If one were to read the Bible without any preconceived notion or idea and hadn’t listened to commentary, theories, another man’s opinion, or modern Christian tradition, then one may be able to actually discover truths not seen before. That is where we are coming from and from that perspective it’s very difficult to understand what the fuss is about.
The topic of whether Christians should observe the feasts is hotly debated by Bible scholars, pastors, and laymen. When looking at Scripture on this topic, we couldn’t find anything that tells us to do otherwise. In fact, our own Messiah kept these things. Paul himself kept the feasts after Jesus’ death. Was it because Paul was required simply because he was Jewish? Was Paul afraid of the Jews and what they might think? Did he not teach that believing gentiles were grafted into Israel?
It seems that although Jesus, His disciples and Paul kept these feasts, Christians have separated themselves. Many Christians are willing to accept the inheritance of Israel, yet they don’t want anything else to do with her, in part for fear of legalism (and rightly so). It is true that following the oral Torah’s ordinances is legalistic and those ordinances were said to be nailed to the cross. However, God’s Laws were never included in the abolishing spoken of by Paul.
Believing that the appointed times of God are only for Israel means that one fails to understand what they truly are. The irony is that one of the portions of Scripture that makes this clear is often used as proof text to declare that the feasts are no longer in play.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
– Colossians 2:16-17 (KJV)
Peter said that what Paul said could be confusing, and as we can see in the previous verse this misunderstanding has caused great confusion among pastors and seminaries. To understand, we have to have a clear perspective on the times and the people with whom Paul was speaking. The Colossians weren’t being tormented or judged because they weren’t keeping the feast or because they were keeping Sunday as their worship day. The latter wouldn’t even be introduced to the church for hundreds of years.
Paul is telling the faithful in Colossae that they should let no man judge them because they were following the Law of God. They were keeping God’s feasts and following His Sabbath as the law prescribed and Paul was telling them to continue doing so despite the persecution they would receive. Paul and Jesus both kept Sabbath. They both kept the feasts. These verses confirm this with Paul, but convenient Bible teaching has reversed the teaching to match modern doctrines that are simply not supported by the Bible.
The feasts were specifically said to be a shadow of things to come. For instance, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Passover and Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost. He even fulfilled Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) being the blood sacrifice that atoned for the sins of the world. When referring to Passover specifically, Paul said to keep this feast because Jesus was our Passover Lamb, God forbid we forget.
What could be the harm in remembering these things? Didn’t Jesus tell His disciples to “do this in remembrance of Me?” The bread which He took and described as His body was unleavened bread during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The bread Jesus broke of that feast is symbolic in that it is made without leaven (free from sin). This feast was a prophecy of His body being sacrificed so that death would pass over us IF we believed in Him, praise God for His mercy!
These feasts are said by God to be His. They were given as a gift because of His mercy and love, because through them, by faith, His people were sanctified, purified and forgiven. And through them we can also see that His plan all along was to provide His own Son as a sacrifice for sins, not just for Israel’s, but the entire world. If remembering these things by observing the feasts offends any Christian, then how can any Christian justify any feast or holiday?
With all that said, it is clear through scripture that the observance of feasts isn’t a salvific issue. After the death of our Messiah it became a choice one could make rather than an obligation… just as the Law was written on a man’s heart so that a man would keep them wholeheartedly.
Anyone who chooses to observe the feasts of the Lord should never boast in them or condemn others who don’t. We just don’t see what the argument is. It makes no sense, other than a misunderstanding of scripture.
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