What Does Matthew 5:18 Mean?

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Matthew 5:18(NASB)
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Verse of the Day

The Lord Jesus had just announced that He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfil both the Law and the prophetic writings and then He continued to explain that not until heaven and earth pass away will the smallest jot or tiniest tittle of the Law pass - for all things had to be accomplished. Many use this to insist that the Mosaic Law is part of Church age doctrine without looking into the incredible significance of this one statement of our Lord.

The Mosaic Law was the whole body of legislation given to Israel by God. It started to be enumerated in Exodus with the 10 commandments, and additional requirements continued to be added.. through Leviticus and Numbers and right into Deuteronomy. The essence of the entire Law was encapsulated in these first 10 commands.. but the entire Law was a great body of legislation, which God gave to Israel alone, who were His chosen nation. It was not a method of salvation, for its demands were far beyond man's moral capabilities.. due to our sin nature, but it was the means God used to show man his sinfulness and need of a Saviour.

The nation of Israel was the segment of society through which God chose to reveal Himself to the rest of the world. Israel could be identified as that part of the population that God used to reveal Who He was and to demonstrate that there no one that is good.. for we are all guilty sinners and condemned Law-breakers. We are all identified by God as guilty sinners and are all under the curse of the Law - so that every boastful mouth may be stopped, and all the world must stand silent and guilty before God.

The broken Law demanded the penalty of death - for the curse of the Law is death and Christ's death on the cross paid the penalty for sin so that all who believed on Him would not perish but have everlasting life. We who are saved by grace through faith praise God.. because Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf, removing us from its curse and guilt and forgiving us our sin. But there were other aspects of the Law that had to be fulfilled, which related to the Passover Lamb., the Burnt Offering, the Sin Offering, the High Priestly requirements and laws relating to the Tabernacle and the Priesthood, which Christ alone could fulfil.

Christ alone could carry out all the righteous requirements of the Law in connection with the Passover Lamb, where an innocent Lamb without blemish would be selected on the 10th day of the 1st month and slain on the 14th day of the same month for the sin of the nation - in which the Law requires that not one bone of the Lamb was to be broken. Only Jesus could fulfil the Law - only He could carry out the the many legal requirements in connection with the Passover Lamb, the Sin Offering, the Burnt Offering, the Grain offering, the Wave offering, the Priesthood etc - all of which were specific aspects of the Mosaic Law which all HAD to be fulfilled. For indeed heaven and earth will not pass away, until every jot and tittle of the Law has been accomplished.

It was not only every jot and tittle of the Law that was to be fulfilled on behalf of all who would believe on Him.. but in addition, the multiplied prophetic writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel - Peter, John, Paul, and other holy men of God - all of which must be fulfilled. And Jesus literally completed hundreds of such legal requirements found in the Mosaic Law and the Messianic prophecies at His first coming.. and He will similarly fulfil the many hundreds of additional Laws and prophecies that are connected with His second coming, His 1000-year Messianic rule on earth, and the final war when Satan is released for a little time.. as well as His great white throne judgement as recorded in Revelation.

When Jesus died on the cross He most certainly was made sin for us and took the curse of the Law that we deserve upon Himself. Christ most certainly fulfilled the Law on our behalf.. but He did so much more.. and there are many more aspects of the Law and the prophets that still wait His fulfilment - For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

As believers we are not under Law but under Grace because Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf..As believers we have been removed from the Law of sin and death by faith in Christ and are now under the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.. which means that HE is to live His life through us... so that it is not I that live but Christ that lives in me - to His praise and glory.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, the more I come to understand of what Christ did for me when He came to earth to die on the cross for my sins and rose again the third day.. the more I am filled with awe and wonder at the goodness and greatness of Your plans and purposes for this fallen race of man. What is man that You are mindful of us? How we praise and thank You for Your goodness and grace towards us - this we pray in Jesus name. AMEN.

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