Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jesus, The Emobodiment of the Law

Last post, I talked a little about Jesus being the fulfillment of the Law.  Jesus is the completion of the Law in that he did what the Law itself could never do. That is, give new life. Not only was Jesus the fulfillment of the Law, but he was also the embodiment. In other words, the actions of Jesus were perfectly integrated with what he taught. As Frank Thielman puts it,

*all scripture references are to Matthew

"Not only did he urge his disciples to be merciful (5:7), but he showed mercy to others (9:7, 15:22, 20:30). Not only did he bless those who were persecuted for righteousness' sake (5:10), but he himself died unjustly, despite his innocence (27:23). Not only did he tell others to turn the other cheek (5:39), but he refused to strike back at those who arrested him (26:52-53). He urged his followers to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow him (16:24), and he took up the cross to suffer death for the forgiveness of others' sins (26:28, 39, 42; 27:26). Not merely Jesus' teaching, therefore, but Jesus himself is the expression-in deed as well as word-of God's will. Because of this Jesus replaces the Mosaic law."

Frank Thielman, Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2005), 90. 

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