He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
The Torah is a contract. It is a contract that defines our affiliation with our Heavenly Father. It tells us how we belong to Him and His Kingdom (Leviticus 26:10-12). A contract usually tells of benefits for those faithful to its terms, but it is useless unless it is also fitted with ‘teeth’ for those who break them. Within the Torah contract are imbedded two major texts of curses designed to come upon those who dishonor it (Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 28). These texts have often been misinterpreted as the ‘curse of the Torah (Galatians 3:13)’ and therefore ‘nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14)’, (God forbid).
How could it be that the instructions which Moses proclaimed are our life ((Deuteronomy 32:47), that the statutes in which David found great rewards (Psalms 19:11), what the writer of the Book of Hebrews even called the ‘Gospel’ (Hebrews 4:2), are now cursed death nailed to a tree (God forbid)? The Torah is an everlasting covenant, and even when covenantal addendums are made, they do not replace the former but are built on them (Galatians 3:17).
Upon closer examination we realize that this so-called ‘curse of the Torah’ ‘nailed to the tree’ spoken of by Paul is not the Torah contract itself. The salary of sin (breaking the Torah) is death (1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23). The word ‘mavet:death’ in Hebrew actually refers to separation from God. The curse spoken of here is the condemnation to separation from the Father by the eternal courts of judgment; a form of banishment from the kingdom for breaking the rules. Paul also speaks of a ‘written code (NIV)’, of a ‘handwriting of ordinances (KJV)’ ‘nailed to the cross’ which is often erroneously interpreted as being the Torah Itself, but it only refers to a legal document used in courts which is also called ‘a certificate of debt (ESV)’. It is a paper listing to the judge all our offenses against the law. The Master often used analogies of debts and courts when He spoke of sin (Matthew 6:12). This list, this ‘certificate of debt’ is the evidence against us that we broke the Torah. It is that list which is nailed to the cross with Messiah. Basically, Messiah pays our ‘fine’ to the Judge and gets rid of the evidence that stands against us. We are given a clean slate, a chance to start again.
In Messiah we are given a new chance to learn to live by God’s standards. The idea is that like the Children of Israel were rescued from the angel of death in Egypt in order to go and learn to live by God’s standards instead of by those of Egypt, we also, are saved from Satan the ‘angel of death’, that we may go and learn to live for God in His way. We don’t obey the Torah in order to get redeemed; we do it because we are redeemed by the Lamb of God: Yeshua HaMashiach!