9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God,who had given such authority to man.
When the scribes challenged Jesus about his ability to forgive sins by saying only God can forgive sins, they were actually saying they had the monopoly to do so. This is because forgiveness of sins was only available to the Jews from the temple. Since they are scribes, they knew the Law and how the whole process of bringing a lamb or bull was to be carried out.
As such to the teachers of the Law, forgiveness for only attainable in the temple. That is what the Jews meant by “heaven”. The temple was “heaven” on earth where God dwelt.
When Jesus said “the Son of Man has power to forgive sins, ON EARTH”, he meant that God does not live in that temple any more and He was in Jesus. Jesus said “destroy this temple and I will build it in 3 days”.
When Jesus said “he had power to forgive sins on earth” he meant he has power to forgive sins in Israel. That is what he meant by “on earth”. When the temple was destroyed in AD 70, Israel also seized to be a nation. As such “heaven and earth passed away”.
When that happened, righteousness through the law was replaced by righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5: 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Jesus said these words thereafter:
Matthew 24: 34 Truly I say to you, this [x]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
The things he said regarding what will happen in the generation then was:
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 [h]Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 [i]Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no [j]life would have been saved; but for the sake of the [k]elect those days will be cut short.
The abomination of the desolation came in the form a man by the name of Nero, who offered a pig in the temple and persecuted the Jews.Josephus writes about Christians escaping and fleeing to the mountains.
It was the end of the Law and the practice thereof.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the [a]barrier of the dividing wall, 15 [b]by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might [c]make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.
Dear friends, that is how Jesus became the end of the Law. Now we live in a new heaven and new earth. The heaven is us, the new temple of God, the earth is the Kingdom of God on this earth, while we await his glorious return to transform us and bring us back to his Father’s house.