Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross?

by Clem Thurman
via Gospel Minutes, Vol. 56, No. 20, May 18, 2007

QUESTION: I understand that the Old Testament was "nailed to the cross" when Jesus died.  Would that also include the Ten Commandments?  If so, what about idolatry, murder, and the other moral commandments?

ANSWER: The first listing of the Ten Commandments is found in Exodus 20:1-17.  The subject of each, and similar commandments are also listed in the  New Testament.  Many other passages on these particular subjects can also be found listed in both Testaments.  Note these passages:

Subject Matter New Testament Passages
No other gods Matthew 4:10; Acts 17:22-30
Idolatry forbidden I Corinthians 10:14; I John 5:21
Do not take God's name in vain I Timothy 6:1; Colossians 3:17
Keep the Sabbath day holy None
Honor your mother and father Matthew 15:4-9; Ephesians 6:1-3
Do not murder Matthew 5:21-22; Revelation 21:8
Do not commit adultery Galatians 5:19; I Corinthians 6:9-20
Do not steal I Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 4:28
Do not bear false witness Matthew 5:22ff; Colossians 3:9
Do not covet Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5

When God gave the law through Moses, the Ten Commandments were only part of that law.  If you will read Exodus, chapters 21-24, you will see that penalties were prescribed for violations of that law.  For idolatry, murder, adultery, profaning the Sabbath -- the penalty was death.  For theft, false testimony and other offenses, the penalty depended upon the result of the offense.  But, with every one of the commandments, the teaching concerning those penalties could not be isolated from the commands.  If the commands of Exodus 20 applied to us today, then the penalties of Exodus 21, 22, and 23 would also apply.

The Old Testament was done away in Christ, superceded by the New Testament (that of Jesus).  The old law was only designed by God, to last "till the seed should come" and "the seed was Christ" Galatians 3:16,19.  The Old Testament was removed so that the New Testament could become effective (Romans 7:1-7; II Corinthians 3:1-18; Ephesians 2:12-16; Hebrews 7:12; 8:8-13; 9:12-17; 10:9,10; etc.).  And it is clearly stated by the inspired apostle Paul, regarding the law of Moses, that Christ has, "Blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and He hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14).

Some contend that "the Ten Commandments" were not taken away.  But notice what the Scripture says next: "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's" (Colossians 2:16,17).  All these were part of the law that was nailed to the cross, and that includes the law of the Sabbath day. You will also find one to the ten commandments listed in Romans 7:1-7 as part of the law that was removed.  And in II Corinthians 3, the entire chapter deals with the law "written and engraven on stones" being done away.  That could hardly refer to any other that the Ten Commandments because they were the ones written and engraven on stones.

We live under the New Testament, which was established on and by the death of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17).  Under this law, there are not "holy days" (Colossians 2:16,17; Galatians 4:9-11).  The first day of the week (Sunday), did not replace the Sabbath, nor is it the Christian Sabbath.  Under the gospel of Christ, the first day of the week was never called a day of rest, nor was it called a holy day.   We are told that the disciples of Jesus came together "on the first day of the week to break bread" to observe the Lord's Supper in remembrance of His death and suffering until He comes again.  (Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 11:23-28; 16:1,2).  Deuteronomy 5:1-21 tells us that the Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, were never given to any Gentile but only to the Jews that were brought out of Egyptian bondage and their offspring.  But the ones making all the fuss over keeping the Ten Commandments in our day and time are Gentiles who never were under any of the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments.