There is one central person to whom all the Scriptures point, and that is Jesus. He is the key that unlocks the whole book. The Lord said:
“Do 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 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17–18)
When Jesus mentions “the Law and the prophets” he was using an expression which was understood to mean the totality of the Old Testament Scriptures. Amazingly, he said that he didn’t come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.
Here are three ways he does this.
1. Jesus fulfills the Scriptures practically
Take “the law” for example. It is outlined in the first five books of the Bible.
(i)Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial demands of the law fully. The ceremonial law governed the system of worship under the old covenant, and included feasts, festivals, and various demands for sacrifices which were at the heart of that worship. All the ceremonial laws outlining sacrifices and temple worship pointed toward Christ. In the words of Colossians 2:17, they were, “shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” We don’t need a high priest today because Jesus is our high priest. We don’t need to offer sacrifices for sin, because the blood of Jesus paid for our sin once for all.
(ii)Jesus fulfilled the moral demands of the law fully. The moral demands of the law were summarized in The Ten Commandments. They represented the righteous requirements of God, and Jesus kept them all perfectly. I love what it says about Jesus in Hebrews 4:15 – “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” So, because Jesus didn’t sin, he fulfilled the moral demands of God’s law perfectly. Here’s where it now gets personal. Due to Christ’s death and resurrection, God now looks at the obedience of His Son and declares that everyone who believes in Him gets credit for what he did. Through his perfect sacrifice, “the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us” (Romans 8:4), who trust in Jesus. This is the good news of the gospel!
What does this mean for the Christian and the moral laws? Are we supposed to obey the 10 commandments? Some Christians use the idea that we are no longer bound by the law as an excuse to ignore God’s moral law. But the Bible says we aren’t to use our freedom as a license for sin (Galatians 5:13). Yes, it’s true that we aren’t under the law, but that doesn’t mean we aim to do less than the law! In fact, as Christians, living under the New Covenant, the Bible says we are now under something called “the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) which is essentially the idea that we are to love God and love others. So, if we truly love others, we won’t steal from them, lie to them, or harm them. We strive to obey God’s moral law, yet for all of our shortcomings and failures, there is also “no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
2. Jesus fulfills the Scriptures prophetically
Never get the idea that the New Testament is about Jesus while the Old Testament is about something else. Actually, it’s all about Jesus! The apostle Peter said about Jesus in Acts 10:43 – “All the prophets testify about him.”
That’s quite a statement. Prophecy is not about something; it’s about someone, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, each book of the Old Testament points to Jesus in some way. Here’s a helpful chart showing how each book points to Jesus: https://jesusplusnothing.com/jesus-books-bible
3. Jesus fulfills the Scriptures perfectly
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18). The “smallest letter” translates the word ‘iota’ which is the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet. The “least stroke” refers to the small marks that help distinguish one Hebrew letter from another. What Jesus is saying is that not even the smallest part of one letter is insignificant. All of it will be perfectly fulfilled. There is perhaps no other statement about the doctrine of inerrancy, as clear as this one, that states with absolute certainty that the Scriptures are totally without error in their original form. What Scripture has said, God has said!