When Jesus appeared on earth to announce the coming of the kingdom promised in the Old Testament (Mark 1:15), to bring the gospel of forgiveness and salvation to publicans and sinners, the poor and the imprisoned (Matt. 5:1ff.; 11:5, 28–30; Luke 4:18–19; 19:10; and so forth), he automatically clashed with the Pharisaic and nomistic view of religion, which prevailed in his day. Still, though he rejected the human ordinances of past teachers of the law (Matt. 5:21ff.; 15:9), and though he has a different view of murder (5:21–22), adultery (5:27–28), oaths (5:33–37), fasting (6:16–18), divorce (19:9), and the Sabbath (Mark 2:27–28), he does uphold the whole law, also its ceremonial elements (Matt. 5:23–24; 17:24–27; 23:2–3, 23; Mark 1:44; 11:16). He also explains it in its spiritual sense (Matt. 5–7), stresses its ethical content, considers love to God and one’s neighbor its sum (7:12; 9:13; 12:7; Mark 7:15; 12:28–34), and desires a righteousness different from and more abundant than the righteousness of the Pharisees (Matt. 5:20). Accordingly, though he himself is greater than the temple (12:6), he positioned himself under the law (3:15) and came to fulfill the law and the prophets (5:17). He therefore knows that, though he never insists on the abolition of the law, his disciples are inwardly free from it (17:26); that his church is not founded on the law but on the confession of his messiahship (16:18); and that a new covenant has been established in his blood (26:28). In a word, the new wine calls for new wineskins (9:17), and the days of the temple and people and law have been numbered (Mark 13:2). Jesus’s agenda is not a revolutionary overthrow of the legalistic dispensation of the old covenant, but the reformation and renewal that is naturally born from its complete fulfillment.
Bavinck, Herman ; Bolt, John ; Vriend, John: Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation. Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, 2008, S. 450.