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.
Again, this verse used to trouble me. At first, and for many readings, it appeared to me to affirm that the law would be universally in place until the end of time. For me, this felt like a huge cliff overhanging me with oppressive gloom and hopelessness. If the law was the measure for all time, then I was doomed, lost.
But no! Look again with your gospel glasses - ‘Until everything is accomplished!’ - this is pointing to the cross! Yes, EVERYTHING that was of eternal import was accomplished at the cross. Oh, ecstatic joy, the perfect sacrifice for sins was finally made! What joy to think that the bloody, brutal, and endless service of sacrificing animals was now over! And my own bloody, brutal and endless striving to measure up is over too.
Remember, too, that the sacrifices could only redeem for certain sins. For others, in the OT, there was no sacrifice enough, only death (Lev 20:10, for example). Hallelujah, here is a Sacrifice that can wash away the sins that the physical lamb never could.
Consider also that, up until Jesus, death was ever-present; daily and weekly sacrifices being carried out, blood flowing, flesh, fat and bones burning, endless all-pervading stench. Surely the temple must have been a curious sight, so beautiful on the one hand, yet the smell and sights of death permeated all.
But wherever we are now, kneeling and worshipping Jesus in our closet or beside a quiet stream, there is the smell of life, for He LIVES! Indeed that aroma of life is even more pervasive than the stench of the old sacrifices, for the death of our Saviour gets to our core and, glory of glories, we become that aroma!
‘For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.’
2 Corinthians 2:15
Is that not just mind-boggling?