wholeheartedly loved and followed the Old Testament, even more than the
composer of Psalm 119:1-8. In fact, no-one has ever followed and obeyed it as
completely as Jesus did. It is impossible to understand Jesus properly without
understanding how determined He was to fulfil it. It is also impossible to
understand the Old Testament, and its fullest intent, without understanding its
fulfillment in Christ.

After Jesus
explicitly states the importance of the Old Testament, He gives six examples of
the way He used it. In each case Jesus begins with, and affirms, the Old
Testament foundation and then as Lord of Scripture deepens and sharpens it for
life in the Kingdom of Heaven He is now bringing.

Today we
consider the terrible human problem of anger. Old Testament civil law (and also
our state laws) drew the line at murder (Exodus 20:13 and 21:12-14). Jesus
draws the line in the Kingdom of Heaven much earlier, at the cause of the crime
ie at the sin of anger (Matthew 5:21-26). Who among us have never been angry,
insulting, or have never put down another person in our thoughts, attitude,
action or speech? Jesus calls this out as a sin that will be judged severely.
He says that when we become aware of it we should deal with it as a matter of
urgency, so that its terrible consequences do not escalate.

Jesus is the
only person who can live the Kingdom life perfectly. Fortunately, all who
genuinely repent of our sin, and openly embrace Jesus, His way and His
forgiveness can find the open arms of mercy. They also graciously receive the
gift of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus Himself can now live His perfect life
through us. We must everyday seek to be led by the Spirit and not by our own
remaining sinful flesh (Romans 8:1-11; Galatians 5:16-26). This is the “the
good fight of the faith” we must wage against anger and other sins and
temptations. Victory is possible everyday in Jesus. We can truly begin to taste
the Kingdom in this life and its fullness in the next.

Have a great

Pastor Graham