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What was Nailed to the Cross? An Examination of Colossians 2

Colossians 2:13-17

Forgiven! . . . Free! . . . Not guilty!

The hope-inspiring message which the apostle Paul brought to Gentiles was that their record of sins had been cleansed!  It had been nailed to the cross.  They were forgiven!  No more did they need to labor under the burden of working their way to Paradise. 

Salvation by works is a doctrine held by all pagan religions.  Paul brought the joyous message that all of the "works" had been accomplished by the Saviour, Yahushua.  Now, salvation came by faith in Him alone!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel [good news] of Yahushua, for it is the power of Yahuwah to salvation for everyone who believes, . . . For in it the righteousness of Yahuwah is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (See Romans 1:16-17.) 

silhouette of a repentant man standing in front of a crossThose who exercise faith in Yahushua accept His death in place of their own as the price demanded for their sins.  Then, they can be "resurrected" with Him in newness of life.  No longer are they bound by their old sinful nature.  They are free in Yahushua!

I have been crucified with Yahushua; it is no longer I who live, but Yahushua lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Yahuwah, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (See Galatians 2:20.)

Here is the power of the gospel!  Repentant sinners can, through faith in their Saviour, have the record of their sins nailed to the cross and live a new life in Yahushua.  This truth transforms lives!

Satan knows that his enslaving control over lives is broken by the power in the gospel of Yahushua.  In order to keep this life-transforming truth from the world, Satan has taken one of the clearest statements explaining this process and, through mistranslation and misunderstanding, has enshrouded it in darkness.

This passage is found in Colossians 2:13-17:

"And you, being dead in your trespasses . . ., He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.  Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of . . . [Yahushua]."  (Colossians 2:13-17, NKJV)

Satan has misled multitudes into thinking that the "handwriting of requirements" spoken of in this passage which Yahushua has taken "out of the way" and nailed to the cross is the divine law.  They assume that the divine law is no longer binding and that the statutes and commandments regarding eating only clean meats and worshipping on the feasts, Sabbaths and New Moons has been "done away with."  Thus, Satan leads many to actually break the divine law because they believe this text teaches that the law is no longer binding.

man studying BibleHowever, a careful examination of the text reveals the error of this belief.

"What was this 'handwriting of requirements'?  These words are translated from the Greek phrase cheirographon tois dogmasinCheirographon means anything written by hand, but can more specifically apply to a legal document, bond or note of debt.  Dogmasin refers to decrees, laws or guidelines governing a person's conduct or way of life."  (Earl L. Henn, "Was God's Law Nailed to the Cross?")

The "requirements" that are "against" us cannot be the divine law, because the divine law is for us!  Paul himself states: "the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."  (Romans 7:12, KJV)

The law of Yahuwah is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of Yahuwah is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of Yahuwah are right rejoicing the heart.  More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.  (See Psalm 19:7-8, 10-11.)

Paul is proclaiming the good news of salvation in Colossians 2!  By the Saviour's death, the debt of guilt owed for sin is wiped clean! Sin is the "handwriting of requirements" and it has truly been "against us."

When a person was crucified, a list of the crimes committed was also nailed to the cross.  Pilate inscribed Yahushua's crime: King of the Jews.  As our King and as our Saviour, Yahushua received the punishment for our sins. 

"He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors."  (Isaiah 53:12, NKJV)

 

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of . . . [Yahuwah] in Him."  (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV)

What was Nailed to the Cross? The Record of Our Sins!

All who accept the death of the Saviour for their sins, have the record of their sins "taken away" and "nailed to the cross." HalleluYAH!

All who accept the death of the Saviour for their sins, have the record of their sins "taken away" and "nailed to the cross."

Yahushua also suffered for us . . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.  (See 1 Peter 2:21, 24.)

Colossians 2 presents a very beautiful and profound truth: the doctrine of justification.

"And you, being dead in your trespasses . . ., He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.  And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."  (Colossians 2:13, 14, NKJV)

The "it" that was nailed to the cross is not the "holy, just and good" divine law.  What was nailed to the cross and "wiped out" was the record of trespasses and sins!  When the sinful record was wiped clean, Satan's power over lives was broken!

"Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."  (Colossians 2:15, NKJV) 

This is good news today, and it was good news to the Colossians. 

Colossæ was a pagan city.  Their religion was one of salvation by works.  They taught that perfection could be achieved only through extreme self-denial and abstinence from pleasure.  They believed that anyone claiming to be religious should practice the austerity they practiced.  This influenced the young Christians in Colossæ who had previously been pagans.  Instead of trusting fully in the merits of their crucified and risen Saviour, the Colossians were returning to a self-imposed denial, assuming it to be a requirement for salvation.

Paul warned them against trying to "work their way to Heaven." 

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Yahushua.  (See Colossians 2:8.)

Self-punishment is never required by Yahuwah in order to be saved.  Paul encouraged the Colossian believers to be free in Yahushua and not influenced by the self-imposed abstinence of the pagans around them.

Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Yahushua.  Let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility . . . and not holding fast to the Head [Yahushua] . . . (See Colossians 2:16-19.)

"But the substance is of Yahushua" is a phrase that has been mistranslated.

"A literal translation of the last few words of Colossians 2:17 reads, 'but the body of Christ [Yahushua].'  What is the body of . . . [Yahushua]?  1 Corinthians 12:27 supplies the answer: 'Now you are the body of . . . [Yahushua], and members individually.'  The body of . . . [Yahushua] is the church!"  (Earl L. Henn, "Are the Sabbath and Holy Days Done Away?")

three crosses at sunsetPaul taught the Colossians that they should not allow the criticism of the surrounding pagans to dictate their practices, but that the ekklesia should make such judgments.  They were now free of the pagan philosophies and could live a balanced life in Yahushua.

The reason why we use Ekklesia and not church when referring to Yahuwah's faithful in WLC content is because the word "church" does not accurately convey the meaning of the original Greek, "Ekklesia." Throughout the New Testament, Ekklesia refers to the Called Out Ones. The word "church," which emphasizes a group, is therefore an erroneous translation and should never have been used. Christians are literally the Called Out Ones. The true followers of Yahushua are indeed the Called Out Ones from the organized denominations and religions of fallen Babylon. When the call to flee Babylon has been heard, none are to again return to Babylonian churches and forms of religion.

Therefore, if you died with Yahushua, from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations - 'Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,' which all concern things . . . according to the commandments and doctrines of men?  (See Colossians 2:20-22.)

No longer do any need to cling to man-made traditions to work their way to Heaven.  Yahushua's death on the cross has forgiven the debt owed by sinners.  The record of your sins has been nailed to the cross. 

"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. . . . [Yahuwah] has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  (Isaiah 53:5, 6, NKJV)

You are forgiven!  You are free!


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