Col 2:13-15 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
To truly get the meaning of verse thirteen, we need to look at it in stages. The main thrust of the verse is “And you…hath he quickened together with him…” If we look back to verse twelve, we will find that the “he” under consideration is God and the “him” refers to Jesus. God has animated us with Jesus in the resurrection. Now, let us look at our condition while this was taking place.
We were dead and separated from God. Our state of “being” was as a corpse (see Strong’s definition of “dead”) bound in our sins. We were not just unwilling to choose God: we were totally without the capacity to do so. Our uncircumcision highlighted the fact that we were not only dead but outside the covenant of God. It was totally the work of God through Christ that quickened (enlivened) us.
According to the language of this scripture, God quickened us in Christ because in Jesus we were already forgiven all our trespasses. We are often touched by the love and compassion of Jesus when He said from the cross “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luk 23:34). Because we are touched by His compassion, we sometimes overlook the power of what He said.
Remember that Jesus had already testified to the fact that the Father always heard Him (Joh 11:42). As Jesus hung there on that cross, there was no way that the Father was going to ignore the plea of His only begotten Son to forgive His children of their sins! While we were dead in our trespasses and sins, Jesus died for us and secured our forgiveness (Rom 5:8).
With His death on the cross, Jesus wiped away (blotted out) the legal document of the law (handwriting of ordinances) that stood against us. These legal requirements were against us. They stood as evidence of our rightful condemnation before a just God. The law was and is against us, and were it not for Jesus nailing it to His cross, we would still stand before our just God condemned.
Our Lord and Master, in love and power, shouldered the burden of the law we could not keep. In becoming sin for us (2Co 5:21), He took upon Himself all the demands of the law. Then, on that cross, He completely put off (spoiled) the demands of the law. He proved His victory by coming forth from that rockbound tomb exactly when and how He said He would. Victory was won at Calvary, not by us (we were dead), but by Jesus in whom we live!
May we live life victoriously to the honor and glory of God!