Fulfilling the law

Last Sunday’s sermon text was Matthew 5:17-20.

Here’s an exercise for you: read the whole rest of the Sermon on the Mount, and then fill in the blank with the word you think Jesus is most likely to have used here: “I have not come to abolish the law, but to _________ it.”

Affirm? Maintain? Strengthen? Proclaim? Restore? Obey?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished….”

If you think about it, “fulfill” is a really strange word to use when talking about the law. You can talk about fulfilling a promise, or fulfilling a prophecy, or even fulfilling a requirement or an obligation. But what would it even mean to fulfill a law?
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