These verses are misunderstood by many when they study this book, so we are going to look at them as they would have been understood when Paul wrote them. Col 2.13-17 says “And when you were already dead (spiritually) in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions (Paul is talking about the sins of a believer) having cancelled out (same as forgiven in v 13) the certificate of debt (Paul uses “cheirographon” which is a technical term for a payment owed, a debt. When Yeshua died, our debt (wages of sin is death) was cancelled. What is grammatically important is that the record of debt is erased, not the ordinances found in the Torah) consisting of decrees against us (the payment owed), which were hostile to us; and he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross (what Paul is referring to is the placard on our own cross that lists our crimes against God. Yeshua took that placard and nailed it to his own cross). When he had disarmed the rulers and authorities he made public display of them (in light of the preceding verses, the Colossians have been liberated from demonic power. They should not allow anyone to condemn them. This is similar to the thought in Rom 3.25 and Rom 8.1), having triumphed over them through him (because of the resurrection-Eph 4.8-10). Therefore (because of the above) let no one act as your judge (since you are complete, don’t let others outside of the faith judge you) in regard to food (Leviticus 11; Deut 14) or drink or in respect to a festival or new moon or a Sabbath day (Lev 23)-things which are a shadow (a pattern, picture-Exo 25.8-9; Heb 8.5; John 5.39-47; Psa 40.7; 2 Tim 3.16) of what is to come (1 Thes 5.1-5); but the body of Christ (only true believers in the body of Messiah can judge you in these things).” Now, let’s go over this again so there is no misunderstanding, because these verses are used against believers who keep the Torah and they are misinterpreted. The cross cancelled out our debt of sin that was against us, causing our death (Gen 2.17). The Torah contained decrees against us and the condemnation aspect to it. But, the Torah has a double nature. The first aspect to it is a judicial one in that it is a “custodian” or “tutor” and disciplinarian (see Galatian study on 3.23-24) and we are under condemnation because we have sinned against God. But once we become believers, that aspect has no power over us. Then the second aspect comes into play, which is educational. It teaches how to live and walk before the Lord and how to do things. That’s why the first century believers were referred to as “The Way.” This aspect of the Torah will reveal the Messiah, prophecy and so much more. The judicial aspect of the Torah was hostile to us because we are corrupt and we sinned against the Torah of God and sin demanded death. The Lord has taken the condemnation and the curse “out of the way” not the Torah itself. Then he made a public display of this and made Yeshua a “kipporet” or mercy seat. The Greek uses the word “hilasterios” (where the word “hilarious” comes from) for propitiation in Rom 3.25, meaning the Father saw Yeshua as the “kipporet” or mercy seat and his grace hilariously bursts forth towards us through this “kipporet” and the Father is happy to do it. He no longer sees condemnation in us because we are “in Messiah” (the mercy seat) and the blood there is proof that Yeshua did his work. As a result, Satan is silenced and Yeshua has disarmed the rulers and authorities who had accused us. So, if Yeshua is not condemned, neither are we. So we should not allow anyone who is not a believer and is outside of the Faith to judge us about keeping the Torah, the festivals, the food laws or anything else because they were patterns(shadows or pictures) for us to follow and for Bible prophecy and understanding these things will help them in their spiritual life and to understand God’s plan for the future in regards to prophecy (1 Thes 5.1-5). The only people who can judge us are those in the body of Messiah.