Q. My question is in regards to Colossians 2:13-14 . “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” Is Paul referring to the Ten Commandments, or the additional statutes such as ritual cleansing, no pork, etc.?
A. When Paul said, “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us” he was talking about every law that if violated would constitute a sin against God and would prevent us from being saved. It’s important to note that by using the phrase “that stood opposed to us” Paul meant that Jesus didn’t cancel the Law itself. He just cancelled all the penalties that have been levied against those who accept His forgiveness. For those who don’t accept it, the penalty remains for them to pay.
The Romans crucified people beside busy thoroughfares, and a sign was attached to their cross listing the crimes for which they were being executed. The people passing by would read the crimes written there, see a horrifying example of the penalty, and vow never to commit that crime.
Under Roman law, Jesus was crucified for treason, having claimed to be the King of the Jews (Matt. 27:11), so that’s what the sign on His cross read. With the phrase “He took it away nailing it to the cross,” Paul was saying that in the spiritual sense it was really the list of our crimes that was nailed to His cross, and that’s what He was being crucified for.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13).