The Old Testament Ceremonial Law Fulfilled by Christ
& Disannulled for Christians
Section #1: Fulfilled – Disannulled – Destroyed?
Fulfilled – Disannulled – Destroyed?
The Old Testament Ceremonial Law was fulfilled by Christ and disannulled for Christians, but it was not destroyed! Vast amounts of scripture have been devoted to expound the mystery of redemption pertaining to Old Testament Law: its fulfillment and disannulment; but many multitudes of so called “Christians” would rather scratch-out the glorious masterpiece of the New Testament by summarizing the relevance and life-application of Old Testament dynamics into one simple word: abolishment. My reader, do you know the difference between fulfillment, disannulment, and abolishment?
“Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-19
With profound and confrontational clarity, the Lord Jesus said, “I am not come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). With telling forthrightness, it’s a statement of fact. The Lord Jesus is not seeking abolishment but fulfillment. Stemming from this point the Lord vindicated the relevance of the seemingly insignificant commandments given in the Old Testament (“the least commandments”-Matt.5:19). We can conclude, therefore, based upon Matthew 5:17-19 as a contextual backdrop: however the Lord Jesus Christ did fulfill and disannul the Old Testament Law from the 1st century until now, “the least commandments” of the Old Testament Law still bear significance – to be taught (“whosoever shall…teach them”-Matt.5:19), to be kept in unbroken obedience (“whosoever shall do…them”-Matt.5:19), for the status of greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven (“the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven”-Matt.5:19)! This being the case, my reader, let us shun ungodly simplicity and give ourselves to all necessary study, according to the scriptures (Isa. 28:10, John 8:31-32, 2 Tim. 2:15); let us implore the Lord for grace so that, peradventure, in our latter end, what befell the early disciples might befall us: “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Lk. 24:45).
Old Testament Law can be divided into two primary veins, the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law. Jesus Christ was and is the embodied fulfillment of the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law of the Old Testament, on earth and Heaven, from the moment of His incarnation unto His bodily resurrection and ascension into glory. Moreover, at the 2nd Coming of Christ, the Lord will continue to fulfill both aspects of the Law in the Millennial Reign and thereafter, throughout the endless ages of eternity, in the New Jerusalem located in the New World (Rev. 20:1-6, 21:1-2). Jesus Christ did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it, and the very infrastructure of eternal redemption does prophetically declare it!
The Moral Law
“For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the Righteousness of the Law [the Moral Law] might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:3-4
“Love is the fulfilling of the Law” – Romans 13:10 [Gal. 5:14]
By living a life of moral and sinless perfection, Jesus Christ was, is, and is to come: the embodiment of the Moral Law. Jesus Christ was sinless the entire duration of His humanity so that He might become a propitiatory sacrifice on behalf of fallen humanity; “For in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Jesus Christ is still living-out the performance of the Moral Law on earth today – in and through redeemed humanity (“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me”-John 15:4) – and as much as Christians learn to abide in Christ, howbeit imperfectly, they are thereby enabled “so to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). Having begun redemption by the volition of His own choice in each individual Christian’s life, Jesus Christ promises to persevere it unto its consummation. Speaking of Christians, it was written, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ” (Php. 1:6). This means that, in the time to come, Christians will experience the glory of sinless perfection for all eternity (1 Jn. 3:2, 1 Cor. 13:10, Php. 3:12, 1 Thess. 4:17, John 17:5, 22, 24). Our communion within Christ’s sinless perfection is made possible by and progressively experienced through His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, glorification, return, and consummation. Speaking in reference to sinless perfection, Paul said, “not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ Jesus” (Php. 3:12).
Jesus Christ’s moral perfection was ceremonially significant on this wise: His resurrection from the dead on the third day signaled to all mankind the indisputable truth that Jesus Christ was, firstly, completely innocent and legally sinless before God the Father (testifying to this fact, the Lord Jesus could not die but rose again on the third day - “it was not possible that He should be holden of it” -Acts2:24 – a thing which is impossible for guilty sinners because, it was written, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die”-Ezek.18:4), and, secondarily, because Jesus Christ was sinless and yet, experienced death, He was a sin-burdened human body upon which was laid the entire weight of human guilt, into which was legally imputed the whole record of human wretchedness, a human body which was ceremonially offered (of His own will upon an earthly altar called, The Cross) and ceremonially accepted of God the Father as an atoning sacrifice (a wrath-absorbing sacrifice), testified to be so, because, if Jesus Christ did not bear the sin of mankind on Calvary’s Tree it would have been impossible for Him to die. Scripturally speaking, the only foreseeable reason death comes upon all men is that, all men have sinned, therefore when Jesus Christ died it was on behalf of sinful men (1 Cor. 15:54-57). Therefore now, when any sinful man believes on Jesus Christ… namely, the death that He died to sin, this man will experience salvation via the life that Jesus Christ lives (Rom. 6:1-14)! In His own words, Jesus Christ said, “whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die” (John 11:26)! He said, “I am The Resurrection and The Life” (John 11:25)! Therefore, by necessity, all mankind who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ will die in their sins (John 8:24); seeing that they did not regard the death that Christ died to sin, they will die in their sins. [For more information on how Christians are required to live-out the Moral Law right now, according to scripture, see A Regulator of Church Purity: The Moral Law. For more information on how Christ did not come to reform the Moral Law, see “The Sermon on the Mount”. ]
The Ceremonial Law
While many aspects of the aforementioned fulfillments of the Moral Law are gloriously apparent to true Christians, there is a pervading ignorance of the Ceremonial Law. Meanwhile, Christian’s attempt to live-out the personality of God depicted by the Moral Law without realizing the significance of the Ceremonial Law: namely, how Jesus Christ did, does, and will fulfill and disannul the Ceremonial Law.
Having been incarnated as a Jew into the tribe of Judah as the seed of David, Jesus Christ walked-out the Old Testament Ceremonial Law in all available and necessary means to fulfill all righteousness during his lifetime, according to the flesh. Howbeit not all of Jesus’ 33 years on earth were walked-out in the same way, apparently. There is, no doubt, a radical change in the life of Jesus after He was baptized at the age of 30 years old. Henceforth, this marked the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry to represent, proclaim, and become the fulfillment of all righteousness in unprecedented ways and by superior powers, far exceeding all that was available in the Old Covenant. This Man – endowed with the Holy Spirit & heralded by God the Father – entered the mantle of New Covenant glory and became the stand-alone Author of a New Faith, a New Way, and a New Testament which would fulfill all the righteousness, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament. Upon baptism and thereafter the Lord Jesus still fulfilled the Moral and Ceremonial Laws of the Old Testament but, mind you, it was in unprecedented ways which were not formerly engaged by Christ from birth until baptism. There is much to be said about this radical turning-point in the life of Jesus, but let it suffice the reader for now to understand the mystery of it all in parabolic language: “No man putteth a piece of New Cloth unto an Old Garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put New Wine into Old Bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put New Wine into New Bottles, and both are preserved” (Matt. 9:16-17). This parabolic statement given by Jesus answers for the conduct which He exhibited during the three years of public ministry which led Him to The Cross (a life-span of Moral & Ceremonial Law fulfillments which we shall soon survey in great detail). Before studying the relevance of Jesus’ earthly ministry we need to understand the grand scheme of redemption with respect to Jesus’ heavenly ministry.
After being offered to God upon an earthly altar called The Cross, the scheme of redemption was not yet complete. No, rather, it had just begun! The death of Christ on The Cross was the first step in the grand scheme of salvation which was yet to be accomplished via a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec (Heb. 5:6) in a Heavenly Environment which included a Temple and all associated instruments for the performance of an unprecedented ceremony. When Jesus Christ was fastened to The Cross by nails as a propitiatory sacrifice, this was but the beginning of this ceremony. When Christ said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), the oppression and affliction of becoming a sacrifice was completely accomplished (“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, and yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth”-Isa.53:7), but the ceremonial application of this blood-atonement must sprinkle the Throne of Heaven which resides inside of a Heavenly Temple (Lev. 16:14-15, Heb. 9:19-24, Rev. 7:15, 11:19). These things must proceed in Heaven after the similitude of the High Priest, Aaron, who dared not enter into the Holy Place of the earthly Tabernacle without “a young bullock for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering” (see Lev. 16:2-4). Even so, Christ, “by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 10:26), was finally enabled to enter into “Heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God for us” (Heb. 10:24)! Finally enabled, I say, because theretofore a human body had never entered such a place to perform such a ceremony on behalf of the rest of condemned humanity! It was necessary for Jesus Christ to become a human that He might suffer and die, this is true, but also that He might be perfected and credentialed as a “Merciful and Faithful High Priest”!
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:9-18
Upon being perfected and credentialed in this magnificent way, Jesus Christ assumed the role of a resurrected God-Man: “the Firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18, Rev. 1:5). “In 1 Co_15:20, Christ is called the first-fruits of them that slept; and here, the chief and first-born from the dead; he being the first that ever resumed the natural life, with the employment of all its functions, never more to enter the empire of death, after having died a natural death, and in such circumstances as precluded the possibility of deception” (Adam Clarke). He was raised from the dead on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4), He appeared unto his disciples and over 500 others over a space of 40 days (Acts 1:2-3), He spoke of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God in a glorified human body which still hungered and thirsted (Lk. 24:41-43, John 21:5-6, Acts 1:2-3), a body by which He ate and drank alongside his disciples just as other humans do (Acts 10:41), “until the day in which He was taken up”, scripture states (Acts 1:2). What day? The day of the Lord’s ascension into Heaven! Jesus Christ had theretofore been resurrected, but not ascended. Speaking of this, Christ disallowed Mary to touch him after she had just been wandering among the graveyard (a thing which would be improper and offensive, considering the circumstances of Jewish Law and, furthermore, the ceremonies the Lord was soon to perform in His human body; see John 20:17, Lev. 10:6-7, 21:10-12, Num. 19:16-22).
You see, my reader, while the body of the Lord Jesus was fixated on The Cross, the ceremony of salvation could not be accomplished. While Christ did reside among earth-dwellers after his resurrection, the ceremony could not be performed. He must – in human body – pass into the Heavens via the ascension (Heb. 4:1, Acts 1:2-11), enter the Gates beyond which a human body had never traversed (Ps. 24:7-10, Heb. 9:8), walk through the courts and into the Holy Place of the first and original Temple not made by human hands (Heb. 6:19-20, 8:2) – a Heavenly and Holy Place never before tread by the soles of human feet (1 Cor. 15:20-23, Acts 26:23, Rev. 1:5)! The ceremony of salvation that Christ was to perform on behalf of humanity was not located on earth, but in Heaven. According to scripture, it was necessary that a High Priest of an Eternal Priesthood called, the order of Melchisedec (Ps. 110:4, Heb. 5:6, 10, 7:1-21), enter into the Heavenly Courts of the Most Holy Temple to sprinkle the “heavenly things” with the blood of Jesus Christ, The Sacrifice (Heb. 9:19-24). Seeing that this was on behalf of mankind, this Priest and the Sacrifice must also be a Man… and until “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” did prevail, humanity was left without the hope of redemption (Rev. 5:5)!
“the Way into the Holiest of all” – Heb. 9:8
After the Lord Jesus did prevail, He became “The Forerunner” behind which all humanity can follow. Positioned in Heaven right now in His human frame with its scars and all, “He ever liveth to make intercession” (Heb. 7:25), therefore because He “passed into the Heavens” …so can we (Heb. 4:14-16)! Having such a High Priest over the House of God (Heb. 4:1, 10:21-22), redeemed humanity has “boldness to enter into The Holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19, 9:8)! Having accomplished the full ceremony of salvation which was expected of Him in the Heavenly Arena (the reality of the typological similitude declared by the Old Testament Ceremonial Law; Col. 2:9-17, Heb. 8:1-6, 9:23-24), it was written that Jesus Christ did, last of all, sit down on the Right Hand of the Majesty on High (Heb. 1:3, 8:1, Php. 2:6-11). With the entire ceremony accomplished whereby mankind could be fully redeemed, the mode of redemption did thenceforth begin: The Kingdom of God. This mode of redemption began with the enthronement of Jesus Christ, the seed of David (a Human), as King and Lord of visible and invisible creation (Php. 2:9-11), soon to appear on earth yet again (Heb. 9:28, 2 Tim. 4:1, Rev. 19:11-16)! Upon this enthronement, The Kingdom of God began, and after this enthronement the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Day of Pentecost to mark the beginning of New Testament redemption on earth (Acts 2:33; i.e. The Kingdom of God on earth).
The Ceremony of Salvation
(1st) The Crucifixion – The Earthly Altar (John 3:12-18)
(2nd) The Resurrection – The Human Body for a Priesthood & Kingship (Heb. 2:9-18, Php. 2:9-11)
(3rd) The Ascension – The Forerunning Redeemer & 2nd Adam (Heb. 6:19-20, 1 Cor. 15:22-23, Rom. 5:12-21)
Firstly: The Ceremonial Purging of the Heavenly Things (Heb. 1:3, 9:23)
Secondarily: The Final & Everlasting Enthronement (Heb. 1:3, 8:1, Acts 2:33, Ezek. 34:23-24, 37:24-25, Hos. 3:5, Jer. 23:5, 30:9, 33:15)
The Old Testament passed away because it lacked eternality and sufficiency, specifically because its ceremonies were earthly instead of heavenly (for the earthliness and carnality of the OT see Heb. 9:9, 10:1-4, 22, Gal. 4:3, 9, Col. 2:20), but these shadows do declare and explain the attributes of NT realities (which are heavenly and eternal), realities which are unfathomable without their shadows (see Col. 2:9-17, Heb. 8:1-6, 9:23-24). When Moses ascended Mount Sanai to receive the edicts of Old Testament Ceremonial Law, he saw the Heavenly Temple/Tabernacle, Heavenly Altars, Heavenly Incense Censers, Heavenly Instruments, Fixtures, and Furniture, Heavenly Cherubims, and a Heavenly Ark/Throne, and upon seeing all of these things the Lord instructed Moses to manufacture an exact pattern (shadow) on earth. In reference to manufacturing and establishing an earthly shadow of the heavenly figures, the Lord said to Moses, “look that thou makest them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the Mount” (Ex. 24:40). Moses saw the glorious and Heavenly Scenery in which Jesus Christ would eventually performed the ceremony of salvation on behalf of humanity, just as Aaron performed it on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16). Speaking on this wise, the writer of Hebrews affirmed,
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the Throne of the Majesty in the Heavens; A Minister of the Sanctuary, and of the True Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if He were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the Law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of Heavenly Things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” – Hebrews 8:1-5
This passage confirms the purpose of the Law in comparison to the Heavenly Things whereabouts the Lord Jesus does now Minister. This is, yet again, confirmed by the writer of Hebrews in another place, saying, “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). Yet again, in Hebrews 9:9, the word “figure” is used exactly as the word “shadow” has been cited and used:
“While the first Tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure [a shadow] for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and diverse washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a Greater and More Perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood he entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth the purifying of flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.” – Heb. 9:8-14
All this being affirmed and confirmed, let us understand that the Old Testament is a Covenant agreement between God and man via earthly shadow – shadows which were passing away – but the New Testament is an agreement between God and man via the heavenly realities (the substance that the earthly shadows declared). The difference between the two is emphasized in one point, foremost of all: that which is earthly is by essence, passing away, but that which is heavenly is by essence, eternal and undying. Hebrews chapters 7-9 are devoted to make plain this glorious attribute of the New Covenant, that its eternality is the victory of the “reformation” (Heb. 9:10). That now Christ, who is our Perfection (Heb. 10:14), Sacrifice (Heb. 10:12), Intercessor (Heb. 7:25), Priest (Heb. 5:6), and King (Heb. 1:8; Lk. 1:33), is eternal in His Person and His Work, and therefore the Covenant agreement is eternal.
An Earthly Environment
A Heavenly Environment
A Lesser and Imperfect Tabernacle
Inferior “Worldly Sanctuary” –Heb. 9:1
“A Better Covenant” – Heb. 8:6
“A Better Testament” – Heb. 7:22
“Upon Better Promises” – Heb. 8:6
“A Better Hope” – Heb. 7:19
“Better Sacrifices” – Heb. 9:23
“A More Excellent Ministry” – Heb. 8:6
“The True Tabernacle” – Heb. 8:2
“A Greater and More Perfect Tabernacle”-Heb. 9:11
“The Sanctuary…which the Lord pitched, and not man” – Heb. 8:2
“Heavenly Things” – Heb. 9:23
“some Better Thing for us” – Heb. 11:40
The Old Testament is found “faulty” (Heb. 8:7-8) for all the reasons above, and more - every reason centering around the earthliness and carnality of the Old Testament. The “law made nothing perfect” (Heb. 7:19) because it was a “carnal commandment” (Heb. 7:16) of “weakness and un-profitableness” (Heb. 7:18; Note: compare this passage with Eph. 2:15, Gal. 4:3, 9, Col. 2:20, Heb. 8:1-5, 10:1). The “heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1) and heavenly commandments given by a Testator who is a Heavenly Man, effectually reforms the former law by a “disannulling of the commandment” given in the Old Covenant (Heb. 7:18). Christ is the eternal Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and with this change of “priesthood” there must be “a change also of the Law” (Heb. 7:12).
The shadows that were pastime practices in the Old Testament were disannulled “for the weakness and the unprofitableness thereof”, for they were temporary, physical, or “carnal commandments” (Heb. 7:16, 18). These carnal/earthly ordinances were needed for men to “draw nigh to God”, but they were a rigorous bondage to complete in the fear of God, at the danger of death, and in the solemnity of carefulness (Heb. 7:19). These ordinances, which served as prerequisites for redeemed humanity to draw near to God via the Tabernacle/Temple courts, were fittingly called by Paul, “bondage under the elements of the world” (Gal. 4:3). This “bondage” was, in another place, called “the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). These earthly things said to be of “weak and beggarly elements” are in other words just mere shadows of the heavenly realities to come.
All these things served as a yoke of bondage to the Israelites making the process of drawing near to God difficult, meticulous, and rigorous, for it was only after an Israelite had completed all ceremonial prerequisites that he could have confidence to draw near to God without the danger of death. Freedom from this yoke would therefore be described as a liberty to draw near to God without the requirements of carnal, physical, or earthly ordinances (Gal. 4:3)… right? Indeed! Thus, the writer of Hebrews declares the rising of another Priest for a greater Priesthood to perform a more glorious and perfecting ceremony of salvation via the Heavenly Things!
“If therefore perfection were by The Levitical Priesthood, (for under it the people received the Law,) what further need was there that another Priest should rise after The Order of Melchisedec, and not be called after The Order of Aaron? For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning Priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest, who is made, not after the Law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For He testifieth, Thou art a Priest for ever after The Order of Melchizsidec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” – Heb. 7:15-19
In and through the Son of God, WE ARE SAFE! As Old Testament Israel cared for earthly ordinances without which they dare not draw near, we look unto the Jesus with boldness and draw near with freedom! Where Old Testament Israel was fastened in the yoke of earthly things which could never save, we are basking in a heavenly reality which can effectually and everlastingly save! Their focus, which was one of multifaceted and innumerable earthly ordinances, was BONDAGE, but our freedom, which is an all-out-gaze upon Jesus Christ’s perfect fulfillment of all things, is FREEDOM! Very specifically speaking, my reader, this freedom was a liberty to draw near to God without any reference to any obstacle of any earthly sort! This removal of redeemed humanity from the Old Testament Ceremonial Law was a removal of humanity from earthly things, and this redemption of humanity according to the Testament made possible by a Heavenly Man, is an ushering-in of humanity into the Heavenly Things! It behooves earthly men to be in bondage to earthly things, they are bound thereto! But if earthly men die to themselves and the world (Gal. 2:20, 6:14), and are born into the Family of a Heavenly Man (“not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”-John 1:13), then these formerly earthly men are freed from the Old Testament Law and released into otherworldly glories of heavenly consecration! Speaking on this wise, it was written,
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the Law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the Law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that Law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to Another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” – Romans 7:1-4
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not;)” - Col. 2:20-21
Romans 7:4 spoke of a marriage/union unto Christ who was risen from the dead. This Jesus has become our Husband, High Priest, and King, and the ceremonies by which He attained this honor were “not after the Law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16), namely because He was risen from the dead! Only death can lawfully separate us from earthly bondage and liberate us into the substance of heavenly realities (Romans 7:1-4, Hebrews 7:16, 8:1-5, Col. 2:17), but upon this liberation we are joined unto the Him whose life is everlasting in Heavenly reality – therefore we, through Him, by ceremony, live forever (“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” – 1Jn.5:11-12)! Hallelujah!
The Priesthood of Christ was sworn in by an oath, which the scripture states, emphasizes how He is a surety for a better Testament… but why? Because the oath (Heb. 7:21) signifies that He is an everlasting Man (“He ever liveth to make intercession for them”-Heb. 7:25), and therefore His Priesthood is not as the nominal, earthly, and meager ones in the Old Covenant (comparatively speaking; see 2 Cor. 3:10-11). For this reason Christ’s is in an “unchangeable Priesthood” (Heb. 7:24), specifically because, shockingly, He is caught up in the “Heavenly things” (Heb. 9:23-24)! Christ is “consecrated” -- “there” -- behind the “veil” of Heaven (Heb. 6:19-20), standing in office as a High Priest “for evermore” (Heb. 7:28)! This, my reader, is so much greater and better a Covenant than that which is earthly! Of necessity according to The Priestly Order, and of necessity according to the Man, and of necessity according to the arena of His Ministerial Office – Jesus Christ “abideth a Priest continually” (Heb. 7:3)!
Abolishment, “in this respect” – 2 Cor. 3:10
The Old Covenant did have glory because God made it glorious (“which glory was to be done away”-2Cor.3:7), but in comparison to the glory of the New Covenant it had no glory at all (2 Cor. 3:10-11)! It existed to shadow and point-toward a greater and more glorious reality which would never be done away with! Thus when this greater and more glorious reality arrived and began its operation of redemption, the lesser was “abolished” from its operation of redemption by reason of the shadow-to-reality transition of law-fulfillments. The lesser is “done away” with because of the glory which excelleth beyond it; “For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (2 Cor. 3:10-11). Note: this abolishment was an expiration by reason of the law-fulfillments of a greater reality, it was not a destruction of all law-fulfillments as some wrongfully suppose; as the Lord Jesus did solemnly testify, saying, “I am not come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17), even so it is… now and forever. Amen.