Everyone is seeking fulfillment. We may call it by different names and not recognize it for what it is, but we all seek to be fulfilled.
What does it mean to be fulfilled? Here is how one dictionary defines fulfillment: to bring to completion or reality, to achieve or realize; to gain happiness or satisfaction; to complete, to satisfy or meet a requirement or condition.
People will try anything to be fulfilled: money, sex, power, drugs, respect, adulation, position, houses, cars, boats, vacations… You name it, and someone is seeking fulfillment through it. Our problem is that none of these things do what we think they promise.
There is one person in history who never sought to be fulfilled. Everyone else has, to one degree or another, sought fulfillment. But not this person. One of the biggest differences between this person and us is that, while we feel the need to do something to be fulfilled, he was the very expression of fulfillment. While we feel the need to do something to be fulfilled, he lived to fulfill. His name is Jesus.
Paul writes this about Jesus, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, ESV). Jesus brought to fulfillment all things that were created. He completed the task of creation, not just the creation we can see, but the spiritual realms too.
Then in Ephesians 1:7-10, Paul writes, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s plan to make all things new, to bring unity and completeness to all of creation!
Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all things good. We were created to enjoy fulfillment in and through him. We can never be fulfilled without him.
But there is one more fulfillment Scripture mentions that seems impossible, even crazy: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1-4).
Did you catch it? The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit. God’s plan of redemption is so upside down that those who are in such desperate need of fulfillment by Christ, are counted as fulfilling the law through Christ! We, who by ourselves cannot breathe without violating the whole law, have been made law-fulfillers! God has done the impossible in us and for us. I pray we are so excited by this glorious truth that we run from anything that promises fulfillment but only delivers emptiness.
Will you join with other members and friends of the CLB in praying and giving so that many more will experience life in the One who fulfills?
Roy Heggland is Associate for Biblical Stewardship for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.