Did the Sacrifice of Christ nullify the Ten Commandments?
In Ephesians 2:11-15, Paul wrote “11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace…” (NKJV)
In Ephesians 2:11-15, Paul explains that each of us who are Gentiles were at one time excluded from citizenship in Israel. However, through the blood of Christ we have been made one with Israel and one with the covenants of promise. For Gentiles and Israelites to be unified, Christ had to die to abolish the ‘law of commandments contained in ordinances’ that separated us from citizenship in Israel. The Greek word translated as ‘ordinances’ in this phrase is dogma, and it refers to a man-made ordinance or decree. The phrase “law of commandments contained in ordinances” refers to the laws and commandments in man-made ordinances of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which separated Gentiles from becoming members of Israel.
The man-made rules of the Pharisees and Sadducees often treated Gentiles as second-class human beings. For instance, some Jewish people had a man-made rule which stipulated that any fellowship with Gentiles would make them unclean. God never said this in the Bible. It was a man-made rule. Rules such as this separated Gentiles from coming into covenant with God and becoming citizens in Israel. As a physical representation of this, the outer court of the Temple in Paul’s time had a wall preventing Gentiles from associating and worshipping with Jews. They had a separate court in the Temple called “the court of the Gentiles”.
This is the middle wall of partition that Paul says was torn down through Christ’s death. This wall was a physical representation of the wall of regulations (man-made ordinances and commandments) that the Pharisees and Sadducees had built to create enmity between Israelites and Gentiles. According to the Law of God, Gentiles were allowed to enter into covenant with God (Leviticus 24:22). They just simply had to take the sign of the covenant, circumcision, and obey the terms of the covenant, which is the Law. When the Israelites left Egypt, they left a mixed multitude of Gentiles and native Israelites (Exodus 12:38). All of the Gentiles that left Egypt with the Israelites became naturalized citizens. They were baptized by the sea and cloud (I Cor. 10:1-4).
Through Christ’s death, everyone is allowed to enter into citizenship in Israel without having to go through man’s rules.