Sunday, July 22, 2012
Until heaven and earth passed away.
Matthew 5:17-19 is a favorite passage that often raises discussions and debates. Jesus said he came not to destroy the Law but to keep the Law perfectly. “Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.”
Remember now Jesus was a familiar with how the Moses and the prophets used metaphorical language about the heaven and earth over and over in Old Testament.
Of special significance the word “destroy” translates the Greek term kataluo, literally meaning to “loose down.” The word is found seventeen times in the New Testament. It is used, for example, of the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans (Matthew. 26:61; 27:40; Acts 6:14), and of the dissolving of the human body at death. (2 Corinthians 5:1)
It is especially important to note how the word is used in Matthew 5:17. In this context, “destroy” is set in opposition to “fulfill.” Christ came "…not to destroy, but [alla — adversative particle] to fulfill. Jesus did not come to this earth for the purpose of acting as an adversary of the law. His goal was to obeyed it keep it perfectly, to fulfill it.
The elements of the law (Torah) (Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, "Instruction"), also known as "The Pentateuch" a.k.a. are the Five Books of Moses that had to be fulfilled before heaven and earth passed away. The word 'Law' in Matthew 5 is a reference to the whole of the Old Testament."Both the Law and the Prophets together (v.17) were standard Jewish ways of referring to entire Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament)."
What did Jesus mean by till heaven and earth pass, not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" When He spoke these words the New Testament had not begun to be written and the Old Testament was all that existed. He declared that not so much as a stroke of the pen will be altered from the law until all is fulfilled, referring to all prophecies recorded in the Old Testament. Jesus made it clear until heaven and earth passed away. Not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"
Do you get the power of these words? Jesus plainly said that not one “jot or tittle” (representative of the smallest markings of the Hebrew script) would pass away until heaven and earth passed away.
If heaven and earth did not pass away the law of Moses was not fulfilled by Christ, and thus remains as an obligatory legal system for today, then it is not a partially binding regime; rather, it is totally compelling system.
Consequently, nothing of the law was to fail until heaven and earth (the Mosaic covenant) had completely accomplished its purpose. The harmony between Matthew 5:17-18 and Isaiah. 51:15,16 is this. When the old Mosaic covenant known as the heaven and earth have completely accomplished its purpose every “jot or tittle” (representative of the smallest markings of the Hebrew script) has passed away.
It was “easier” for the old Mosaic covenant known as the heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law. Luke 16:17 "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
So heaven and earth and the Mosaic law has to have passed away. There can be no Mosaic law apart from have a Temple, animal sacrifices, and Levitical priesthood. You cannot have one part of the law and not the rest you have to have all the parts of the law. So heaven and earth had to have passed away since there is no system in place for keeping the Mosaic law today.