January 18, 2011
Followers have been blessed and have been given a charge (salt and light). One might think at this point that Jesus is doing away with the old ways of law. Not so. Jesus must have anticipated people thinking this because he immediately points out, all of history (the law and the prophets) were not now abolished; all of history was pointing to himself.
Then, he talks, in verse 18, of a time when “everything is accomplished”, where the law, heaven and earth will disappear. He is saying here that he is leading us to another destination; one that is different than everything we know to be true.
In the verses following, Jesus sends us back to the law, not so we can earn our salvation, but so that we can allow the Spirit to bring our hearts closer to the heart of Christ. As John Stott says, “The law sends us to Christ to be justified and Christ sends us back to the law to be sanctified.”
Bottom line: God created us good, we fell, Christ redeemed us on the cross and brought us in to live in his kingdom. We should not view the law as a checklist of things to do or not do to get saved (Jesus already paid that debt), but a way to join Christ in his ongoing work to shape us, form us and call us back to the people we were originally created to be.