Jesus Fills and Fulfills

Look how the NLT translates Matt. 5:17: “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” And then v. 18, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear UNTIL its purpose is achieved.” Or the ESV and NASB, which says, “”until all is accomplished.” This is why in John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is finished” before giving up His spirit. All of the prophesies about Jesus had been fulfilled and accomplished in Christ, from His birth to His death on the cross.

The Gk. word for fulfill is πληρόω, which means, “to fill,” e.g., a glass with water. Think about this for a minute. Jesus is saying, there is something that needs filling and He has come to fill it and that thing is the law and the prophets. This means what was already there and in place needed to be filled and would be filled by Jesus. Think also about fulfillment as in, “they had a wonderful meal and their hunger was fulfilled.” Jesus completes what was missing before. This is what the NC is all about. There was something missing, and that was the very thing, or rather person that the law and prophets pointed to, and that’s Christ. If Jesus has filled up all that was given in them, then what need is there to look to a partially filled pool, when we have the filled up pool we can enjoy and swim around in? We have a full glass of water that not only is always full, but gives eternal life. 

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life” (John 4:13–14 HCSB).

Properly understanding the relationship of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant and all Christ has told us, is a matter of understanding the truth of God as revealed in Scripture with the New Testament/New Covenant being the zenith of all of God’s revelation in the Person of Jesus Christ (c.f. Heb. 1:1). And right truth is directly connected to right worship (c.f. John 4:23). If God’s given us a feast of blessing in Christ and we’d rather hang out with the menu that pointed to that feast, we’re missing the point, but hopefully not missing the mark.

Grace and Peace!

J.D.N.

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