For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Greek term translated “cancelled out” (v. 14, exaleipsas) suggests the smearing of letters written on wax. Our certificate of debt was hostile to us in that it hounded us through a guilty conscience and scriptural warnings. Christ erased the debt, removed the certificate from between us and God, and God crucified the bill of debt with Christ on the cross. The final phrase in verse 14 may be an allusion to the superscription above Jesus’ cross.
“What the metaphor says is that Jesus took the damning indictment and nailed it to His cross—presumably as an act of triumphant defiance in the face of those blackmailing powers that were holding it over men and women as a means of commanding their allegiance. If there is an analogy here, it may lie in the fact that Jesus’ own accusation was fixed to His cross. Just as His own indictment was fastened there, says Paul, so he takes the indictment drawn up against his people and nails it to His cross. His victorious passion sets them free from their bankruptcy and bondage.”