Why “It is Finished,” does not mean “It is over.”


May 6, 2014

Matthew 5:18

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.


Pop Quiz! Respond to each of the following statements with T for True or F for False.

The New Testament does away with the Old Testament.

The Gospel does away with or sets aside the Law.

The Old Testament is about law, but the New Testament is about grace.

If you answered True for any of the questions above, you failed. The answer to each is an emphatic False.

Take a look at Wesley’s analysis from his Fifth Discourse on THE SERMON.

There is, therefore, the closest connection that can be conceived between the law and the gospel. On the one hand, the law continually makes way for, and points us to, the gospel; on the other, the gospel continually leads us to a more exact fulfilling of the law. The law, for instance, requires us to love God, to love our neighbor, to be meek, humble, or holy. We feel that we are not sufficient for these things; yea, that “with man this is impossible.” But we see a promise of God, to give us that love, and to make us humble, meek, and holy. We lay hold of this gospel, of these glad tidings; it is done unto us according to our faith; and “the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us,” through faith which is in Christ Jesus. . . He will work in us this very thing. It shall be unto us according to his word. p.94-95

The law and the gospel meet one another at the intersection of Holy Love. They are two sides of the same coin. The law explicates the holiness of love. The gospel empowers the love of holiness.

A wise theologian once explained it for me as follows: “The law was given so  the gospel might be desired. The gospel was given so the law might be fulfilled.”

Are you tracking? Is this helping?

When Jesus cries from the cross, “It is finished!” He’s not saying it’s over. He’s actually just getting started.

Get your copy of Wesley’s Sermons on the Sermon on the Mount HERE. Use the code DAILYTEXT for a 25% discount. 

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.


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