“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.” (Matt 5:17, NIV2)
Have you ever had a dream that you wished would come true? I sure have had many. One of my dearest dreams was when I was in my twenties. I prayed that God would lead me to a wife that had our Heavenly Father at heart. The day I married her, my dream was fulfilled.
During the 17th century, the inhabitants of the Isle of Skye also had a dream that they wished to see fulfilled. Living so close to the North Sea where fish were so abundant, they couldn’t help but dream that one day they could become fishermen. Unfortunately, none of them at that time had the means to buy a boat that was adequate for fishing.
Others soon discovered the fish-rich waters around the Isle of Skye, and to the dismay of the islanders, ships originating from the east coast of Scotland, as well as from many other countries, soon began taking advantage of this untouched heavenly harvest. The fishing grounds of the inhabitants of the Isle of Skye were being robbed in front of their eyes!
Eventually they figured out how to be compensated for their lost fish. Every anchor laid off the Island was charged 6/8, and for every 12 barrels of herring, a tax of 3 Pounds was levied. At least this way they could make some money!
Only in the second half of the 18th century did their dreams become fulfilled. Thanks to funds provided by the Scottish, they were able to buy suitable ships to fish their own waters.
It sure feels great when our dreams are fulfilled!
When Jesus came to planet Earth, He too had a dream that became fulfilled when He died on a cross. He paid the price of our sins so that we could experience our Heavenly Father fully again. None among us have ever had such an unselfish dream!
His plan, however, never included the putting away of the law or the Scriptures (Verses 18-20 of Matthew 5 is directed solely to the law!), but rather, to fulfill it. And Jesus fulfilled that law when he paid the penalty for our sins.
What was the purpose of the law?
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.'” (Rom 7:7, NIV2)
We can see this clearly while driving on the highway. As soon as a police cruiser is in sight, everyone slows down. Interesting, don’t you think? In other words, most of us tend to drive above the speed limit!
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” (Heb 10:1, NIV2). Too often we forget that fact. The law is only a shadow, not the reality itself. How sad that so many focus solely on the law, instead of on the One who gave these laws and fulfilled them.
Reality is this: “The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: ‘This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’ Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.'” (Heb 10:15-17, NIV2)
In other words, when the Holy Spirit became a realty among Christians (See Acts 2), they hungered to do God’s will at all times. Yes, they would still sin from time to time, but these infractions will not be remembered. We, too, are truly forgiven through what our Savior endured on the cross.
“So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” (Gal 3:24-25, NIV2)
Those living under the law in the past made them hunger for its fulfillment in Christ. He is the One who justified us by faith. By faith we accept His offer. By faith we are justified. None of our actions save us. Jesus did it all!
How do we know we are justified? “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Gal 5:18, NIV2)
“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom 6:14, NIV2)
Interestingly enough, we are given a new law that mimics the life of Jesus: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” (John 13:34-35, NIV2)
Jesus’ dream was fulfilled on the cross. We can follow in His footsteps. Hallelujah! Even better than any dream we may fathom!
By the way, would you like some “fresh” sardines from the Isle of Skye? Hopefully this way your dream will be fulfilled!
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)