The King above the Law
Law Matters: The Law and the King (4)
Jesus stands above the Law of God as its Chief Interpreter.
“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…. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17, 19
We recall that the kings of Israel were to write out a copy of the Law of God in their own hand. This work was to be approved by the Levitical priests. Jesus came under the Law, Jacob’s Shiloh, to fulfill the Law and the prophets. But, in a very real sense, He stood as the High Priest and Prophet above the Law of God. He approved of His own “writing” of the Law in works of obedience, love, and sacrifice, and of His own teaching as having the authority of God the Father Himself.
“You have heard it said…but I say to you.” Over and over Jesus assumed the role of Interpreter of God’s Law. He was the Priest, approving of the Law as it had been written, and the Prophet, interpreting the Law as it was to be understood. Jesus fulfilled the Law—including the requirements of priests and sacrifices (Heb. 7-9); and Jesus fulfilled the work of the prophets as well, being Himself the last Word on all the will of God.
No wonder the dynasty ends with this Shiloh! What more could we ask of a King? He perfectly keeps the Law of God, and yet He reveals its deeper significance and invites us into its greater power for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. He is the King Who, by coming under the Law to fulfill it, now stands above the Law to teach and interpret it to His citizens, so that, by listening to His Word, they may find the promise of life which God wrote into His Law so many years ago (Lev. 18:1-5).
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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