it.
Our righteousness before God hasn't been established through out own actions; it is based upon our faith in Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the law for us.
Romans 10:4 CEV But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary for those who become acceptable to God by faith.
Galatians 5:4-5 CEV And if you try to please God by obeying the Law, you have cut yourself off from Christ and his gift of undeserved grace. But the Spirit makes us sure God will accept us because of our faith in Christ.
Christ has fulfilled the righteousness of the law. God has imputed that righteousness to those who believe on Him. If righteousness could come by the law, then the death of Christ wouldn't have been necessary.
2 Corinthians 5:21 CEV Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so Christ could make us acceptable to God.
Romans 5:20-21 CEV The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. Yet where sin was powerful, God's gift of undeserved grace was even more powerful. Sin ruled by means of death. But God's gift of grace now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life.
Because of our new relationship with God through Christ. God is giving us the power to will and to do of His good pleasure in us
Philippians 2:12-13 CEV My dear friends, you always obeyed when I was with you. Now that I am away, you should obey even more. So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved. God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.
Hebrews 10:16 CEV “When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts.