Moral vs Sacrificial Law

Did the 10 Commandments change because the Messiah came?

Digging Deeper


Some Christians sincerely believe that the Ten Commandments were changed after the cross.
Still others believe the whole law, including the Sabbath, came to an end with Jesus’ death.

The truth is found in the context of the whole Bible.

Bible Fact: Whoever is saved will keep the Sabbath in the new earth.

That’s right, the redeemed of the earth will be spending every seventh day with God:

Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

So, exactly what law was nailed to the cross when Jesus died?

There are two (2) primary laws taught in Scripture:

The moral law of the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial law contained in ordinances.

One was written by God’s finger on stone and the other by the hand of Moses on parchment (in a book).

The law that was nailed to the cross was the law of sacrifices and ceremonies. (That’s the reason we no longer have to sacrifice lambs anymore.)

Speaking of the moral law Paul says, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13). He also adds, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (7:12).

The purpose of the 2 laws:

Law Number 1 is the Law of God (“the Ten Commandments,” or “Two tablets of the Testimony,”) also known as the “Moral Law,” the “Law of Love” and the “Decalogue.”

Law Number 2 is the “Law of Moses” (the “Book of the Law,” or “Book of the Covenant,”) also known as the “Mosaic Law,” the “Ordinances,” the “Ceremonial Law” and the “Sacrificial Law.”

Is there a relationship between the Ten Commandments and the Ceremonial law?


If an Israelite sinned, he broke Law Number 1, the Moral Law of the Ten Commandments.

He then had to bring his offering according to Law Number 2, the Sacrificial Law to receive forgiveness.

This is the relationship between these two laws.

Law Number 1 defines sin, as sin is the transgression of the Moral Law (the Ten Commandments). 1 John 3:4

Law Number 2 defined sacrifices, the Ceremonial Law which was the remedy for sin.

When the Israelite sinned, he broke the first law. To make atonement for his sin he had to obey the second law. So here are two very distinct laws which is unmistakable.

Jesus Christ our true Passover Lamb permanently took the place of Law Number 2 when He cried out “It is finished” and bowed His head and died that Friday afternoon.

When that unseen hand tore the temple curtain from top to bottom, this signified that the Ceremonial law that pointed the people to His sacrificial death was once and for all nailed to the cross.

The book of Hebrews explains that the first covenant had also the ordinances of this ceremonial sanctuary system, but are gone in the New Covenant now leaving only the Ten Commandments which God writes in our hearts and minds.

Hebrews also says, “Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do your will, O God.

He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:8,9.

Satan is desperate to keep Christians from loving obedience and spending quality time with our Lord and Saviour on His holy day.

He has the majority believing that the Ten Commandments and the Ordinances are the same thing.

The Bible says that sin is ‘transgression of the law’.

What law? The moral law (Ten Commandments).

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

“One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)

Jesus said: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:23)

The purpose for God’s 10 Commandments is only to show us our sin.

Now, when we sin we turn to Christ instead of the sacrificial system.

That’s right, when we accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life we are grafted into ‘spiritual Israel”. No more slaughtering lambs. I’m glad for that.

The Book of the law of Moses contained several ordinances: Ceremonial, civil, sexual behavior, and dietary laws. The moral law is the central theme. The Ceremonial law showed us the plan of salvation for breaking God’s moral law, the Ten Commandments. Jesus came to fulfill both laws; He revealed the complete Gospel: law and grace working together. The Ceremonial Law pointed to Christ while Christ pointed to the moral law.
Since Christ fulfilled the Ceremonial Law, it was no longer needed to curse the people for breaking the moral. Thus, Jesus nailed it to the cross and provided grace/probation for those who obey Him by faith.


For an even deeper study on this subject, check out:

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