Fulfillment in Christ
“All this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (v. 56a).- Matthew 26:56a
We have now finished our study of The Gospel According to Matthew, and we pray that it has blessed you. Because the Word of God is so rich, we have only scratched the surface of Matthew’s gospel, and we hope that you will study this book further on your own. Thus will you be trained in righteousness and equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
Christ as the fulfillment of all of God’s promises is the theme that runs throughout Matthew. Our Father said that He would bless all the nations of the earth through the son of Abraham (Gen. 22:15–18), and though He was faithful to the covenant He made with the nation of Israel, His people failed to be a light to the world (2 Kings 17:7–23; Isa. 49:5–6). The bondage of sin kept them from leading the nations to the one, true God, and so the Almighty would have to deal with transgression if all peoples were to be blessed.
Therefore, the Father sent His Son to be the promised son of Abraham, to succeed where Israel failed and thereby save His people from sin (Matt. 1). Satan tried to kill Jesus, but God preserved Him, enabling Him to show Himself the true and faithful Israel (2:13–15). In becoming the true Israel and obeying the Law perfectly, Jesus also took the place of Adam, refusing to give in to the Devil’s temptation and commencing His destruction of sin’s power (3:1–4:17).
Calling twelve disciples to Himself, our Savior constituted the new people of God (10:1–4), explaining how Scripture shows their duty to be a light to the world (chap. 5–7; 10–11; 13; 16; 18; 24–25). During His teaching ministry He initiated the renewal of all creation by healing the sick and exorcising demons (chap. 8–9; 12; 17), but His greatest deed was to die for the sins of His people. Bearing the Father’s wrath against transgression (chap. 26–27), Jesus destroyed the power of sin. Rising from the dead, He showed His victory over death and guaranteed that all in Him will likewise be resurrected on the last day (28:1–10).
This good news is now ours to declare to the nations. Christ preaches the gospel to all peoples through us, enabling those who repent and trust in the Savior to be blessed as a child of Abraham (28:16–20; Gal. 3:29).
Take some time today to peruse the gospel of Matthew and reflect on some of the lessons we have learned this year. Consider how marvelous it is that God kept His promises to us when we did not keep our promises to Him. Remember that the resurrection of Jesus shows that the Father accepted His Son’s death as the atonement for sin and look forward to that day when we too will be resurrected to live forever with Him.
Passages for Further Study