The Jews have always understood The Law, or the Torah, as a Gift from God, given to his chosen people. Israel enters into a covenanted relationship with God, and God reveals many of the rules for governing a just society and for establishing appropriate worship.
The history of their fidelity to God and the Law is a testament to the Jewish Nation as a whole.
In a sense, the Law gave the Jews the Mind of God. And, as noted in The Partitioning of His Body, God would separate His chosen people from the rest of fallen man. And one day, reconcile the world, both Jew and Gentile, to Himself. So the Law is a Gift that was to guide the Jewish people so they would walk as God wanted them to walk. The Law was their guide so they wouldn’t be their own guides.
In Deuterotomy 4:6:8 it shows how they felt about the Law.
6 You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” 7 For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
St. Paul sums it up perfectly, that through Christ Jesus, we are reconciled to God.
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
The Fulfillment of the Law
17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill. 18 I tell you the truth, 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. 19 Anyone who breaks 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 practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
When does Jesus fulfill the Law? It most assuredly occurs throughout the Gospels and the Epistles without question. But specifically it occurs in the Sermon on the Mount.
After Jesus leaves the solitude of the desert, he comes to a multitude and goes up on the mountain and sits. St. Matthews Jewish readers wouldn’t have missed the allusion to Moses ascending Mount Sinai to receive the Law. Jesus, of course, receives nothing because he created the Law and he is Law.
The Law gave the Jews a road map on how to be God’s people here on earth. In the Beatitudes, Jesus gives us the knowledge of the divine nature. We become divinized, so to speak, when we assume the Beatitudes. We are blessed in living them. They become not just a guide on how to be Gods new people, but to be perfect as our Father in Heaven who is perfect. It is in the human heart that God will now dwell in and radiate His Love as we now can abide in Him and He in us.
If God abides in us, we are surely blessed, when we assume and participate in his divine nature. God is Love. It is this Love that dwells in our hearts and give us ears to hear and eyes to see. That interior place, that closet within us, where God dwells, uniting his will to our will. This is where we speak to him in private. It’s his place only; there is no room for anyone else but Him; its for him only. Our souls radiate this Love He infuses into us. We walk in his Light and cannot help but to reflect it during our Christian walk. Pick up his cross daily and follow Him.
We then participate in the Divine Nature, where God’s will is in union with our Will. We now cast seed as well, because we have the New Nature.
Hat tip to Fr. Matthew for his wonderful commentaries.