The Shadows & The Fulfillment – Why All Old Testament Laws Should Not Be a Part of Society

Well the Maryland Legislature is now been in session for 11 days. There is a saying, when the Legislature is in session; no one’s pocket book is safe. They have often reaffirmed that statement; indeed, they are making it a maxim.

I recall one time, several years ago, when I was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, something unusual happened that day. The bill before them was the attempt to overthrow God’s Law by redefining marriage. Many Christians had testified regarding many points on the matter, but one in particular quoted the book of Leviticus on what God says about sodomy, that it is an abomination and that we cannot change what God has said about this wicked behavior.

Well the reply from a God hating, pro-sodomite, abomination was surprising. He opened a Bible and read from the book of Leviticus. I was surprised he knew where to find that book in the Bible, and he read the dietary law regarding the foods forbidden to Israel, foods such as oysters, clams and crab. He asked, if you follow one of these laws why don’t you follow the other? The response from the Christian testifying was woefully inadequate.

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I have spoken many times about the necessity of following God’s law, that it is the only real law that exists in the Universe. I have taught that Jesus defines what it is to be His disciple and that if you will love Him, you will demonstrate that love by obedience to His commandments. So that challenging question stands. What are we to do about the laws given by God to Moses? Are all of them obligatory for the Christian today?

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January (Januarius) is named after the Roman god Janus. The date of New Year’s Day seems so fundamental that it’s almost as though Creation ordained it, but New Year’s Day is a civil event. It’s a date not precisely fixed by any natural seasonal marker. In fact there’s no astronomical reason to celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1.

In Exodus 12, the Lord showed Israel that He was doing something altogether new in establishing the Kingdom of Israel. It would have a new calendar based upon the seminal event – the Exodus from Egypt, for that was when this new nation began. Now the vital question for us is, should Christians follow that Hebrew Calendar? If we love our Lord He tells us that we will obey all His commandments.

We see that Exodus 12 states that the purpose of the Hebrew Calendar was to highlight the Passover, as an annual remembrance of what God had done in delivering the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. Some might dismiss this as a trivial question, but we know it is not for it is dealt with in God’s Word and nothing God’s Word says in trivial.

Colossians 2:16-17 explains “shadows” of things to come. “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]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.” The shadow does give you information about the object casting that shadow, yet it is incomplete information. So what we see here in this passage is that there are five items listed that are shadows: meat, drink, holydays, new moon and Sabbaths. So these cover the areas of the dietary laws, the Hebrew calendar and festival system. Each of these items is important to understand as the shadow in which they represent. These are the shadows and Christ is the fulfillment.

Romans 14:5-7 provides for the principle of liberty in non-essentials.

14:5] “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

14:6] He that regardeth the day, regardeth [it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

14:7] For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”

Paul couldn’t be any clearer, could he? The principle is Christian liberty in the non-essentials, which he applies both the dietary laws and the festival / calendar laws. In other words, Christians have liberty to choose whether they will follow the Hebrew dietary and Hebrew festival / calendar or to not follow them. It is not an issue of discipleship because Christ Jesus does not command us regarding any of these things. However, a believer is free, if they choose, to follow them. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, what a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord.

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