Written by Carl Jones
Nailed to the Cross
Nailed to the cross
Colossians 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of two, one new man, so making peace;
I find this Scripture(s) very interesting. What was blotted out? What was taken away? What was nailed to the cross? What does that mean? What was abolished? What was taken out of the way? What was canceled?
It says similar things in a few other parts of the Scriptures. There are many groups and individuals that interpret the meaning differently. Here are a few examples:
1. Our Sins were nailed to the cross, canceled, abolished and removed.
2. Our Sins, Curses and Punishment for our sins were nailed and removed.
3. Ceremonial and Ritual Laws were nailed, canceled and removed.
4. Sins, Curses, Punishments and Ceremonial Laws were nailed and removed.
5. Oral Laws and man-made Traditions were nailed, canceled and removed.
6. The Law of Moses was nailed, but the Law of God remains.
7. The Law, (everything) its demands and punishments were nailed and removed.
8. The Laws we don't like and or understand were nailed and removed.
9. The Laws of Sacrifice and Offerings were removed, but tithing remains.
10. The Laws that we can't do, based on one's opinion were nailed and canceled.
11. The Laws we believe to be removed were removed according to our faith.
12. The Laws we believe to be irrelevant and out dated were nailed and canceled.
13. The Laws that make us look dumb, foolish and ugly were nailed, but the laws that make us look good, holy and righteous remain.
14. The Laws that are also mentioned in the New Testament remain and everything else is optional, because it was nailed (or so we think).
15. We are not really sure what was nailed, so do everything you can, follow all of the laws, commands and regulations that are possible and hope for the best
16. Messiah’s hands and feet were nailed and a little note identifying Him as King of the Jews.
17. The Old Mosaic Covenant was nailed and removed.
18. Messiah was nailed and we were nailed with Him. We are now dead, to sin and the law, but alive in Him.
KJV - 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;
Colossians 2:14 blotting out (obliterate, erase, wipe away) the handwriting (legal document) of ordinances (laws, decrees) that was against (accusing) us, which was contrary (opposed, against) to us, and has taken (loose, remove) it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
Let’s look at this Colossians verse from a few different translations.
(CEV) God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross.
(CJB) He wiped away the bill of charges against us. Because of the regulations, it stood as a testimony against us; but he removed it by nailing it to the execution-stake.
(ERV) Because we broke God's laws, we owed a debt--a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross.
(ESV) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
(GNB) he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.
(HCSB) He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.
Well, even with these variations of translations, it is still hard to tell exactly what was nailed to the cross. We do know that Messiah was nailed to the cross. It would be safe to say that our sins were nailed to the cross.
Now, let’s take a look at the similar verse, Ephesians 2:15.
ESV - Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Ephesians 2:15 having abolished (to render useless, to destroy, to cease, to bring to nothing, vanish away, make void ) in His flesh the enmity (hostility, hatred) , the Law (Torah) of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace between them;
And by the way, the word “abolish” here in Ephesians 2:15 comes from a different Greek word than the word “abolish” in Matthew 5:17. In Matthew 5:17, Messiah was saying that He did not come to abolish (loosen, throw down) the law, but to complete (satisfy, finish, accomplish, end, expire, fully preach, perfect, supply) it. Messiah was talking about the fact that He came as the entire complete package deal. Messiah did not come to loosen or lessen the load of the law, but to take it all upon Himself. Messiah did come to loosen, but to fulfill and to complete. He came as the fulfillment of everything that is written within the Torah, the Law and the Prophets. He came to fulfill all of it, in its entirety. It all points to Him, Messiah, and that was its purpose, to reveal sin, our great need, and to point us to Him, Salvation, Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah.
So far, we can gather and understand that - “that” which was nailed is described as - - against us, accusing us, contrary to us, opposed to us and hostile to us. So, we could say that our sins, our record of wrongs is against us. And death, the wages of sin, is against us. That is what most all of these different translations are saying. But, many of the translations also say that some type of legal binding documentation of ordinances has also been nailed. Well, what does that mean? Could that mean ‘the Law’ was nailed to the cross also? Does ‘The Law’ accuse us? Does the Law System, condemn us? Does the “Law System” save us or simply point to the fact that we need to be saved?
Romans 3:19 But we know that whatever things ‘the Law’ says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God,
Here in Romans 3:19, Scripture tells us that the Law (legal binding documentation) was put into place to shut us up and to close our mouths before the Eternal Almighty Holy God. This verse is saying that ‘everything’ and ‘whatever’ the law says; it is saying it for the purpose of putting us in our place. This verse is telling us that the law is like a great judge that puts and or places the whole world, everyone everywhere as guilty. So, the law, was actually put in place to accuse and to condemn us.
2 Corinthians 3, describes the legal “Law system” as, a ministry of condemnation and a ministry of death. So, condemnation and death are against us and opposed to us.
1Corinthians 15:56 Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law.
These three work together. Law and Sin and Death work together. The law is the knowledge and awareness of sin. Sin is more than just breaking rules. Sin is a heart condition, which rules or laws cannot fix or change. The law is an indicator and identifier of what is already there. The law does not and cannot change it, but simply reveals it and magnifies it. Death gets its strength and power from sin. Sin gets its strength and power from the Law. So, in order to truly help us, Messiah needed to take care of all three, because they all three work together. If only death was dealt with, then law and sin would still remain and actually continue to produce death. If only sin and death was nailed and dealt with, then the law would continue to be binding and continue to pronounce sin and pronounce and produce death. Again, these three work together and go hand-in-hand. They all had to be dealt with and they all had to be nailed.
The Law is good and holy. The Law requires complete holiness and righteousness. The Law condemns sin to death. We all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. We all deserve death according to the Law. Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of God, was the word in the flesh. Jesus was completely holy and righteous. Jesus took our sin and died for our sin. The law’s demands were fully paid. All the law is complete and fulfilled in Messiah. And we become complete, righteous and holy when we put saving faith in Messiah.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are out of works of the Law, these are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them."
Let us listen very carefully to what this verse is saying to us. The Law requires us to do certain things and requires us to do them “completely”, “entirely” and “perfectly”, that means no “half-way doing things” and requires us to do them “continually” or suffer the consequence of curses, punishment, judgment and death. The Law is not bad, but we are bad and being under the legal binding authority of the Law, means, that we are pronounced cursed, guilty, and worthy of death. The Law is holy, righteous and good. The Law is a binding package deal, which includes blessings, rewards, rules, regulations, rituals, ceremonial washings, punishments, judgments, offerings and sacrifices. The Law is a whole package deal. Absolutely entirely everything and every part of the law are required by you, all of the time. If we don’t do all that the law requires all of the time, then we are breaking the law and under a curse.
There are various groups that separate the law (legal binding documentation) into different categories, such as moral laws, sacrificial laws, ritual laws, ceremonial laws, etc. Others, say that there is the Law of God, being the Ten Commandments and then there is the Law of Moses, being all of the rest of the rules. If you do some reading and studying, you will find that Scripture does not separate and divide the law in that way. Even when you study the text in the original language, it does not divide the law into different categories. There are various instructions given and the instructions are called by various names, but if everything is read in context, they are not separated. It is all part of the law, the legal binding contract or documentation. And at no time, is there ever a portion of the law changed or removed. Messiah did not fulfill part of the law, but all of it. Messiah did not just meet and accomplish partial of the legal binding documentation, but all of it.
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sin worked in our members “through the law” to bring forth fruit to death. Romans 7:6 But now we having been set free from the Law, having died to that in which we were held, so that we serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
Here it says that we have been set free from the law. It was the law that stirred up the passions of sin, which brought death. We have been set free from law, sin and death. And it says that we are not supposed to serve God in the oldness of the letter or law, because it was nailed and a better way has been provided through the new birth and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:2 But the Law of the Spirit of life in the Anointed One, Jesus (Yeshua) has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh;
Romans 8:4 so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Over and over again throughout the New Covenant Scriptures, we see the answer that we were looking for. What was nailed? Messiah was nailed. Messiah is the Word made Flesh. The binding Law document was nailed. Messiah took our sin upon Himself. Sin was nailed. Messiah took our curse, judgment, and death upon Himself. Sin’s Curse, Judgment and Death was nailed. We have been set free from the binding contract of law, sin and death. Messiah was the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was nailed. We, through Messiah, were Nailed. It is finished!
The idea of nailing something is not to be taken in a negative sense. These are very positive things. This nailing is very good news. It is similar to signing off on an important document. It is similar to stamping something for approval. It is like calling something complete and checking something off as done. It is like getting a Diploma or getting promoted.
Colossians 2:14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.
So again, here it says that, our record of wrongs was nailed and the legal demands of punishment for our wrongs according to law was nailed. If only our debt was nailed and canceled, then the legal demands would still be required and binding, would continue to record our wrongs, putting us right back into a position of death. With that being said, it does not mean we just live any way we want and do anything we want. Being liberated from sin and the power of sin, does not cause us go back into sin, but produces fruits of righteousness.
Within the Law, are some great pieces of instruction that are great to live by. Parts of the Law are wonderful things to practice that can reap bountiful benefits. There are parts of the Law that hold powerful moral backbone for civilization and humanity. We can continue to read, study, learn from, and practice parts of the Law. But the Law, over all, as a package deal, as a binding demanding legal documentation contract has been put to rest in Messiah. That being said, it is not an assault or negative slant toward the Law. The Law is good. The Law is holy. The Law had great purpose and was fulfilled in Messiah. But because of the nailing, the Law can no longer accuse us and condemn us. The Law can no longer hold us in a place of death. We have been set free from the penalty and legality of it. With that being said, it does not mean that the law is bad or living by some of the law is bad. But, the life we are to live should go beyond just law. Our relationship with God is not about keeping laws. We connect with God through Messiah and faith. Our life in Messiah is not about religious laws, but about righteousness by faith and the Power of God’s Great Love and the Power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Messiah came to fulfill the law and He did and He was nailed. After the law was fulfilled in and through Messiah, it - ‘the law’, the legal binding documentation, served its purpose and is declared, “it is finished”. This nailing was a stamp of completion and approval from God. It was a declaration of a done deal. It is similar to the veil in the Temple being ripped from top to bottom. That was no coincidence. That was the power of God. That was the hand of God. That was a message from God, saying a new way, through Messiah, had come. We either come to God, are made right with God, declared righteous, and declared forgiven - through the old way or through the new way, but not through both ways.
The nailing on the cross was the completion and end of an old way and the beginning of a new better way. Messiah took upon Himself all the sin, of all time, of all the world. That sin was magnified and pointed out by the law. It was all nailed and in Messiah was declared, “Done”! The Law did its job! Done! All have sinned. Messiah did His Job! Done! Messiah took our sin! Sin did its job! Done! Messiah died! Sin was paid for! Done! Father forgive them. It is at this place, that all was done and a new way was made. It was here, at the cross, at the nailing, that all, that believe, can be forgiven and set free. It was here, at this place, at the nailing, that Messiah took all the penalty, judgment, curses and death that the legal binding law required. It was here, that God demonstrated His Great Love for us.
Within Judaism, they affix, by nailing, a small portion of Scripture in a small rectangular cylinder type container to their door post. It is called a Mezuzah, which is Hebrew for doorpost. The Scripture used for the Mezuzah, is believed to be a summary of all of the Law. They do that as a reminder to obey and love God. They do that based off of an interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:9. It is placed right at the entry point to the home. As Messiah was nailed to the cross, it was as if God was saying that “this” is the entry point. It is through Messiah, that you come to your heavenly home. Messiah is the summary and fulfillment of Scripture. Messiah nailed to the cross, was like God nailing up a Mezuzah. Messiah is the way the truth and the life.
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
When something is nailed up, it is a declaration and proclamation. When some people put up decorations or pictures, they usually use nails to secure them in place. Nailing something up is sometimes done to pass important information to others. Nailing something up is for sending an important message. Normally, when a person was nailed to a cross in public, it was a warning message. It was a declaration of a guilty person that had done some crime. It was a message of crime, justice, judgment and death. It was a grave sober warning to avoid crime and wicked behavior or suffer the same. For some, it was a message of relief, peace and safety, if the one nailed had done them wrong and was a dangerous threat to them and to others.
Messiah, being nailed, was God’s Message of Judgment against sin on our behalf. It was a Message of Death, once and for all. The wages of sin is death. It was a Message of God’s Love toward all that believe and receive. It was a Message of Salvation and Redemption. It was a Message of Mercy and Grace. Messiah, nailed, was a message of possibilities; peace with God, forgiveness of sin, righteousness, redemption, atonement, justification and eternal life offered and available to everyone everywhere.
Messiah’s hands and feet were nailed. We do things with our hands and we go places with our feet. Hands and feet, our extremities, represent life and living. With hands and feet nailed down in place, there is no moving, working, going or doing. Hands and feet, nailed, points to complete submission and total surrender. Messiah, nailed to the cross, was a message of surrendering to God’s plan. It is not with our hands or feet, but with our heart, that we believe unto righteousness and with our mouth that we call upon Jesus (Yeshua) unto salvation. Our hands and feet, represent our flesh, and all that the flesh desires and does. The cross and the nails sends a message, of dying to the flesh, that we might live after Messiah and live after the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified (nailed) with Him (Messiah), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The old man was nailed and sin was destroyed!
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified (nailed) with Christ (Messiah): nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ (Messiah) lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
We died. We were nailed. Our old life is gone. Messiah is our life!
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified (nailed) the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Our flesh nature was nailed. Our flesh nature was defeated. We should give no place to it, but give place to our new nature in Messiah.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus (Yeshua) Christ (Messiah), by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
We were nailed, and set apart from this world, and set apart for God’s glory.
God’s Name points to the Nailing on the cross. God’s ‘Name’ is used over 6,800 times in the Holy Scriptures. God has many important titles and God does have a name and His Name is important. In many English speaking translations of the Scriptures, the translators used the word “LORD”, in place of where God's personal name is written in the original Hebrew script. There are many different ideas about how God’s Name is pronounced. Some of those ideas are Yahweh, Yehweh, Yahuweh, Yehoweh, Jehovah, Yehovah, Yahveh, Yahuah or Yeheweh. Although, these ideas of the pronunciation of God’s name is very interesting, Scriptures tell us that, professing the name of Jesus (Yeshua) is the only name for salvation. Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men in which we can be saved. God’s Name basically means “to be” or “to exist”. God’s Holy Awesome Name, YHVH, means, ‘He shall be’, or ‘He shall become’. God’s name spoke of something and someone, that being God’s Son. God’s Name was revealing God’s Son. Every Hebrew letter has a meaning, in and of itself. The four Hebrew letters that make up God’s Name are: yud – heh – vav – heh and these letters – mean - - ‘Hand’ ~ ‘Behold’ ~ ‘Nail’ ~ ‘Behold’. The meaning of the letters of God’s Name speaks of the crucifixion and the nailing of Messiah’s hands. God’s Name points to grace and mercy. God’s Name points us to sacrificial love. God’s Name points us to Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah and the wonderful good news of salvation. Over and over and over again, over 6800 times, throughout the Scriptures it was declared, “yud - heh - vav - heh”, “He shall be”, He shall become”, “Hand, Behold, Nail, Behold”. Behold! Behold the Mystery! Messiah came to be! Messiah was nailed! Messiah became sin! Messiah became the ultimate sin sacrifice! Messiah was crucified! Messiah became our substitute! Messiah died! Messiah died for our sin! And on the third day, He became the First fruit from the dead! He rose from the dead, that we might have everlasting life! Messiah became Salvation! Messiah was nailed, that we might be bailed and rescued from hell. Messiah was nailed, for all that failed, that they might prevail.
God had a great plan of redemption for His creation and it involved wood and a couple of nails. With the wood and nails, everything changed forever.