Eph 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

Some people say that this does away with the Ten Commandments and thus the Sabbath. Others say it does away with the ceremonial laws. Which is it? Consider the passage:

Eph 2:11-22
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles (cf. V. 19) in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision (cf. Ex 12:48b) by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--
12 that at that time you were without the Messiah, being aliens (cf. Ex 12:48a) from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in the Messiah Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners (Ex 12:43), but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus the Messiah Himself being the chief corner stone,
21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. NKJ)

To determine what law verse 15 is referring to we must find:
1. A law that creates a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew
2. A law which distinguishes between circumcised and uncircumcised (v. 11)
3. A law that mentions foreigners, aliens (vv. 12,19) being excluded (v. 14) and thus a law that might create enmity (vv 15,16)

These are the tests that we must apply in order to discover what law this is talking about:

So, where do we find,
1. A law that creates a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew
2. A law which distinguishes between circumcised and uncircumcised (v. 11)
3. A law that mentions foreigners, aliens (vv. 12,19) being excluded (v. 14) and thus a law that might create enmity (vv 15,16)

It is not hard to find a law that creates a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew. In fact there are two interrelated laws that do so:

First, we find that the sanctuary walls separated Jews from Gentiles. There are two passages that make this point: Ezek 44:6-8
6 "Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "O house of Israel, let us have no more of all your abominations.
7 "When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it-- My house-- and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations.
8 "And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you." (NKJ)

The nations around about Israel and those that dwelt in Israel were excluded from participation in sanctuary worship. This point is also made in,

Lam 1:10 The adversary has spread his hand over all her pleasant things; for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom You commanded not to enter Your assembly. (NKJ)

This is not to say that it was impossible for a foreigner to ever become part of Israel. But how did one become part of Israel? The answer to that question is found in the second law that fits the description of Eph 2:11-22

This law is found in Ex 12:
Exod 12:43-48
43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.
44 "But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.
45 "A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.
46 "In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.
47 "All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
48 "And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land [this is how the stranger became part of Israel]. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. (NKJ)

Passover exclude foreigners and made them "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants." For, Passover was included in God's covenant with the Israelites:
II Kings 23:21 And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. (KJV)

So, these ceremonial laws both fit the description of Eph 2. But, we need to remember that these two laws really go together. And interestingly enough, it is when we put these two together that we get the full picture of what Paul is referring to.

The sanctuary ceremonies were an integral part of Passover:
Deut 16:5 You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you 6 except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. (NIV)

The Passover law and the Sanctuary law combine together to be a perfect answer to the question of what law is under consideration in Eph 2:15.
To determine what law Eph 2:15 is referring to we had to find:
1. A law that creates a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew
2. A law which distinguishes between circumcised and uncircumcised (v. 11)
3. A law that mentions foreigners, aliens (vv. 12,19) being excluded (v. 14) and thus a law that might create enmity (vv 15,16)

The law of Passover sacrifice, which God determined should be performed in the Sanctuary and the law of the Passover meal meet perfectly the description of the law abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances for it was
1. On the basis of uncircumcision that Gentiles were,
2. Declared to be without the Messiah–symbolized by the Passover lamb.
3. The ceremonies of the Passover preparation that were carried out inside the sanctuary wall separated between Jew and non-Jew and answer to the imagery of a wall of separation between them.
4. Thus were the Gentiles aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants–those covenants which were renewed every time Israel ate the Passover meal.
5. These ceremonial laws that excluded foreigners (vv. 12,19,14) could easily create enmity (vv 15,16)

This is the law abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

So, what else is done away with?

PASSOVER?
Certainly all Christians would agree that the animal sacrifices in the earthly sanctuary are ended. Thus also the sacrifice and eating of the Passover lamb is done away. But, Jesus makes a statement about Passover that should warn us away from going too far with this. His comment to His disciples answers this question: Is Passover itself completely done away by the Cross?

Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

There are clearly two lessons found in Luke 22:15, 16
We will take the Passover with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven – so Passover itself is not done away.
The full prophetic message of Passover is unfulfilled – so Passover itself is not done away.

In light of this it should not seem strange that through the teaching of the Apostle John, most of the eastern churches kept the yearly Passover for hundreds of years after he died. Hence, we should be careful not to say that the Passover itself was the wall of division between Jewish and Gentile Christians. No, it was the part of the law that excluded the Gentile and (on the human side) perhaps the prejudicial attitude of those who kept Passover that kept Jew and Gentile apart.

By the death of Jesus at the Passover season heaven did away with that which separated Jew and Gentile. By His death Jesus set aside the requirement of circumcision and made us all one in Himself.


THE LAW?
Well, is the Ten Commandment law also,
1. A law that creates a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew?
2. A law which distinguishes between circumcised and uncircumcised (v. 11)?
3. A law that mentions foreigners, aliens (vv. 12,19) being excluded (v. 14) and thus a law that might create enmity (vv 15,16)?

Absolutely not! In fact, and this is most interesting, the very commandment that people want to dismiss with this verse in Eph, effectively destroys their argument! You know the Commandments. The Ten Commandments and the Sabbath in particular
1. Do not create a wall of separation (v. 14) between Jew and non-Jew–so it fails this test.
2. Do not distinguish between the circumcised and uncircumcised (v. 11) in a way that makes the latter "afar off" (v.13) "strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (v. 12)
3. Yes, the commandments do mention foreigners–in fact in the fourth commandment–but, instead of excluding the foreigners the fourth commandment actually draws them into its observance. The Sabbath law treated Jews and Gentiles the same–in fact, we might rightly say that the Sabbath brought Jews and Gentiles together.
4. The rest of the Commandments also promote harmony. They are laws that promote social peace and harmony. Each of the last six commandments are applicable to the relationship of the Jews with their Gentile neighbor.
5. Thus the Ten Commandment law is not a law that would tend to create enmity but fellowship and love.

This is the opposite of whatever Eph 2:11-22 is talking about. Paul cannot have the Ten Commandments in mind as he writes Ephesians 2. Thus Ephesians 2 does not tell us that the Ten Commandments are abolisthed, but that the laws of circumsision and those aspects of the Passover and all the ceremonial and traditional laws that alienated the Gentile from the Jew are abolished by Christ.

Is the Ten Commandment Law Abolished According to Ephesians 2?