#DailyDevotion Jesus Is Torah, Nailed To The Cross
Col. 2: 13Yes, you who were dead in sins and in your uncircumcised bodies He has made alive with Him when He forgave us all our sins, 14wiped out the Law’s demands that were against us and took them out of the way by nailing them to the cross. 15He stripped rulers and powers of their armor and made a public show of them as He triumphed over them in Christ. 16Then no one should say you are wrong in what you eat or drink or do on a festival, on the first of the month, or on a Sabbath. 17These have been a shadow of the coming things, but the reality is in Christ. 18No one who likes to be humble and worship angels should condemn you. Such a person goes on searching his visions and without a reason is puffed up by his fleshly mind. 19He doesn’t cling to the Head, Who by being in touch with the whole body nourishes it and by its ligaments binds it together to make it grow as God gives it growth.
Paul writes something similar in Ephesians, 2”You, too, were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you once followed the ways of this present world and the ruler whose power is in the air, the spirit who is now working in the people who disobey.” Now we should note verse thirteen follows verses eleven an twelve which recall their circumcision i.e their baptism in which they died and rose again in Christ. Here in verse thirteen he reminds them they were dead in sins, however Jesus has made them alive when he forgave them their sins, and ours. That forgiveness is tied to the aforementioned baptism. That is when we received his forgiveness, was made alive and circumcised our hearts.
Now Paul in verse fourteen ties our baptism to the cross of Jesus. There upon the cross Jesus wiped out the Law’s demands against us. As far as we are Christians who live by faith, the Law has nothing on us. The Law here is the whole Torah, everything in it as Paul shows in verse sixteen. It includes all of its commands, all of its threats and all of its punishments as well as all of its promises. They are all fulfilled by Jesus on the cross. His obedience completes the Law. His death completes the punishment of transgressing the Law. His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God completes the promises of keeping the Law. His life, death, resurrection and ascension fulfills all the ceremonial and sacrificial aspects of the Law, i.e. the Torah. Jesus has nailed the whole of the Torah to the cross. He is the Torah nailed to the cross. As such the Mosaic covenant has been completely abrogated and replaced with the New Testament in Jesus’ blood.
Verse fifteen is often seen as Jesus’ descent into hell. There he has stripped rulers, powers and authorities of their armor and their power and made a public display of them. You probably need to see some movies of ancient armies entering a city with the prisoners preceding them to get the idea. The thing is, the power of sin, the power of the devil is wrapped up in the Law. If the Law is nailed to the cross with all its demands, it can no longer accuse us of trespassing it. If it can’t accuse us neither can Satan or any of his horde. In Christ, in baptism, the Law, the Torah is complete, fulfilled, abrogated being nailed to the cross.
Now we cling to Christ who is our head. We cling to him by clinging to his word, particularly the promises of salvation. We cling to what he has done for us in his flesh. We cling to the sacraments, i.e. baptism and the Lord’s Supper where he distributes the benefits won by his work. As we meditate upon his word which tells us where we have failed and what Christ has done to save us, as it tells us how he gives us the Holy Spirit that we might live lives that holy and pleasing to God, he builds us up, strengthens us, and causes us and all believers to grow in Christ being conformed to his image and likeness.
Merciful God and Father, you gave the law so we may now what is good and pleasing in your sight yet we have not met its standards. You sent your son Jesus Christ to fulfill the law for us that it may no longer accuse us. Continually keep us connected to Christ our head that we may grow, be strengthened and live out his life in ours. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.