The sacrificial system, committed to Adam, was also perverted by his descendants. Superstition, idolatry, cruelty, and licentiousness corrupted the simple and significant service that God had appointed. Through long intercourse with idolaters the people of Israel had mingled many heathen customs with their worship; therefore the Lord gave them at Sinai definite instruction concerning the sacrificial service. After the completion of the tabernacle He communicated with Moses from the cloud of glory above the mercy seat, and gave him full directions concerning the system of offerings and the forms of worship to be maintained in the sanctuary. The ceremonial law was thus given to Moses, and by him written in a book. But the law of Ten Commandments spoken from Sinai had been written by God Himself on the tables of stone, and was sacredly preserved in the ark.
There are many who try to blend these two systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear. The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met anti-type in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease.
"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 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, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." Daniel 9:26, 27.
"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;" Colossians 2:14.
"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:" Ephesians 2:15, 16.
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Colossians 2:16, 17.
Note: The sabbaths here mentioned were a shadow of things to come, not the commemoration of something. The seventh day Sabbath is a commemoration of Creation, so this text cannot be talking of it. These sabbaths were part of the ceremonial law. They were called ceremonial sabbaths or holy convocations and the restrictions of work upon these days was the same as upon the seventh day Sabbath. See Leviticus 16:29-31; 23:2-8, 24, 25, 31, 32, 38, 39. The word sabbath means "intermission" or a temporary suspension of activity, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.
"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." Hebrews 10:1.
"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;" Matthew 27:51.
"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;"
"Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." Hebrews 10:9.
"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." Acts 15:1.
"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:" Acts 15:24.
"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." Acts 15:28, 29.
"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
Acts 6:13, 14.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matthew 5:17.
Note: Christ kept the law, thereby fulfilling it. 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 effective 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 every one that believeth. We are righteous in God's sight because the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ, is placed upon all them that believe on Him.
Commitment:- I believe that the law that Christ abolished by His crucifixion was the law of ceremonies for the sanctuary, not the Ten Commandments.
© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated
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