We’re sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to the greatest sermon ever preached: the Sermon on the Mount. Today, Jesus tackles another highly controversial subject:
What about all that Old Testament law stuff?
Here’s what he 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. For truly I tell you, 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.
Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commandments and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
No one other than Jesus can perfectly obey God’s law. The penalty for our sin is death. But through his sinless life and sacrificial death, Jesus perfectly fulfilled each and every requirement of the Old Testament law. He paid 100% of our penalty — his righteousness is credited to our spiritually bankrupt accounts.
But does this mean we can say, “WOOHOO! Now we can do whatever we want!”?
As Jesus makes clear throughout his entire sermon, he expects us to put his words into practice and to live godly lives. But he’s not talking about legalism. He’s talking about something waaaaay deeeeeper than that:
Jesus is after our ♥s. The rest of his sermon will show us what he means.