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.

[youtube-feed feed=1]
Joshua Riggins Written by:


  1. Louis
    May 27, 2009

    Thanks for the straight forward handling of this subject. I appreciate your point that the old covenant wasn’t an inferior product God had to rehash. (my take on your words) Hebrews 8:8 has this phrase “finding fault with them.” The people under the Law were made aware of their sins in a way not known before. The covenant was designed to give the knowledge of sin. “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20) The one Son of Man under the Law, met the people of the Law, and received in His body the reality of the Law’s product; a people weak and helpless, some loving, some hating, but all under the Law. The sum of that meeting was/is redemption.

  2. kirt
    April 21, 2016

    Are the use of musical instruments during worship considered in the category of ordinances?

  3. April 22, 2016

    Hi Kirt. I’m not entirely certain what you mean. Would you care to clarify?

  4. Scott
    May 5, 2016

    Brother… you are guilty of Matthew 5:19. What is the only definition of sin found in the bible? Its 1 John 3:4. Without the Law there is no sin. Without sin, no man needs saving… This is the reason your brother Judah rejects the messiah that you claim. Repent and re-read the WORD. Jesus (Yeshua) was against lawlessness!!!!

  5. May 5, 2016

    Hi Scott. Thanks for your earnest reply and your concern for our souls. Would you care to offer your interpretation of Colossians 2:14? Specifically, what does Paul mean when he says the Law [of Moses] was nailed to the cross with Jesus?
    I look forward to your thoughtful response.

  6. Eddie
    July 7, 2016

    These ordinances were evidently the regulations designed to separate and purify the Jews from the nations. Now the antagonism that resulted from these added tenets no longer exists between Jew and Gentile because they both can become one in the Messiah. That is one accomplishment of Yahshua’s death

  7. July 8, 2016

    Hi Eddie, thanks for chiming in. It seems you have some specific regulations in mind that separated the Jew from the Gentile. However, could we not say that the law and the covenant that accompanied it, would, if kept in its entirety, sanctify the faithful Jew from the Gentile? For example, the morality prescribed by Moses with regards to sexual immorality was set in contradistinction to their neighbors. This goes beyond the sign of circumcision and the dietary restrictions that were peculiar to the Jewish people. In your opinion, what portion(s) of the law passed away with the death of Jesus?

  8. Eshel ThePoet
    June 17, 2017

    what does Paul mean when he says the Law [of Moses] was nailed to the cross with Christ Hamashiac?
    Quite simple we have to examine
    Hebrews 9:9-10

    “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

    So we see here that in fact the ordinances that were “nailed” were the aspects of Torah that commanded us to perform sacrifices under the Levitical Priesthood regarding “transgression” (1 John 3:4)

    Hebrews 9:23-24

    “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

    The Almighty YAH is not a author of confusion. 1st John 2:3-7 explains this fable that has befallen the “Christ believing body”, we must keep his Holy laws if not we are just guilty of confessing but not doing (James 2:20). Christ reminds us that his doctrine is not his own but the Almighty’s (John 7:16-17). The Most Most High doesn’t change his route or plan or Laws so Israel (bloodline) & grafted-In (Strangers) are not consumed (Malachi 3:6).

    Then we can understand Hebrews 10:6-10 in its entirety.

    “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;”

    Its here in chapter 10 that confirms chapter 9 very accurately. The portion of the law that must be fulfilled is indeed the sacrificial rites contained in carnal ordinances ( hebrews 9:10)

    Most of the bible believing community is lost on how to serve and what was removed at the crucifixion of our Lord, however nothing changed but was fulfilled, redemption needed to be established for his (bloodline descendent’s) redeeming them from under the law (Leviticus 25:48), And so the Strangers/ handmaids/servants can be grafted in through Faith (Deuteronomy 32:21,Romans 11:11,Romans 10:19). Also, the promise of the Spirit (Acts CH. 2) and the Law established on our hearts ( New Covenant /Hebrews 8:10).

    If there is no more law what was Christ putting on the hearts of his people? Simply the laws statues and Commandments. The ordained “Order of Melchelzideck” solidifies this New Covenant of Grace and Mercy to be obedient once again to keeping his holy law ( Hebrews 9: 14). The levitical priesthood was always temporary ( a schoolmaster) unto the order of Melchelzideck High priest Christ. We see we will be keeping “feast of tabernacles”  in the new Jerusalem (zechariah 14:19)

    How do we serve YAH through his son Christ? John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    Baruch 4:1
    “This is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endureth for ever: all they that keep it shall come to life; but such as leave it shall die.”

    Hope this helps,

  9. June 21, 2017

    Hi Esh’el. I am sorry it took me a few days to respond. Your comment deserved some close consideration before I responded.
    I agree that the sacrifice of Jesus took away the need for atonement through sacrifices. I also appreciate you highlighting the distinction between removal and fulfillment. However, I am persuaded that the sacrifice of Jesus fulfilled much more of the law handed down by Moses.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, the Torah restricted the diet of God’s people. Yet following the crucifixion, we see the people of God released from these bonds.

    Acts 10:9-16  The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.  [10]  Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance  [11]  and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.  [12]  In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.  [13]  And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”   [14]  But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”  [15]  And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”   [16]  This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

    1 Timothy 4:1-5  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  [2]  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  [3]  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  [4]  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  [5]  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    Both Peter and Paul recognized that this portion of the Torah was fulfilled and was therefore not bound on those who call upon the name of Jesus. This is just one example of several I could bring up. I’ll be glad to mention others if needed.

    Yes, we are to follow the commands issued by Jesus and if we love Him we will do so. But unless Christ or His apostles re-articulated the commands of the Torah, it has no bearing on my salvation. Peter called the law delivered by Moses, “a yoke…which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10). Paul says those who try to live by the Torah are cursed (Galatians 3:10). The Torah served its purpose as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (notice that Paul says the law, not the Levitical priesthood, was the tutor, Galatians 3:24). But as Paul says in the next verse, once we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, we no longer need a tutor. We are no longer slaves, but sons (Galatians 4:1-7). The Torah brings us into bondage; Christ brings us into liberty (Galatians 4:21ff).

    My friend, I hope you will reconsider your position. You cannot follow the Torah and Jesus. If you seek to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *