You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Halleluyah! See what Christ did for us! Spiritually we were dead (i.e. seperated from God) and we were cut away from our inheritance in Christ because of our sinful nature. God then made us alove by forgiving our sins through the sacrifice of Christ. The record of our sin has been blotted out, cancelled, burned up and never to be recalled again. We have been made spiritually alive unto God through the work of Jesus.
Verse 14 tells us that having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross..
This verse is very important for us Christians when we examine the law stated in the old testament and especially when we have to deal with the argument of whether we are still under the law. The law was against us i.e. it didn’t make us more holy or bring us into fellowship with God but it only reveals our sinfulness and condemned us. In this verse, Paul shows us that by Christ’s death, the law was fulfilled and abolished . Christ obeys the law and fulfilled thus we don’t have to live by it anymore. Paul was doing this again to assure that the Colossians that they don’t have to adhere to rules and traditions of men.
“By the hand-writing of ordinances the apostle most evidently means the ceremonial law: this was against them, for they were bound to fulfil it; and it was contrary to them, as condemning them for their neglect and transgression of it. This law God himself has blotted out...When Christ was nailed to the cross, our obligation to fulfil these ordinances was done away” Adam Clarke’s commentary
“The word rendered handwriting means something written by the hand, a manuscript; and here, probably, the writings of the Mosaic law, or the law appointing many ordinances or observances in religion... The Jewish ceremonial law is here represented as such a contract, binding those under it to its observance, until it was nailed to the cross. The meaning here is, that the burdensome requirements of the Mosaic law are abolished, and that its necessity is superseded by the death of Christ...the obligation of the Jewish institutions ceased on the death of Jesus, as if he had taken them and nailed them to his own cross, in the manner in which a bond was cancelled” - Albert Barnes NT Commentary
I especially love Verse 15 because we as africans still live in an active fear of principalities and power despite our deep piousness and spirituality. According to this verse, principalities and powers had the legal right over us under the law but immediately Christ did away with it, the principlaities and powers were disarmed losing thier legal right to torment us.
The devil who is the head of principalities and power had legal right by virtue of the fall over our lives, our possesssions, our future etc. but when Christ fulfilled the law and destroyed it he put them all to shame and now PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS HAVE NO RIGHT OVER YOUR LIFE ANYMORE!