The Law Is Abolished

Jesus on the Cross John 3-16

Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace. (Ephesians 2:15)

The Law Is Abolished

The word “abolish” is a transitive verb meaning to put an end to something such as a law. In the New Testament Greek language it is katargeō “to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively: – abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary). In almost all the various Bible translations, “abolished” is found in our text. What Paul is describing in the great letter about the church is the end of the Law of Moses. Jesus came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill the Law. The cross is the apex of that plan to show the Jew could not save himself by having the Law and the Gentile could not save himself apart from law. There is nothing more clearly stated in the New Testament than the end of the Law of Moses.

Peace for all men came when Jesus died on the cross. The Gentiles were measured by an Abrahamic type faith that allowed them to find justification much like the great patriarch Abram. From Adam until the cross all the people of the world separated from the covenant of Israel were justified by the grace of God and His mercy. Jonah preached to the city of Nineveh showing the Lord’s compassion to the Gentiles. The people of Nineveh repented and God withheld His hand of destruction against them. Salvation before the cross did not come solely from the Law of Moses. This law was given only to the Jews as the fulfillment of the seed promise made in the Garden of Eden. Less the same tragic malady fall upon men as it did in the days of Noah, God provided the Law of Moses through the nation of Israel to bring His Son into the world. The Law of Moses was contingent upon the obedience of the Jews. They failed and the Lord withdrew His blessing upon them promising to bring a new covenant with the coming of the Anointed One.

Jesus was a Jew and lived under the Law of Moses. He said during the sermon on the mount He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill the Law. His life was perfect as He literally never broke a single command of God. When He died on the cross, He took away the curse of the Law because He was able to do what no man had ever been able to do – live a perfect life. Jesus became the curse and the sacrifice. At the cross the Son of God abolished the Law of Moses and removed the guilt of the Gentiles who lived apart from the Law. There is only one name that all men (Jew & Gentile) can be saved and that name was inscribed above the head of Jesus on the cross.

When a person says the Law of Moses is still binding today – they in actual fact suggest that Jesus did not live a perfect life. The two are not compatible. If He lived a perfect life the Law could not stand because there is no foundation and the curse of the Law is removed. Believing the Law of Moses is still in force (in any form) denies that Jesus is the Son of God and that He lived a life of sinless perfection. Anyone seeking eternal life must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He lived sinless His whole life. This holds true to the keeping of the Law of Moses. Refusing to acknowledge the Law of Moses (all of it) was abolished denies the promise of eternal life and will find that person in jeopardy of salvation. Too many people want to dabble with a little bit of the Law of Moses and hold to Jesus with the other hand. Being crucified with Christ both hands are nailed to one cross and that cross is not the Law. It is the blood bought covenant of Jesus Christ. The Law of Moses is given for man to learn of the goodness and severity of the Lord as an example and a help to bring them to Christ. Salvation is in Jesus Christ – not Moses.

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