Fulfill is to bring to realization, or satisfy requirements or obligations, to bring to completion, or develop the full potential. The King James version says in Matthew 5:17 that Christ came to fulfill the law. I never questioned the completion of His suffering on the cross. What He did was complete. So complete that I couldn’t add to it or diminish it by what I do or don’t do. But then I heard another scripture Sunday morning from Romans 13:8b, in that same translation that says, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. I had to think about that. The Message translation says we have a huge debt of love we owe each other, and when we love others, we complete what the law has been after all along. This has really challenged my way of thinking! It seems clear to me that Christ hanging on the cross and spilling His blood and life over and over again for my tendency to sin was not the only act that fulfilled the law. I do have a clean slate and don’t have to carry around my sins, but I do have a debt. I thought all was forgiven? Yes I believe that is correct, but as I enter into that forgiveness, I also have a debt. What comes to my mind is the National debt, which is a few trillion dollars and increasing by the minute. If we divide that debt among all of us, financial experts say, that would be $23,000.00 per person.
It’s not that kind of debt. This debt of love is not something I take out of the bank or store in a vault. Because I have been forgiven much and I’m forgiven again and again, over and over, I owe a debt. A debt to love in a way that I have been loved when I have been forgiven. It really is exciting to know that I do walk with a clean slate and have been forgiven for my continual weakness’, but it’s still a pretty big mystery to me – and I suppose you may have to ask yourself, what does that debt of love mean to me?