Readings: Exodus 20:1-21, Psalm 19, Mark 12: 28-34
Jesus completed the law. Jesus finished the law. Jesus fulfilled the law. Never did Jesus discard the law. Never did Jesus delete the Law. Never did Jesus nullify the Law. Jesus filled in those pieces that were necessary for us to understand the Law completely. Jesus finished the sentence that Jews should have understood. He finished it so that the Jews and the Gentiles would understand. Jesus fulfilled the promise made by God to reveal Himself to them. When He revealed Himself in the Law system, they thought it was about them rather than an explanation of who God is. Jesus lived the Law out in a way that the people would be able to say “now I see God – there He is!” We see God in the way in which Jesus fulfilled the Law.
If I complete a puzzle, it does not mean that I throw the puzzle away. Completing a puzzle means I fill in the missing pieces so that the whole picture becomes visible; so that everyone will see exactly what the full picture looks like and can appreciate the work of the artist. Completing the puzzle doesn’t mean that the picture was not there before. It was always there, we simply couldn’t see it fully. If I finish a sentence; it does not mean that I delete the sentence. Finishing a sentence means that I fill in those parts of the sentence that may or may not have been assumed; but are necessary for everyone to understand exactly what was being said. I finish a sentence for the sake of those who do not understand what I was saying, as well as for those who did understand what I was saying. When I fulfil a promise, it does not mean I nullify the promise. Fulfilling a promise means that I do what I said I would do, which also happens to make me righteous because being righteous means that I fulfil my part of our agreement. I fulfil a promise because of who I am, not because of who you are.
We fix things that are broken. We replace things that cannot be fixed. We repair things that are in disarray. We restore that which was lost. We reconcile that which was separated. We correct that which is incorrect. Jesus didn’t fix the Law because the Law was never broken. The Law of God is perfect. Jesus didn’t replace the Law because the Law did not need replacing and there was nothing that could replace it. Jesus didn’t repair the Law because the Law was never in disarray; the Law of God is pure. Jesus didn’t restore the Law because the Law was never lost. As God is present all of the time, so is His Word present all of the time. The darkness cannot put out the light and the Law of God is radiant. Jesus didn’t reconcile the Law because the Law was never separate from God. We were separated from God because we were lawless and so Christ, in fulfilling the law reconciled us to God. Jesus didn’t correct the Law because the Law was never wrong. The Law of God is right and pure and sure.
Jesus lived the Law, Jesus summarised the Law and Jesus enabled us to live the Law. “The most important one is this: Hear O people, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself”