- WHAT WAS ABOLISHED AT THE CROSS?
- From: Bible Ten Commandments.com
It is charged that, when He died on Calvary, Christ destroyed the moral law of Ten Commandments. But the Bible does not teach this.
Here are the passages used to show that Gods law has been abolished:
Hebrews 10:7-9 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. Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace.
What do those passages mean? They cannot mean that either the moral law of Ten Commandments or the Creation Sabbath were destroyed at Calvary.
Hebrews 10:7-9 is talking about the sacrificial and offering laws. It says so. Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross eliminated the sacrificial laws (also called ceremonial laws). The death of Gods Lamb did away with the offering of lambs on the altar. The sacrificial laws were taken away and the moral law of Ten Commandments established.
Ephesians 2:15 is talking about the commandments contained in ordinances. The ordinances were the ceremonial laws. By His death, Christ eliminated the sacrificial laws and, as our Mediator, brought us to God.
1. Jesus did not come to earth to destroy the moral law! Keep in mind that it was because that law could not be abolished that Christ had to die. Christ did not die so we could keep sinning. He died to provide us miraculous divine grace to empower us to keep the law.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
2. Some today claim that there has been no law since the death of Christ. But the Bible teaches that if there is no law, there is no sin! Indeed, without the law to identify sin, we cannot know what sin is. Apart from the presence of the law, sin does not exist.
Romans 4:15 Where no law is, there is no transgression.
Romans 5:13 Sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 3:20 For by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 7:7 I had not known sin but by the law.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.
It is the Ten Commandment law of God that the saints will keep. When asked, Which law? Jesus replied by naming several of the Ten Commandments (Matt 19:17-19). And the Apostle James did likewise (James 2:10-12).
3. It is the ceremonial law, the law of Old Testament sacrifices, which ended at the cross.
The only thing abolished at the cross was the ceremonial law, contained in ordinances. They were the sacrificial laws. After Christ’s death, it was no longer necessary to sacrifice lambs at the Temple, for Christ, our Lamb, had died. But, after the death of Christ, we were still obligated to keep the moral law.
Daniel 9:26-27 predicted that, at His death, Christ would cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease. And the Apostle Paul tells us that this is exactly what happened. When Christ died, the ceremonial ordinances were blotted out. The sacrificial services in the Temple no longer had meaning in the eyes of God.
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.
Ephesians 2:15-16 Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
A leading Protestant writer, Dr. Albert Barnes, in commenting on Colossians 2:16, said this:
But the use of the term [sabbaths] in the plural number, and the connection, show that he [Paul] had his eye on a great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as festivals, as a part of their ceremonial and typical law, part of the moral law, and not on the moral law or the Ten Commandments. No part of the moral law not one of the Ten Commandments could be spoken as a shadow of things to come. Dr. Albert Barnes, Commentary on Colossians 2:16.
The shadowy laws were the ones that foreshadowed the coming of Christ: the slaying of the lambs and goats, the keeping of the yearly Passover, etc. All these ceremonial laws were taken away by the death of Christ.
Hebrews 10:1-4 For the [sacrificial] law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have cease to be offered? . . But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.
The moral law is a perfect law (Ps 19:7; 119:172, 142; Rom 7:12). The ceremonial law was imperfect (Heb 7:18-19; 10:1-4).
The moral law is in itself spiritual (Rom 7:14). The ceremonial law was not in itself spiritual (Heb 9:10).
The moral law was spoken directly by God Himself (Deut 4:12-13, 22-23; Ex 20:1). The ceremonial law was spoken by Moses (Lev 1:1-2; 7:37-38).
The moral law was written by the Lord Himself upon two tables of enduring stone (Deut 5:22; Ex 31:18). The ceremonial law was written by Moses in a book (Ex 34:27; Deut 31:9).
The moral law is eternal, requiring obedience from all (Rom 3:31; Matt 5:17; Luke 16:17; Matt 19:17; 1 Cor 7:19; Rev 22:14). The ceremonial law was abolished at the cross; therefore obedience to it is not required from anyone today (Eph 2:15; Col 2:14-17; Acts 15:24).
These sacrificial laws included yearly holy days, or yearly sabbaths. The weekly Sabbath was given to mankind at the foundation of the world and is the fourth of the Ten Commandments.
But the yearly sabbaths were gatherings for special sacrificial service and foreshadowed the death of Christ. At those services, there were special meat offerings and drink offerings. A list of the yearly sabbaths will be found in Leviticus 23:4-44.
The weekly seventh-day Sabbath is called the Sabbath in the Bible, but the yearly sabbaths are easily identified. When mentioned together, an s is added; they were the sabbaths or sabbath days. All those yearly gatherings were abolished at the cross. Paul calls them (and their meat and drink offerings) a shadow.
Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
This is because the meaning of the Temple services ended when Christ died. At that moment a hand reached down from heaven and tore the veil of the Temple in two, thus desecrating it and destroying its significance:
Matthew 27:50-51 Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
Hebrews 10:7-9 Then said I [Christ], 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. Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.
The first the shadow laws and ceremonies was taken away by the death of Christ, that He might solidly establish by His death the principle that man must obey God and, through the merits of Christ, he can be empowered to do it!