Monthly Archives: November 2014

Imputed

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. 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. [Matthew 5:18-19 ESV]

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah God condemns Israel for their sin of adultery with false idols. For hundreds of years God’s Prophets declared His displeasure with His people because of their continuous rebellion. God banished the Northern Kingdom and still Judah did not learn. Three times Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and carried off people and temple artifacts. He finally destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.

For thus says the LORD: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous. There is none to uphold your cause, no medicine for your wound, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable. Because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant, I have done these things to you.

Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall be plundered, and all who prey on you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the LORD, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!” [Jeremiah 30:12-17 ESV]

Yet, in the end Jerusalem will be restored and Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom will fall. Jeremiah’s words in 30:16-17 are reminiscent of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” [Genesis 12:2-3 ESV]. God does not forget those who are His.

But, are these verses really speaking about Judah and the nation of Israel? Look at some of the phrases.

  • Your hurt (or bruise) is incurable
  • your wound is grievous
  • for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe
  • because your guilt is great (twice)
  • because your sins are flagrant (twice)
  • I have done these things to you.

All of this happened to Jerusalem and to Judah. God determined to punish His nation, removing from it those who were false prophets, tyrannical leaders and all idolaters. They were killed or banished to never return. Yet, Jeremiah also prophecies the return of the nation after a period of 70 years. Read Ezra and Nehemiah.

More importantly these phrases describe the passion of Christ as He stood before His accusers and was murdered by the Romans.

Wait! Christ was perfect. He did not sin. He was innocent. There was no guilt in Him. How can these words describe what happened to Christ?

Do you not remember His agonized cry while on the cross? “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” [Matthew 27:46 ESV; see Mark 15:34 and Psalm 22:1]. He endured a separation from God, the deepest mystery, as He died. Death is not simply physical. Spiritual death is separation from that which sustains life. Spiritual death is continued existence gasping for sustenance.

Do you not know and have you not memorized the verse “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” [2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV]. Our sin is imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us. This is another mystery. When God looked at Christ on the cross He saw the sin of the world. Not one person’s sin but everyone’s sin. Jesus, who is eternally sinless, became sin.

But it doesn’t end with death. Nor does Jerusalem end with destruction. God determined to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, first physically, then spiritually. God brought the people back to Jerusalem for a time, yet they continued to rebel. God promises to create a new Jerusalem which will never face corruption.

Jesus referred to His body as the temple. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” [John 2:19 ESV]. Jesus was raised from the dead. His wounds were healed yet His scars remain. Do we try to understand and regularly contemplate the implications of His ultimate sacrifice?

We like to know God sees us as righteous. We thank God for His grace and mercy. How can we love God when we forget or ignore the sacrifice of Christ? Jesus did exactly what He determined to accomplish from eternity.

God’s Revealed Attributes

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. 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. [Matthew 5:17-18 ESV]

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [Genesis 1:27 ESV]

All God created was done according to His will and for His purposes. His purposes are mysterious but His will is not. Truth flows from God. Not only did He create all which exists He also sustains all which exists. He sustains the physical lives of those who war against Him. As the only One who intimately knows all which exists, insuring all which exists continues to exist, He governs all under His authority, guiding and preserving creation toward His ends, for His will, according to His rules. Only He gives purpose to creation. We do not get to make up truth. We do get to live according to truth.

We cannot constrain God. Perhaps we can say He is constrained by truth. Maybe it would be better to say He is free, unconstrained by anything which is not true. We live in a world of negative thoughts and concepts. We move between understanding more of the spiritual realm by describing what it is not because our sinful natures cannot grasp what it is. Paul, arguing for the gospel told the Corinthians the gospel was not the difference between positive and negative but always positive.

As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. [2 Corinthians 1:18-21 ESV]

God is the morphe of truth and goodness, complete in grace and peace, compassion and love toward all He has created. Everything He creates is perfectly good when He creates because He will not create anything which is not good. His uncorrupted creation is filled with grace and peace, compassion and love. Goodness is as integral to God as truth, as is His immensity, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.

Truth and goodness in no way preclude justice and righteousness but require them. God’s justice and righteousness are filled with His truth and goodness. Truth is the foundation of justice and goodness is the evidence of righteousness. We show a complete lack of understanding God when we limit His justice to a legalistic interpretation of revealed law within His written Word. We sabotage righteousness when we give ourselves permission to sin because of a misperceived outcome of Christ’s sacrifice for us and our covering by His blood. His sacrifice on the cross on our behalf is meant to usher us into God’s presence so we can begin to understand who He is and be changed for eternity by His truth and goodness and justice and righteousness. Our relationship with Him is not just for the here and now but for eternity.

Being gathered into His presence by the scars of Christ means, by fulfilling the sentence of death in our place, we are no longer separated from God. We are declared holy. Holiness is an eternal characteristic of God, like truth and goodness and justice and righteousness. Sin separated some of His creation from Him and His holiness. We and our world are separated from God, unrighteous, under His judgment, not good, living a lie. By Jesus’ wounds, the shedding of His blood, a deep and eternal mystery, we are brought back as a new creation into His presence. We are separated from the world and from sin for Him. We are holy not to do anything we want but to be all He purposes for us throughout eternity.

He does not want part of each person. He wants the whole person for Himself. Here, the teaching of Jesus in the first 20 verses of Matthew 5 shows His will for each for eternity. As he is whole and complete so He will make those who are His whole and complete. We are fitted for eternity, recreated and designed in the image and likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen

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. [Matthew 5:18 ESV]

Jesus uses the word “amen” in this verse. “For truly(amen)I  say to you.” God uses the word to affirm the absolute fulfillment of His promises. Revelation 3:14 uses the word as a name of Christ. “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation’” [Revelation 3:14 ES]. Jesus is throwing the full weight of God’s eternal being behind the words He has and will state.

God gave His Word, deciding before creation what would occur, knowing, before creation what He would do. Heaven and earth began. His Word was present. Heaven and earth will end. His Word is eternal. Like Himself His Word is not constrained by time or place.

Perhaps we need to realign our thinking with the truth of His eternal Word. When He says “I have come to fulfill them (the Law and the Prophets) [Matthew 5:17 ESV] we think automatically He is referring to the Hebrew Scripture. By doing so we place upon His Word our created and temporary thinking. This is not wrong thinking but is incomplete thinking.

Long into the history of the nation of Israel God gave the Law to Moses for the people of Israel to follow. Hundreds of years before Abraham had been separated out from all people and blessed. Soon after he was given the command to circumcision. Isaac was chosen, not Ishmael. Jacob was chosen not Esau. Jacob had twelve sons by four women and his tribe went to Egypt and lived there for 400 years. After Moses was born it was another 80 years before God brought the people out of Egypt. Then, 400 years into Israel’s history, God gave the people the Law, beginning with the Ten Statements, commonly known as the Ten Commandments.

To limit the Law and the Prophets to the written law of Moses is to ignore the history of Israel and the real people who lived that history. It also completely ignores, or makes of little consequence, the relationship God has with His creation before and after the giving of the Law of Moses.

A great portion of the Law of Moses prescribed the duties of the priests in offering sacrifices. Certain animals were forbidden as sacrifices. God identified what kind of animal could be sacrificed and how the animal was killed. Hebrew Law determined who received portions of the sacrifice for food and what parts were given wholly to God.

There is no longer a need for animal sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the laws of the sacrifice. Does this mean the laws dealing with sacrifice are null and void? Absolutely not. We learn, if we are willing, about the extent of the sacrifice of Christ for us through the sacrificial law. Israel’s history tells us about God who redeemed those enslaved by sin.

He is the eternal Word, the author of the Word of God and nothing about Him will cease to exist when heaven and earth disappear. We place ourselves in a box when we refuse to view God’s Word as eternal demanding our interpretation of His Word be limited by a specific time and place.

Jesus confronted the teachers of the law over and over about their misinterpretation of God’s Word. They had the Word of God, the Law and the Prophets and used the traditional interpretations of the words to justify themselves. God gave His law so men would see their sin and turn to Him not so they would have a means to justify themselves before Him.

Why could not the teachers of the law understand Jesus’ words as He spoke and taught, or His actions as He healed? They had been taught and embraced a training which closed their minds to the truth. They had been taught by their “father, the devil” [John 8:44 ESV] turning truth and its head, claiming truth was not true and the lie was true and trustworthy. “Because I tell the truth, you do not believe me” [John 8:45 ESV]. Remove and compromise the truth and you will keep self from being good, because good has been redefined, excused, tortured into a lie. Take away the goodness of God and there can be no justice or righteousness, only fairness applied arbitrarily. Rob the world of justice and righteousness and holiness expunges the world from its presence, for only that which is true and good and right and just can be holy. Jesus was all of these things. Like a foreign object being rejected by the body so the corrupted body of men rejected Jesus.

We learn about Jesus by examining His life and His words. Since He wrote the Hebrew Scripture about Himself we would do well to examine it and know what it says. God’s Spirit in us will teach us if we are willing and open to learning.

God Is Not Mocked

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. [Luke 22:63-65 ESV]

People mock that which they do not know or care to understand. People who mock think they have the upper hand over someone they consider inferior, undeserving of respect or compassion and mercy. It is the guilty who mock the innocent, the strong who mock the weak, those who have control who mock those who have no control.

It is the Jewish Temple guards and authorities who mock Jesus. Soon, the Roman guard will mock Him and put Him to death. Their mockery shows they are aware of what others have claimed about Him and what He has claimed of Himself.

Like His cousin John, Jesus was deemed a Prophet similar to those of the Hebrew Scriptures. In Hebrew history it was God’s prophets who came to the rulers and peoples of Israel and Judah telling them to stop sinning and return to worshipping only God. They stood before kings and priests, before the thrones and inside the city gates, telling all that if they did not return to worshipping only God they would die or be taken into exile to die away from their land. These who spoke for God were held in contempt because God is held in contempt. They were treated shamefully because the people did not believe their words. They did not believe God. Those who speak for God will encounter those who would silence them because of the hatred they have toward God.

Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. [Hebrews 11:36-38 ESV]

Writing through David 900 years earlier Jesus told what would happen to Him. “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; ‘He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!’” [Psalm 22:7-8 ESV]. Pilate examined Jesus and found no guilt in Him. Pilate’s solution is to “punish and release Him” [Luke 23:22 ESV]. Pilate’s punishment is physical abuse. If Jesus is not guilty of anything why punish Him? Pilate’s punishment is a mockery.

Herod examined Jesus because he wanted to see Jesus perform a sign, a token miracle, as if Jesus were a performer sent to entertain. Jesus would not perform for Herod. “Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him” [Luke 23:11 ESV]. Pilate and Herod were enemies until they stood before the condemned Jesus. Afterward they became friends.

When Jesus was delivered over for crucifixion the Roman guard treated Him with their fullest contempt. These men were experienced at dehumanizing their prisoners and making sure they died in excruciating agony.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. [Matthew 27:27-31 ESV]

A sign was made and placed over Jesus as He died on the cross. “This is the King of the Jews” [Luke 23:38 ESV]. Pilate ordered the sign inscribed and placed above the condemned man. While Jesus hung on the cross many of the people there challenged Him to take Himself off the cross miraculously. Even those crucified with Him (at least one of them) suggested He save them when He saved Himself.

Jesus did not come to save Himself. Everything which happened to Jesus was predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Perhaps the most insidious and disturbing evidence of hatred for God is the motives and actions of the religious leaders tasked with upholding the Law of God. In their zeal for looking superior before the people they violated the Law they were responsible for knowing and enforcing. Jesus taught against the hypocrisy of the Jewish religious leaders, quoting Isaiah written 700 years earlier, to show He knew their hearts from eternity.

So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” [Matthew 15:6-9 ESV; quoting Isaiah 29:13]

Jesus’ life, His motives and actions, His teaching and healing, His miracles culminating in His resurrection from the dead, show He is God, the Author of the Law and the Prophets come to fulfill them. God will not be mocked.

Predictions Fulfilled

For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: “And he was numbered with the transgressors.” For what is written about me has its fulfillment. [Luke 22:37 ESV]

Jesus uses a different word to state He is fulfilling Hebrew Scripture prophecies about Himself. We think the word “fulfill” means to reward or make done. Here, this is exactly what the word means. Jesus says the Scriptural prophecies are concluded in Him by fulfilling the purpose intended by the prophecy. Jesus quotes from Isaiah “therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” [Isaiah 53:12 ESV]. Writing 700 years before Christ all of Isaiah 53 is an accurate depiction of the purpose and passion of Messiah.

Jesus uses a different word in Matthew 5:17. He is contrasting the difference between “destroying” which means to demolish or make null and void with “fulfill” which means to fill up or satisfy, to finish a task. In all cases of Messianic prophecy Jesus is the object of the prediction.

Here is the context of the above verse. It is Passover week and Jesus will die soon. He begins making predictions. He foretells the destruction of the Temple and the destruction of Jerusalem. Within 40 years Titus attacked Jerusalem and the Temple, the place built by Herod the Great was destroyed and many of its inhabitants were slaughtered.

Just before Passover Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare the meal for them. They asked where. Read what Jesus said they were to do.

He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. [Luke 22:10-13 ESV]

One of the personally compelling stories of Scripture is Peter denying Christ soon after declaring he would never deny his Lord. Jesus not only predicted Peter would deny Him but states why, “Satan demanded to have you” and that He had prayed for His disciple knowing he would “turn again” then commanding him to “strengthen your brothers” [Luke 22:31-32 ESV; see following verses]. Peter will do what Jesus has said he would do. Jesus predicted Peter’s betrayal and return. Peter betrayed Jesus and returned becoming one of the greatest witnesses to the resurrection of Christ and the hope and grace given by God.

Why do we not believe what Jesus says? Why do we not take Him at His word? Is he not the Word of God, the Author of Scripture, the Creator of all? These are only a few examples. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures written hundreds of years before, predicted what would happen within a generation of His resurrection and told His disciples what would happen that day.

Knowing what will happen and when is evidence of control over history. It is an essential aspect of dominion which is part of the image of God in man. God is the absolute object of faith and has omnipotent control over His creation, which is all things on earth and through eternity. We seek to control God’s actions by demanding to know what will happen beyond what is revealed by Him. How arrogant we are suggesting certain events demand God act.

Scripture tells us to love God and show our love for Him through obedience. Our whole person is caught up in loving God for it is the whole person God is redeeming. It is the whole person God has changed and is changing and will change into the likeness of Christ. We are told to prepare ourselves for Him not for His coming. Our obedience demands responsibility toward God’s will. Focusing upon ourselves or what is happening around us in the world will not inspire God to move faster. Jesus tells us to be aware of what is happening not to the point of obsession but as the act of a servant preparing themselves for the return of their master.

This attitude and motivation demands focused, deliberate and disciplined preparation according to the dictates and will of God.

Author and Creator

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. 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. [Matthew 5:17-18 ESV]

Jesus is the Word of God. He is not only the Author and Creator of all but the Author of and inspiration for Scripture. We are going to concentrate on two significant conclusions based upon this truth.  First, when Jesus was incarnate He entered into His creation. God transcends creation, eternally outside of the universe. While the laws of the universe are in place, He, the Lawmaker, has authority to suspend those laws. Miracles are the suspension of the physical laws of the universe. But He will only suspend the laws for a moment. Once He has accomplished His will the laws of the universe are moved back into place. Walking on water or calming a storm are examples of miracles. Elisha making an ax head float or Moses parting the waters are OT examples of miracles.

When Jesus turned water into wine He did that which only God could do. He created something out of something else. We would call this a miracle. He suspended the absolute laws of nature for a moment to create.

Anyone who is created cannot suspend the laws of nature but must abide by those laws. People cannot do miracles. Satan cannot do miracles. Satan can do that which is mistaken for a miracle but he is not the author of the law and has no rights over the law.

Secondly, Jesus is the Author of and Inspiration for Scripture. He is the author of the Law and the Prophets. He wrote the law based upon His eternal character. He wrote the Prophets based upon His eternal and transcendent knowledge. Think about this. When the Hebrew Scripture speaks about Jesus it is Jesus speaking about Himself.

All of the Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scripture are fulfilled in the life of Christ. Because of His preincarnate omniscience, as God He knows everything, He saw and understood exactly what would happen and why. As God He is omnipotent, in control of all things. He brought together the circumstances needed to accomplish His will. This does not mean those who acted on their wills had not control or responsibility for their actions. God did move them to act in accordance with His will but not in violation of their character.

Jesus knew the pain He would endure upon the cross as a sacrifice for sin. Speaking to the serpent after the temptation God states I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” [Genesis 3:15 ESV]. Jesus knew what He was going to do from eternity. He told the prophets He would suffer and why. “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories” [1 Peter 1:10-11 ESV].

Jesus told the two He traveled with on the road to Emmaus that the Christ would suffer.

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. [Luke 24:25-27 ESV]

He knew what was to happen, even telling His disciples He was going to Jerusalem to die. See Matthew 16:21-28, 17:22-23, 20:17-19 and Luke 9:22-27, 43-45, 18:31-34 for some of His predictions of how and where He would be sacrificed. Peter rebuked Jesus telling Him He would never die in the way He predicted. Jesus rebuked Peter. From then on whenever Jesus predicted His suffering and death His disciples either did not understand or were greatly distressed.

Even Jesus was distressed by what was to take place. Yet, His love for His creation is so great He willingly faced  excruciating pain and separation for those who would become citizens of His kingdom. These are the plans and actions of One who deeply and eternally loves those He created in His image. How great and eternal is His love.

The Hebrew Scripture

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. [Matthew 5:17 ESV]

Why do we think and believe Christ has done away with the Law, making it of no consequence?  God reveals Himself in Scripture. This includes the Hebrew Scripture we call the Old Testament.

When God spoke creation began. He is the only driving force of all creation. John tells us Jesus is the Word and that all was created by Him. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” [John 1:1-3 ESV]. This is a clear statement that Jesus is divine. He is God.

He created Man in His image so all people might have an intimate relationship with Him. When Adam and Eve sinned, rebelling against their Creator, God spoke to them about the consequences. Yet, God determined to provide a Redeemer to crush the head of sin and bring those separated back. Jesus fulfilled this promise through His birth, death, resurrection and ascension.

After the fall God did not simply leave Man to his own devices but revealed what would ultimately happen, beginning with Adam and Eve who were separated from God, then their home. Cain murdered Abel separating him from life while Cain was separated from his family. God began separating people from people. Ultimately, God shows some are separated from Him while others are not.

God also separated people from people to show the human lineage of Jesus, who had the appearance of man but the morphe of a servant and the morphe of God. “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” [Philippians 2:6-7 ESV]. This Jesus, born of a woman, is the same as He who created all, the eternal Word.

Beginning with Moses God gave written revelation of Himself and His expectations. Jesus inspired the authors of the Scripture to write, in their own style and with their own words, exactly what He wanted said. In their words He revealed Himself, that which we could not know any other way.

God gave Moses the ten statements, we call them commandments, before He gave the rest of the Law and before the Histories and Prophets were written. In the Histories, part of the Hebrew Scripture, we see the continual rebellion of the “chosen people” of God while the Prophets continually speak the truth about their rebellion, and the rebellion of the world, demanding all acknowledge sin and obey God. God created man for intimacy and commands man to obedience. God’s words do not give anyone a disciplined means of accomplishing His will but show the complete inability of all to do so in their own strength of will. If no one can do God’s will on their own then someone has to do God’s will for us. This doesn’t keep us from trying to do God’s will in our own strength. Israel’s Jewish leaders codified the Law, breaking it into various parts, and then interpreted the Law through thousands of rules and regulations. Jesus did not come to fulfill the traditions of men but the eternal will of God.

Jesus does not do away with any of the inspired words of God. He is the inspiration for them. What He does, by living as a man with the morphe of a servant, is to fulfill those inspired words. He uses a word which means to fill, as in to level up something which is hollow, to satisfy or execute perfectly, to accomplish. His words imply God revealed to His creation the reality of their need for Him because of their sin. Sin breaks and bends and makes unusable. It destroys any and all ability of the person to live up to the purpose for which they were made. Christ, in living as a man, perfectly lived the purpose for which man was created. He could do nothing less.

Yet, the law does more than simply set the standard against which all are measured. It does more than point out the negative, the inability, the need for. It reveals, in a manner, the character and personality of God. We would not know God had He not shown Himself in the written and living Word. We could have examined the circumstantial evidence and seen the possibility of certain characteristics of God but would have, as is the motivation of sin, corrupted and abused those characteristics making them say that which is not true.

One of the essential characteristics of God is truth. One of the driving forces of those who want to know God intimately is the desire to know truth. Are we driven to know truth? Are we drive to know Christ? They are the same.