What Was Nailed to the Cross?

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Different people have different theories about what was nailed to the cross. There is no doubt, something was.

Some say that the Sabbath was nailed to the cross. Others say that the ordinances written by Moses were nailed to the cross. Others say that ALL the law (or works) were nailed to the cross (being replaced by faith and grace). Some say that the sacrificial system was nailed to the cross. Some say that the annual feasts (or Holy-Days) were nailed to the cross. Some say that new moon days were nailed to the cross. Some say that the cross discarded the old covenant, replacing it with the new covenant. Some say that the old testament was fulfilled, bringing in the new testament. Some say that the Levitical priesthood was abolished, replacing it with a more perfect priest. Some say that all the above or some combination, or none were annulled.

There are probably other opinions too. These different theories are largely based on people picking and choosing what they want to keep and what they want to eliminate. Instead, we need to search the scriptures to discover the truth.

Following is the only verse that specifically mentions "nailing to the cross" (although other texts imply the same thing).

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;

This verse plainly states that the "handwriting of ordinances" was nailed to the cross. But that still doesn't help much.

Ephesians reinforces that idea:

Ephesians 2:15
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace;

What are these ordinances that have been nailed to the cross?

Let's first eliminate some possibilities. It seems to be self-evident, but still must be mentioned, that one cannot choose to eliminate only a portion of anything. If one says the law has been nailed to the cross, it must be the entire law, not just one commandment. If one says it is the ordinances written by Moses, one must accept that ALL the ordinances, not just one or some of them are gone. That is, unless one can point to a scripture saying "this one only of that group is nailed to the cross" or "these several ONLY have been nailed to the cross".

Colossians 2:14 says "handwriting of ordinances". That might seem to be all the law except that written in stone. If that is true, one cannot say "The feast days are nailed to the cross" or "the sabbath was nailed to the cross", but "not the ordinances regarding pork and unclean animals" (Leviticus 11:4), or "not the ordinances about being kind to animals" (Deuteronomy 25:4, Deuteronomy 22:1-4), or "not the ordinances about taking care of the poor and widows" (Deuteronomy 15:7,11, Deuteronomy 24:19, Exodus 22:22), or not the ordinances of justice (Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 27:19, Isaiah 58:2). Either ALL the ordinances are nailed to the cross, or none are. No one can pick and choose, saying, "Well, I think that has been done away, but not this".

Ephesians 2:15 says "the law of commandments contained in ordinances". This seems to possibly include all the commandments.

Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

This tends to re-enforce the entire law being nailed to the cross, as do the following:

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Galatians 3:19
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed [Jesus] should come to whom the promise was made;

Luke 16:16
The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of יהוה [Yahweh, our god] is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Galatians 3:24-26
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [we are no longer under the law]. For ye are all the children of יהוה [Yahweh] by faith in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 7:12
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Galatians 3:23
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. [seeming to imply that AFTER faith came, we are no longer under the law]

The above texts, quite plainly state that we are no longer under the law. Biblically, the law is the Torah and includes all five books of Moses. If one claims that the law was nailed to the cross, they must accept that the entire law was nailed, not just the fourth commandment, or not just the law OTHER THAN the ten commandments (there is no such thing, ALL are part of the law, or Torah).

There is also a new covenant:

Hebrews 8:10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith יהוה [Yahweh]; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them an Elohim, and they shall be to me a people:

And plainly the sacrificial system is no longer in force. Christians no longer offer animal sacrifices. That sacrifice was finally and perfectly made, once and for all, by the Messiah on the cross. This is the only thing that was "taken away" (removed, destroyed, eliminated, replaced).

Hebrews 9:2-12
For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 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. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 10:4-10
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 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 יהוה [Yahweh]. 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 יהוה [Yahweh]. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

In answer to "What was nailed to the cross?" and the potential theories, ALL were nailed to the cross. Jesus' sacrifice changed everything (almost). It did NOT change the character of Yahweh. The character of Yahweh is expressed in His law (ALL of the Torah).

Now, instead of wondering WHAT was nailed to the cross, we need to better understand what "nailed to the cross" means. First, it does NOT mean destroyed, terminated, annulled. The law and ordinances remain unchanged (except for the animal sacrifices, because they were specifically named as having been terminated, taken away - "He taketh away", Hebrews 10:9). "Nailed to the cross" means "FULFILLED" or made perfect. It means no longer enslaving.

The law and ordinances are still valuable truths for a happy life. It's just that they no longer hold us slaves. We are no longer under the written law of Moses (including the tables of stone and all the ordinances), because we now operate under the "law of liberty".

Galatians 5:13-14
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

James 1:25
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Another point to remember, when the Bible speaks of the "law" it is NOT referring to just the Ten Commandments, in contradistinction to the ordinances, but it means the entire Torah. The Torah consists of the five books of Moses, and is sometimes called the law of Moses. The Torah includes the Ten Commandments AND all the other ordinances. So, when the Bible says that the law was nailed to the cross, it means the entire Torah. That is the law. Nailed to the cross does NOT destroy the law, it fulfills it by writing it in our hearts where it can do some good.

Instead of being written on tables of stone and in the Book of Moses, the law [Torah] is now written (fulfilled, not destroyed) in our hearts and minds. It is the same law, unchanged and the same ordinances, unchanged. EXCEPT we no longer sacrifice animals. Jesus, the perfect sacrifice accomplished that "once and for all". (see Better Sacrifice)

Matthew 5:17-19
Think not that I am come to destroy the law [Torah], or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 3:31
Do we then make void the law through faith? By no means: yea, we establish [fulfill] the law.

If we have the faith of Yahushua (Jesus), we will not kill, we will keep His Sabbaths, we will keep His Holy-Days. Not because we have to, but because we want to. His law will be fulfilled in our hearts.