In the last days of the Civil War, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia, fell to the Union army. Abraham Lincoln insisted on visiting the city. Even though no one knew he was coming, slaves recognized him immediately and thronged around him. He had liberated them by the Emancipation Proclamation, and now Lincoln's army had set them free. According to Admiral David Porter, an eyewitness, Lincoln spoke to the throng around him:
"My poor friends, you are free—free as air. You can cast off the name of slave and trample upon it …. Liberty is your birthright."
But Lincoln also warned them not to abuse their freedom. "Let the world see that you merit [your freedom]," Lincoln said, "Don't let your joy carry you into excesses. Learn the laws and obey them."
That is very much like the message Jesus gives to those whom he has liberated by his death and resurrection. Jesus gives us our true birthright—spiritual freedom. But that freedom isn't an excuse for disobedience; it forms the basis for learning and obeying God's laws. (From James L. Swanson, Bloody Crimes (William Morrow, 2010), p.46)
1. JESUS CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW IN HIS LIFE
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. – Matthew 5:17
2. JESUS CAME TO BEAR THE CURSE OF THE LAW ON HIS CROSS
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. – Galatians 3:13
3. JESUS CAME TO REDEEM US FROM THE POWER OF THE LAW BY HIS DEATH
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. – Galatians 4:5
1) By the First. He magnified it.
The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. – Isaiah 42:21
2) In the Second He silenced it.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. – Galatians 3:24
3) Through the Third He satisfied it.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. – Romans 7:4