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Verses

89. What was Abolished by Christ

1. HOW did Christ’s death on the cross affect the whole sacrificial system?
“After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off. . . . And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Dan. 9:26,27.

2. What did Christ nail to His cross?
“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.” Col. 2:14.

3. What did He thus abolish?
“Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Eph. 2:15,16.

4. To what did the ordinances pertain that were thus abolished?
“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.” Col. 2:16,17.

5. From what statement do we learn that these ordinances related to the sacrificial system?
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Heb. 10:1.

6. What occurred at the time of the crucifixion which indicated that the typical system had been taken away by Christ?
“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” Matt. 27:51.

7. In what language is this clearly stated?
“Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God, He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.” Heb. 10:9.

8. What is the first which He took away?
“Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law,” Verse 8.

NOTES.-“He taketh away the first.” The connection plainly indicates that what Christ took away was ceremonialism as expressed in the typical service of sacrifices and offerings, and that what He established, by giving Himself to do the will of God, was the experience of doing the will of God on the part of the believer. Thus He made possible the answer to the petition which He taught His disciples, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Instead of abolishing the moral law, Christ made such provision that every believer in Him may become a doer of that law.
“The word first here refers to sacrifices and offerings, He takes them away; that is, He shows that they are of no value in removing sin. He states their inefficacy, and declares His purpose to abolish them. ‘That He may establish the second’– to wit, the doing of the will of God. . .
If they had been efficacious, there would have been no need of His coming to make an atonement.”-Dr. Albert Barnes, on Heb, 10:9.

9. In what statement to the woman at Jacob’s well did Jesus intimate that the ceremonial system of worship would be abolished?
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” John 4:21.

NOTE.-The worship of the Jews centered in the typical system, or ritual service, of the temple, “at Jerusalem,” while the Samaritans had instituted a rival service “in this mountain,” Mt. Gerizim. In His statement to the woman of Samaria, Jesus therefore indicated that the time was at hand when the whole typical system would be done away.

10. What test cast arose in the time of the apostles over this question?
“And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1.

11. What requirement was made by these teachers from Judea concerning the ceremonial law?
“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” Verse 24.

12. After conferring over this matter, what decision was reached by the apostles?
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” Verses 28,29.

13. What charge was made against Stephen concerning his attitude toward the ceremonial law?
“And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.” Acts 6:13,14.

14. What similar charge was brought against the apostle Paul?
“This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.” Acts 18:13.

15. What statement did Paul make concerning his faith and manner of worship?
“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Acts 24:14.

NOTE.-The charge against Stephen and Paul was not based upon any violation of the moral law, but upon their teaching concerning the ceremonial law; and Paul’s admission that he was guilty of what they called heresy meant simply that he differed from them as to the obligation to observe any longer the precepts of the law which was imposed upon them “until the time of reformation.” The simple fact that such charges were preferred against these able exponents and teachers of the gospel shows that in their view the ceremonial law had been abolished by the death of Christ, and that like the giving of the moral law at Sinai it was designed to lead men to Christ.

16. What is one of the offices of the moral law? “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Gal. 3:24.

17. How is this same teaching expressed in another place?
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Rom. 10:4.

NOTE.-Murdock’s translation of the Syriac New Testament renders this passage: “For Messiah is the aim of the law, for righteousness, unto everyone that believeth in Him.”

18. In what statement is there a similar use of the word end?
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9. See also 1 Tim. 1:5; James 5:11.

NOTE.-In the ceremonial law there was “a shadow of good things to come,” a type of the mediatorial work of Christ, our great High Priest. The moral law makes known sin, places the sinner under condemnation, and forces him to Christ for pardon and cleansing. The ceremonial law was abolished by the work of Christ, but the moral law was established by both His life and death.

19. What testimony did Christ bear concerning His relation to the law and the prophets?
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the
prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matt. 5:17.

NOTE.-“Christ kept the law. If He had ever broken it, He would have had to die for Himself; but because He was a Lamb without spot or blemish, His atoning death is efficacious for you and me. He had no sin of His own to atone for, and so God accepted His sacrifice. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. We are righteous in God’s sight because the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ is unto all and upon all them that believe.”- “Weighed and Wanting,” by D. L. Moody, pages 123,124. See also notes in Chapters 82., 83. and 86. of this book.