The Law: Nailed to a Cross?

Sounds That Way…

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

When we first read this verse, it seems obvious: the Law of YHWH (ordinances) was “nailed to the cross.” But, Colossians was written by Apostle Paul, and remember: Peter warned us that lawlessness was an error that many people would make from misunderstanding Paul’s letters.

2 Peter 3:15-17 … and account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother PAUL also according to the wisdom given unto him has written to you. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are SOME THINGS HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are UNLEARNED and UNSTABLE TWIST, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware unless you also, are led away with the ERROR OF THE LAWLESS, fall from your own stedfastness.

Necessary Background

Colossians 2 is a message of reassurance to a new, Gentile church which is reaffirming their place in the Messiah, and testifying to who he was and what he did… particularly for them. Before we look back at the verse in Colossians, here is some background to help us understand the references Paul is making:

Hebrews 9:26-28 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Messiah was once offered to BEAR THE SINS OF MANY; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and be converted, that your SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Master.

So why did I refer to those two passages? They are being invoked in the language used by Paul in Colossians. Let’s look at that verse again, but this time with a little more context:

Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he revived together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

The Record of Our Sins

So what exactly WAS nailed to the cross? Was it the Law (ordinances)? Let’s look closely at what he said…

He starts of talking to the newly-converted Gentiles (of Colossi) highlighting the state they were originally in: “You were dead in your sins. You were uncircumcised. You had many trespasses.” Without the Law and its ordinances, it is IMPOSSIBLE to sin. There is nothing to trespass. There is no need for circumcision. But obviously, these were still valid strikes against the Colossians or Paul would have no reason to bring them to light.

But then, the Colossian believers came into Messiah and applied His sacrifice to their lives. That’s when things changed!

“He forgave you all your trespasses.”

What About the Law Itself?

If the Law doesn’t apply to man anymore, the Colossians wouldn’t have needed this forgiveness, right? But they did. If the Law was “only for Jews” or “nailed to a cross,” Gentiles in general would not be liable for their (our) infractions, right? But apparently we are!

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us.” Here’s where it’s easy to get confused, but in context, this is easily understood. Remember in Acts 3:19 (above) where it says “your SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT?” A-ha! What’s being blotted out here aren’t the Laws themselves, but the record of our offences in the Book of Life. That record is what was “contrary to us.” It was that “criminal record” that would find us lost and deserving of death in judgment.
Joe broke Ordinance A on July 17th.

Joe broke Ordinance J on September 22nd.

… blotted out!
“… and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” By this point, it’s obvious what was “nailed to the cross.” In Hebrews 9 (above) Messiah is said to have taken upon Himself the “sins of many” before He was sacrificed. So what then was “nailed to the cross?” Exactly the same thing it’s talking about in Colossians 2:13-14, namely their sins and trespasses, not the eternal Law of YHWH. Does that make sense? Read it one more time keeping in mind that the subject of the passage is NOT the Law, but rather SIN.

Colossians 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he revived together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

So Then That Means…

Psalms 19:7 says the Law of YHWH is perfect. Today, we are taught that YHWH repented of perfection (His Law), changed His mind about what He wanted from His people, discarded the covenant which He once called eternal, and needed to free us from something that was called “liberty.” Does it make sense to you that what the Father once called abominable and said that He hated… is now considered acceptable?

If it does, that means He is not the same “yesterday, today and forever,” but rather that He shifts and changes like the phases of the moon!

Here’s another thought: have you ever really studied what the Bible teaches about the Law? Here are a few points that are worth considering:

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that says to me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works?” And then will I tell them, “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”

What is “iniquity?” That word appears a LOT in the New Testament, and it’s never a good thing. The Greek word is (pronounced) “anomia” which actually means “violation of the law / lawlessness.” So Messiah didn’t say, “Depart from me you who obey the Law,” but rather He said, “depart from me, you who DO NOT keep the Law!” That should be a scary thought for many.

Daniel 7:25 talks about the “antichrist” saying, “He shall think to change times and laws.” Ironically, during the last 2,000 years a certain Roman dynasty (the Papacy) has effectively rewritten Christianity taking away from us all of the commanded feasts (which Messiah and His Apostles kept), changing the eternal Sabbath from the seventh day (which Messiah and His Apostles kept) to the day of the Sun (which the pagans kept), instituted NEW “holy days” such as Easter, Christmas, Lent, Corpus Christi, etc. which all parallel pagan observances, and surely enough – convinced the whole world that the Law of YHWH was now dead and invalid contrary to what Messiah and his Apostles lived and taught.

Matthew 5:17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (FULLY PREACH). For verily I say to you, until heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, until all be fulfilled.

I look out my window and see heaven above and the Earth beneath. Either the Law is still to this day the will of the Father, or what Messiah said was not true. He still wants us to obey it. He put His Spirit in us to write that Law on our hearts so we would be careful to obey all of His commandments and laws and statutes. That’s what the “New Covenant” is all about!

In the end, let me offer you two possible interpretations of the Bible, one of which makes a lot of sense and the other of which causes the Scriptures to contradict themselves in many very ugly ways:
1) YHWH doesn’t change. He gave us His Law to teach us how to live and love in HIS way. He wanted that 6,000 years ago and He still does today. Man failed and lost his way, so YHWH sent his Messiah (Son) to reconcile man to Himself and show the world what the Law looks like when you live it correctly. Messiah changed nothing of the will of YHWH, He only showed us how to do it right.

2) God changes his mind from time to time. What he called eternal yesterday doesn’t exist today. What he hated once pleases him today. Not all of his word is really still valid. Jesus is our example that we are supposed to follow… by living differently from the way He and His Apostles lived. There are no more commandments. There are no more laws. Everybody from Genesis to Revelation kept the Law… so that we don’t have to.
Seek truth. Don’t settle for the doctrines and traditions of men. Keep the faith and testimony of Yahshua the Messiah. Keep the commandments of the Father.

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