Having Nailed It to the Cross

Colossians 2:14

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

In this verse Paul makes very clear that “he,” through a cross, brought “it” to an end. The question(s) is, who is “he,” what did “he” bring to an end, and why did “he” bring “it” to an end. Colossians 2:11 answers who “he” is; Christ. Therefore Christ, through His death on the cross, put to death “it,” which was comprised of ordinances.

What did Christ nail to the cross?

Ephesians 2:15-16 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

When Christ died on the cross, He abolished the law given by Moses to the Children of Israel, thereby giving opportunity of salvation to anyone whould believe, “to the Jew first, AND also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Hebrews 8:13

In that He says, “A new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away

Christ’s death made the first covenant, and all ordinances and practices contained therein obsolete. However, He did not just abolish, He rather established. The beginning of Hebrews 8:13 states, ‘In that He says, “A new covenant…” ‘ Christ, in taking away the first, making it obsolete, established a new covenant, where we serve Him, “in the newness of the Spirit, and not the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6)

One might ask then, “What was wrong with the old covenant?” Is God treating his covenants as man might a mistake by seeking to correct what was wrong with the first? This is a very important question to ask, as its answer has far reaching implications.

Hebrews 8:7

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

The first covenant was not without fault, for Hebrews 10:4 tells us, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” The Old Covenant could not make us perfect. Therefore Hebrews 10:3 says, “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.” In other words, the Old Covenant could not cleanse us from our sins.

Now, this does not mean that God made a mistake the first time. The Old Covenant served a purpose, and it was a perfect covenant in that it fulfilled that purpose. Galatians 3:24-25 speaks to this reason:

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Hebrews 10:1 makes a similar point:

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things…

The purpose of the Old Covenant was to bring us to and point us toward Christ and His law of liberty.

Galatians 3:8 tells us that even before the law was established through Moses, God was pointing man toward His Son who was to come,

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”

Therefore, Christ crucifying the Old covenant to the cross was not to correct the mistakes God made in the Law, but rather to fulfill it in its perfectness, and establish a more perfect way for eternity

Even Christ himself said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

Therefore, Christ was able to end His crucifixion with the words, “It is finished,” (John 19:30) ending His life, and nailing the fulfilled Law to the cross.

Now that the Old Covenant has been nailed to the cross, we are no longer subject to its ordinances, whether that be the Sabbath, tithing, animal sacrifice, or the ten commandments listed in Exodus 20. Rather, we are under the perfect law of liberty. (James 1:25)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

Christ has put to death the enmity, and freed us of our sin, NOT by the complete removal of law, but through the fulfillment of one law and the establishment of another.

Therefore, Galatians 5:13-14 states:

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Let us then serve Christ, always thankful to Him for saving us from the bondage of sin, and providing us with all things necessary for life evermore.