The Greek word translated as end here is “telos”. It simply means the purpose or consummation, i.e., the objective of something’s existence. Here, Rom. 10: 4 should read, “For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (New Living Translation).
The “telos” of the Law (Greek: “nomos”, thus customs and obligations needed for righteousness) was to lead Israel to righteousness. However, the Law was powerless to achieve this objective (Rom. 8: 3) because all have sinned (Rom. 3: 23), and there is no one righteous (Rom. 8: 3). Why? The reason is found in the inefficacy of the sacrifices to wipe away transgression (Heb. 10: 4). Israel could not achieve righteousness to appease God. Consequently, the Old Covenant became faulty (Heb. 8: 7, 13). This is why the Son of God stepped in to make things perfect (Heb. 10: 14).
Have you been wondering why Jesus stepped in? Let’s read again Rom. 8: 3-4:
“For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh, 4. so that the righteous standard of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Now it should be clear why Jesus is the “end” of the Law. He embodies all the righteous requirements of the Law (Rom. 3: 21). Our obedience to God, is not through the Law. It is through Jesus Christ and what He has done (Titus 2: 10-11). Those who look at the Law as their standard of righteousness are under a curse (Gal. 3: 10-11) because they’ll never achieve one to make right with God (Gal. 2: 16).
The gospel of righteousness by faith through Christ should cause us to think of what Christ has done as greater and perfect than what the Law could achieve (Gal. 2: 21). For that matter, sin should have no dominion over us (Rom. 6: 14). Christianity and sin are antithesis, think of it!
Where then is the place of the Law? Is it abrogated? Or it is still relevant to the Christian? To be continued….