“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.”
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
Jesus came to fulfill the law. What does this mean?
The Law Jesus is talking about is the Old Testament. Jesus fulfills this law in His life, death, and resurrection. He inaugurates the Kingdom of God and institutes the New Law of the Kingdom.
The New Law of Jesus has many names.
- First, the New Law of Jesus is called the law of love. As disciples of Jesus, we are moved by the Holy Spirit. We are motivated by love, not fear. The Lord has given us His commandments to show us how to live a joyful and happy life. He has given us His Spirit to prompt us with love and inspire us to act for love alone.
- Second, the New Law is the law of grace. This New Law does not only motivate us, but it empowers us. The Law is often seen as forbidding behavior, but the law, as it is fulfilled by Jesus, enables us to act. God’s grace makes it possible for us to follow Jesus which is the fulfillment of the Law.
- Third, Jesus fulfills the Law making it the law of freedom. We are no longer bound by the rituals and customs of the Old Law. Instead, we are free to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Love is the source of freedom. We are not only free from the punishments of the Old Law, but, more importantly, we are free to love in the way God loves.
The ultimate goal of Jesus fulfilling the Law is to make us transform us by the power of His Spirit. We are no longer slaves, cowering from the Law. We are friends, living in the Kingdom. Following the New Law of Jesus makes of loving, empowered, and free.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
*Picture from pixabay