“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.”
“And He has taken it out of the way”
Jesus fulfilled the law (Romans 8:2). He took away its debt. He disannulled the obligation of the law. Jesus discharged us from the debt of the law (Galatians 3:13).
The Greek tense for “has taken” indicates that God permanently took away the indictment. He took it away at a point in the past, and the result continues perpetually (perfect, active, indicative). Jesus personally carried the judgment of the law against us. God will never judge us again.
Jesus lifted our sin and carried it away. Since Jesus permanently took away our sins, God will never judge us for our sins again. He will never make an issue of our sins again. Instead, the Father only makes an issue out of Jesus’ work upon the cross.
“having nailed it to the cross”
God did away with the judgment of the law by the cross (Galatians 3:25; Hebrews 7:12). The Father publicly nailed Jesus to the cross as a certificate of debt was fixed in a public place as a notice of liability. Legalism is, therefore, contrary to the Christian life because the believer stands dead to the law in Christ.
God not only cancels the ordinances of the law, but he also removes the ordinance itself from leveling any further charges against us. The nailing up of the removed thing was prior to (aorist participle) the taking out of the way. The nailing of the removed thing was the triumph to the cross.
The death of Christ on the cross not only rendered the law ineffective but it gave a public demonstration that the victory was complete. As the law hangs fast to the cross, it is publicly apparent to all that the law has no more demands upon us. God fixed the law to the cross with nails.
God had a list of charges against us based on the law. God wiped out the indictment against us on the cross. He crucified the accusation itself. This freedom from retribution is unadulterated grace.
Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross wiped out the indictment against us. God wiped it out as if it never existed. He executed it on the cross. When the Father nailed Christ to the cross, he fixed the penalty of the law there as well.
The cross is of infinite value to the person who takes advantage of its work.
God will never judge our sins again. Jesus lifted our sin and carried it away. Sin was permanently and personally judged on the cross by Jesus’ death for our sin. We will never face our sin again under the law of double jeopardy. The law of double jeopardy means that it is wrong for a person to pay for a crime twice. If Jesus paid for our sins, it is unfair that we would have to pay for them as well. God removes sin permanently. The only issue left is what we will do with the work of Christ on the cross. Have you received the work of Christ on the cross as sufficient suffering for your sin?
I am really enjoying your study of Colossians. This passage brings to my mind something that I have trouble understanding. Since our sins have been forgiven and will not be held against us, how does this reconcile with other scriptures that say we will be held accountable for every idle word. What is the judgment spoken of in Revelation that asserts all men will stand in? I would appreciate your insight.
Karen, there are two kinds of forgiveness: 1) the forgiveness that Jesus provided by dying on the cross for our sins. That forgiveness is permanent and is the point of this passage. 2) There is a temporal forgiveness while we live in time (1 Jn 1:9). We can claim forgiveness for sins after we became Christians by applying 1 Jn 1:9 to our sins as Christians.
Another issue that pertains to this subject is reward. God will either reward or not reward based on how we live in time on earth.