Matthew 5:17–20 (ESV)
Christ Came to Fulfill the Law
not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will
pass from the Law until all is accomplished.19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever
does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
It is interesting when I talk with unbelievers or people who know very little about the Bible, they quickly
show fault with Christians by bringing up the law. They see us as hypocrites… which we are in one way. Their confusion is in thinking we are saved by the law or our own personal righteousness. They have missed the whole point of Jesus
life, death, and resurrection which frees us from the law. He lived it perfectly and substituted his perfect life for our sin stained life. He trades us his perfect life and took ours to the cross. Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but
to full the law.
The Lutheran Study Bible states: “The scribes
and Pharisees read and study the Law and the Prophets. They accept the fact that “Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn 10:35), but they do not believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Scriptures (cf Jn 5:39). They seek to achieve righteousness by
keeping the Law, for which they have a high regard. But Jesus goes on to point out just how defective their righteousness really is (vv 21–48). “Christ takes the Law into His hands and explains it spiritually” (FC SD V 10). When judged by
the true intent of God’s Law, our righteousness is likewise defective. Only in Christ do we have true righteousness.
I pray: Jesus, when I read and study the Scriptures, help me to see my sin and to see You, my Savior. Amen.
E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1587). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.