Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses. The law given on Mt. Sinai was not the same Law of Moses at the time of Christ. When Christ came in mortality, …which Law Was Fulfilled?
Original Law on Mount Sinai: Moses rescued the House of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. He saw Christ on Mt. Sinai, in the burning bush. Moses’ every effort was to: sanctify (or make holy) his people, for the intent to bring them into the presence of God in the flesh.
“23. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;”
The children of Israel weren’t prepared to receive Moses’ invitation. Rather than adjusting their lives, to qualify for the invitation to ascend Mt. Sinai, their fear over-powered their faith.
“16. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.”
Having been unprepared, the children of Israel would not ascend the mount. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, thus they were cursed in the wilderness.
“24. But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.“
Moses tried to make his people holy (sanctification), so that they could qualify to enter into Christ’s rest, …which is the fulness of His glory. The Law of Moses was the law Christ gave to Moses, to bring the Israelites into Christ’s presence. If they would have received the invitation, Christ would have appeared to them in the flesh, and the law of Moses would have been fulfilled. However, they rejected the invitation, and wanted Moses to be their leader, with no expectation to know Christ themselves.
Law of Moses Changed: The time of Moses was around 1200 BC. Before Moses walked away, he left instructions (doctrines and ordinances). The traveling tabernacle, its doctrine, and ordinances, offered those who would keep the law, the presence of Christ. King Solomon built the first permanent temple around 900 BC.
However, since the temple symbolized “power,” …priests sought control over the temple. Isaiah, in 800 BC, directed his comments not only to the future saints, but also to apostasy of the current states, at the time of His writing. It was the time of King Josiah (620 BC) that the temple of Solomon was completely gutted, and reduced to a sacrificial temple only. Lehi left at 600 BC, because of the apostasy of Jerusalem.
By the time of the life of Christ, the culture of the jews had changed the Law of Moses into:
- Vain Sacrifices
- Multiplied Laws
- Monotonous Rituals
Which Law was Fulfilled?: Christ claimed to fulfill the Law of Moses. But, the question is, which Law of Moses did Christ fulfill? This is really an easy question. Christ answers for himself:
3 Nephi 15:5
“5. Behold, I am he that gave the law [Christ fulfilled the original Law of Moses, not the Jewish one], and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end.”
The law Christ came to fulfill, was the original law Christ gave on Mt. Sinai. He did not come to fulfill the corrupted law with vain sacrifices, multiplied laws, and monotonous rituals. For that reason the Jews contended with Christ, until they finally crucified Him.
What I find extremely interesting is the wording Christ uses: “…therefore, the law in me is fulfilled…” Those of us who believe that the Book of Mormon is inspired, will see that Christ’s words: in me the law is fulfilled. Then he follows with, “I have come to fulfill the law…” subtly suggesting that his presence is what fulfills the law. And that is why the law has an end in Christ.
Conclusion: Christ’s presence is the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, as it was originally given, by Christ, on Mt. Sinai. The gutting of the temple, the multiplied laws, and the monotonous rituals, made the Jews, enemies to God. Let’s not do the same. Let’s focus our attention on the Law of Moses, that we too may be sanctified, and brought into the presence of Christ in the flesh.