Webster’s definition of Fulfill: (1) to carry out (a promise) (2) to do a duty; obey (3) to satisfy (a condition)
Fulfill: This word has always caught me. I didn’t understand what Jesus fulfilled. I didn’t understand how He was fulfilling the law and the prophets. My real sticking point how does one fulfill the law.
Then I read a devotion by Bishop Barron. Jesus was a devout Jew. He obeyed the Jewish laws. Scripture was a part of His Being. No sooner would he disobey the laws than disobey His Father’s commands. So by definition two He was fulfilling the law. In that way He was no different than any other Jewish boy, Jewish teen, Jewish man. They all in their own minds obeyed the laws, obeyed scripture and had spent many years doing it. And that’s where things diverge; the many years. People of Israel spent centuries attempting to achieve God’s promise to Abraham. They would come close and then they would stray only to be brought back by a forgiving God. They hoped for, dreamed about a savior, a warrior that would lift them from the depths of their despair, their bondage and establish their nation as the one to rule the Earth.
But, that wasn’t part of the promise. So what did Jesus fulfill? When the savior finally did come, He was not what they expected. He didn’t lead them to war to bring about the fall of Rome and all her politics and subjugation. I am not sure that they would have followed even if He had. The man that came to the Israelites was a man of peace, a man of love. Sure, he had his moments, just like any other human. He became angry with people. He was discouraged. He was even afraid. But still in God’s eyes, if not the people He had come to save, He was the savior the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham all those centuries ago.
So where does that leave us in God’s plan? Are we like the Israelites and expecting one thing only to have God send us something else? I would say yes. In fact I would even put out there that we are today’s version of the Israelites. Funny thing though, we know the story and yet we still expect a different ending; for God to change it for us.
We sit and ponder; why didn’t the Jewish people learn from their mistakes? Why didn’t they stay with their eyes, their lives focused on God? But if we ask that question of those ancient people, shouldn’t we also be asking it of ourselves? Their focus was on things of this Earth and not on things of eternity. Aren’t we guilty of the same thing? We become so wrapped up in earthly endeavors and lose focus on the ultimate prize, Heaven for an eternity with God.
So back to Fulfill. What did Jesus fulfill beyond the obvious one of obeying? He fulfilled God’s promise to the Israelites, to us. Jesus was a warrior; not the kind you see on the battlefields of Earth, fighting and killing. Instead He is a warrior for our hearts and souls. He’s our armor when the forces of Satan seek to tear us down. His weapons are love, kindness, humility, faith, forgiveness and charity. It is up to us to see that Fulfillment for what it truly is and then accept the life it has to offer both on Earth and in Heaven.