“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
Jesus defended His view of the Old Testament here because religious leaders of Israel attacked His teaching. He rejected the doctrines of the scribes and Pharisees and this angered them. His teaching was so radically different from theirs that they thought He was a heretic.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
Since Jesus was about to contrast what He said and what the Old Testament said, He did not want to leave the impression that He came to abolish (Literally undo) the Law and Prophets.
The terms “Law” and “Prophets” refer to two of the three major divisions of the Hebrew Bible. The third is the Psalms. However, the meaning may carry the idea of the entire Old Testament.
Jesus fulfilled the moral and spiritual codes with His life and work. There are three codes in the Mosaic Law:
The moral code or commandments—shows God’s standards for fellowship with Him.
The spiritual code or ordinances—shows the coming Messiah by type.
The social code or laws of Israel’s national society
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Jesus did not come to abolish Old Testament teachings but to “fulfill them.” He fulfilled them with both His person as the Messiah and His teaching about the kingdom. Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial laws that typified the coming antitype. He did not offer a competitive system to the Old Testament but established it.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, Ro 8:1-3
Jesus’ death fulfilled all the demands of the Law.
Jesus took the curse of the Law for us. His death was a fulfillment of the Law. Jesus’ death rent the veil of the temple to open the way into God’s very presence
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh… Heb 10:19-20
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Eph 2:13
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)… Ga 3:13
Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law) and instituted a New Covenant. He fulfilled types (the illustration) by becoming the antitype (the reality).
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Ro 10:4
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Ga 3:24-26