What is the Law? It may seem like an overly simple question, and yet it’s an extremely important one to understand, especially in the context of today’s Scripture.
The Law was originally given so that sin could be measured. “The law provided the objective standard by which the violations were measured. In order for sinners to know that how sinful they really [were], how far they deviated from God’s standards, God gave the law. Before the law was given, there was sin (see Romans 5:13), but after the law was given, sin could be so clearly specified and measured” (https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Gal/Understanding-Law).
Because of the Law, men continuously had to live under the condemnation of the Law, and, as a result, were constantly forced to atone for their sins. With the coming of Christ, everything changed.
When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins upon Himself and that was it. He became the final sacrifice. The once and for all atonement.
And with that, as it says in Romans 8:
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death, for what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, GOD DID, sending His own Son … so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled … (Romans 8:2, 3a, 4a).
As a result there is an amazing and profound truth that I think we all know, but I pray we realize in an even deeper way today.
It is finished. There is no more atoning that needs to be done or that we even can do. No more living under the law. IT IS FINISHED.
What is the result of this truth?
The pressure is off.
As a believer there is nothing that you or I can do to earn God’s favor, forgiveness, or His love. Any and every aspect of “earning” was nailed to the cross.
Have you ever thought or been told that if you do all the “right” things then good things will happen to you or that your life will turn out as you plan? Or perhaps you assume that if you parent your children the “right” way then they will most certainly be perfect followers of Christ?
So you work so hard, and you strive, and you do everything just right.
And then tragedy hits. And your teenage or adult kid makes a terrible mistake or walks away from Christ. Or you get the diagnosis you were never expecting. What then? Where did YOU fail in earning God’s favor? How did YOU not live up to the Law? What things did YOU did wrong?
You find yourself terribly exhausted and, frankly, disillusioned. You did everything “right” and God didn’t hold up His end of the bargain.
But you see, there was never a bargain to begin with. There is no formula. There is a cross. Where once and for all our debt is paid. There it is finished.
You are unconditionally loved, forgiven, accepted, and chosen just because You are His and because Jesus took Your sin upon Himself on a cross.
So, why is it so important that Jesus did not destroy the law but that He fulfilled it?
- Because the Law points us to Christ. John Piper said this, “The law was kept perfectly by Christ. And all its penalties against God’s sinful people were poured out on Christ. Therefore, the law is now manifestly not the path to righteousness, Christ is. The ultimate goal of the law is that we would look to Christ, not law-keeping, for our righteousness.”
- Because it was a prophecy made in the Old Testament (Isaiah 42:21) and God always does what He says He will do. In fact, in the OT alone, over 300 prophecies were made about the Messiah and every single one was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. He is a God who keeps His promises. There is great hope for us in this truth.
- Because He loves us so much. His desire for us was that we live in FREEDOM, not under the Law.
Rest today in the truth that it is finished! The Law has been fulfilled. Your sin has been atoned for once and for all, and grace, marvelous grace is extended to you. God did this because of His great love for YOU. He longs to be gracious to you and invites you to draw near to Him and know Him more.
Anchored in Christ,