When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Law, often called the Mosaic Law.
Ephesians 2:15 says that He “abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances.”
Colossians 2:14 says that He “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us” and that He “nailed it to the cross.”
Hebrews 8:13 says, “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
This means that God’s people are no longer responsible for keeping the specific requirements contained in the Old Testament (Colossians 2:16-17).
The Old Law called for animal sacrifices to make atonement for sins (Exodus 29:36; Leviticus 4:27-35). Those animal sacrifices could not fully take away sins, which is why they had to be offered again and again. Jesus did much better when He offered Himself up as a sacrifice that can fully take away sins.
Trying to be saved by keeping the Old Law is a rejection of Christ’s sacrifice (Galatians 5:1-4).
This does not mean that the Old Law has no value. It led up to Christ by teaching the world about sin, atonement, and our need for a savior.
See also: Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:19-25
Even though we are not responsible for its specific requirements, we can still learn a lot from the Old Law (Romans 15:4). Many of the things that violated the Old Law are also condemned in the New Testament and we can learn more about those sins by studying the Old Law.
We can also learn more about God’s nature and His expectations for His people by studying the Old Law. Our specific requirements to be obedient to God may have changed, but God Himself has not changed. The types of things that displeased Him before will still be displeasing to Him now.
In addition, studying the examples in the Old Testament can help us to not repeat the same mistakes that others have made.
See also: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Hebrews 12:1-2