Difficult Texts
"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; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

A certain law of ordinances was nailed to the cross. This was the ceremonial law of types and shadows that pointed forward to the death of Jesus and that had no further meaning beyond the cross. This is why Paul said it was contrary to the Christian. The rent veil in the temple at the death of Christ (Matthew 27:51) indicated the end of that ordinance of animal sacrifices, and Ephesians 2:15 says that Jesus "abolished ... the law of commandments contained in ordinances."

This is why Paul wrote in Colossians 2:16,17 that we are no longer judged by the meat offerings, drink offerings, and sabbath days "which are a shadow of things to come." Take note that these are yearly and not the weekly Sabbath of the moral law. These shadowy sabbaths are described in Leviticus 23:24-37. They fell on certain set days of the month--a different day of the week each year, yet they were called sabbaths. But please observe in verses 37 and 38 how they were distinguished from the weekly Sabbath: "These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, every thing upon his day, beside the sabbaths of the Lord."

Now the mystery of Colossians 2:16 is completely cleared up. The law of the yearly sabbaths, with all its meat and drink offerings, was nailed to the cross, but the great Ten Commandment law with its weekly Sabbath was not affected by that "blotting out" of ordinances.

Sign Up for our Newsletter