Nailing It

The Cross of Christ is the centerpiece of human history, the masterpiece of God’s design. On it, a mysterious transaction is taking place between the human and divine, between the temporal and eternal. Supernatural life is hidden here, God’s stairway to heaven.

Spike joining 1st US coast-to-coast Railroad

As Jesus Christ allows Himself to be crucified, embracing unspeakable suffering on our behalf (Is 53:4-5), He becomes sin for us so that in Him we might be made perfectly righteous. (2Co 5:21)

Yet as Christ is suffering for us, nailed to His cross, the Father is also nailing something else to His cross: He calls it the handwriting of ordinances(Col 2:14) These ordinances are against us, contrary to us; He blots them out and takes them away. What are they?

First and foremost, it can’t be Torah, the ordinances YHWH Himself has given us. These ordinances aren’t against us; they’re good (Ro 7:12) and for our good. (Ps 119:71) Their purpose is to point us to God and facilitate our becoming like Him. (1Ti 1:5)

It could be sin, for Christ became sin for us and was nailed to the cross, but the handwriting of ordinances isn’t God’s definition of sin. (1Jn 3:4)

It could be accusation, which loses all its force in Christ (Ro 8:34), but I think this is both awkward and redundant with context (Col 2:13); it simply doesn’t do this justice.

The immediate context is an admonition: let no man judge you; Christ’s work implies that we ought not to be intimidated by extra-biblical rules and regulations defining how to abide in God. (Col 2:16) Man is always adding to, twisting and corrupting God’s Word, trying to burden, manipulate and control us through our very longing to know and walk with God. It’s insidiously powerful, a constant obstacle in our spiritual journey.

My thought is that YHWH nails all this false, Man-made religion to His cross, everything that’s designed to keep us from a living, vibrant life with Him. He’s taken down every barrier to fellowship with Himself: He’s nailed our sin, and also every lie about Himself, to His cross. He enforces no space between us and Him, no distance; He’s made a way to be closer to us than our own breath, within and throughout us, working in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. (Php 2:13)

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world! (Ga 6:14)

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6 thoughts on “Nailing It”

  1. The particular lies that I think God has in mind here are those that hindered Peter and the Apostles from sharing the gospel to the nations (Ac 11:19); it was the error that Gentiles could not receive Christ and walk with God without first converting to Judaism and obeying Jewish tradition (Oral Torah). (Ac 15:1) This was a uniquely destructive error that produced much division, strife and trouble in the early Church. (Ga 5:12) In dying for us all, that He might bring us all to YHWH (1Pe 3:18), Yeshua made it obvious that such laws are in opposition to our communion and fellowship with God, and therefore against us, and also that they are null and void, even though promoted by those in spiritual authority. (Mt 22:3-4)

  2. handwriting is the Greek chierographon, meaning something handwritten, a manuscript, such as a legal document or a bond. It appears only here in the GNT.

    ordinances is the Greek dogma, meaning a decree, civil law, or ordinance. This word appears 5 times in scripture and is translated as decree (Lk 2:1, Ac 16:4, 17:7) or ordinance. (Ep 2:15, Col 2:14)

  3. Some think this might be a reference to the Mosaic law which required a priest to write down in a book curses upon a wife suspected of being adulterous, and then to blot out these curses with bitter water which she was required to drink. (“And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water.” Nu 5:23) Though “blot out” is common to both contexts, a curse isn’t an ordinance, law or decree, but an invocation of divine punishment. Further, there was no sense of forgiveness or pardon here: if the woman was indeed guilty, these curses remained upon her.

  4. Good stuff you guys.

    We have a legitimate ( legal charge against us )
    As a result of Adam’ s original sin. He forgave us our sins, canceled the charge, took it away, and nailed it to the cross, in that order.

    Having done all of this, the result was the disarming of the powers and authorities that stood between us and the Father, because prior to the cross the powers and the authorities had a valid legal claim against us.

    The legal charge was nailed to the cross, was it not?

    What is a legal charge, and what is the the basis for a legal charge?

    Remember the powers and authorities were at one point legally armed, and rightfully so.

    Thanks guys great stuff, hunting on the red River and texting Brothers in Christ, what a deal.

    1. Happy Hunting!! Hope you bag a nice catch, whatever it is you’re hunting. Sounds awesome, just being out in Creation! 🙂 Be safe!!

      I am thinking differently a little bit, though perhaps it is only on technicalities. I think the end result is the same as what you are saying.
      My view is that:
      [1] The legal charges against us are made by God Himself; Satan’s charges against us are meaningless unless God Himself agrees.
      [2] All of God’s charges against us are lawful and good.
      [3] The only things Christ nails to the cross are bad.
      [4] God doesn’t nail His own charges to the cross, discarding them and casting them away: He completely satisfies them in Christ’s death for us.
      ——- Justice requires that those who break God’s law must die. (Rom 3:23)
      ——- When Justice comes after us to demand that we die, he finds that we are already dead in Christ (Rom 7:4): we died in Christ (Ro 6:6, Ga 2:20); His death is credited to us, as if we died for our own sins, and Christ’s righteousness is credited to us, as if we performed it ourselves.

      The difference I see between our views is that in yours God’s charges/justice are discarded, cast away for Christ’s sake; in my view they are honored for Christ’s sake.

      Do this make sense? Do we agree? Where would you differ?
      Excellent topic and discussion!! Thanks for bringing it up and engaging with me on it.

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