Ordinances Nailed to Cross
Where in the Bible does it state that the ceremonial law was nailed to the cross?
I believe this is the passage you are probably referring to:
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 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;
However, I need to make a couple of observations. Nothing is said here specifically about ceremonial law. The idea that the law is divided into ceremonial law, civil law, and moral law, may help explain different aspects of the law of Moses. But we need to understand that this division is manmade. Scripture nowhere makes this particular division of the law. And, in practice, it is not always easy to determine which is which. In some chapters of Exodus through Deuteronomy, the three are greatly mixed up. Since there is no specific distinction in scripture concerning ceremonial law, no verse will say specifically that the ceremonial law is nailed to the cross.
So, what is nailed to the cross? It is the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. This refers to the condemning aspect of the law and it would include all of the law that demands obedience. Romans 3:20 states that "by the law is the knowledge of sin." It is this condemning aspect of the law that "worketh wrath" (Romans 4:15). Through the law, "the scripture hath concluded all under sin" (Galatians 3:22). What was nailed to the cross was the condemnation of the law. The way this condemnation was removed was through the payment that Jesus made on the cross for our sins. He satisfied the demands that the law made for our judgment. Isaiah 53:11 refers to this when it says of the Father's relationship to the Son: "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." Jesus satisfied the Father's demand that sin must be judged. The accusations that the law made against me were nailed to the cross where Christ settled the account forever.
Now you may ask, am I saying that we are required to follow the ceremonies of the Old Testament? Not at all. consider the following passage:
Colossians 2:16 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: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
The ceremonies of the law were a shadow that pointed to the coming of Jesus Christ. As a shadow, they have great value. But now that the body (Christ Himself) has come, we are not required to continue practicing the shadow (see also Hebrews 10:1). We are "free from the law" (Romans 8:2) in its ceremonies and regulations because we serve a higher law--the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)--by the power of the Holy Spirit.