Many religionist today use this as a reason to eat anything as long as it is prayed over, and keep any day “holy” as long as they are praising God. This text is often used as a rebuttal to continue down their path to perdition. Per contra, what does this text really mean, does it agree with popular belief, or is the meaning deeper than meets the surface.
“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.” Colossians 2:16, 17
Is it saying we can eat whatever, and worship whenever?
“These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:” Leviticus 23:37
Answer: No, it is referring to the ceremonies done with the feasts.
What about the sabbath days?
“Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation .” Leviticus 23:24
The sabbath day here is not referring to the weekly memorial which God established in the beginning, but the feast days. As we saw previously, it is an holy convocation. There were seven feasts in total. This one specifically is the feast of trumpets; the trumpets were blown as a reminder 10 days before the day of atonement. The feasts fell on any day, when it did on the weekly Sabbath, it was called a High Sabbath (John 19:31). Notice also in Colossians 2:16 it says, “sabbath days” and not day, because it is referring to the feasts.
Why did it say that no man should judge us in the feast days and its ceremonies?
“Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:17
“Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:9-12
Answer: It was a shadow of Christ’s ministry, as the true lamb and our High Priest.
Christ and His priestly ministry is the very thing all of these feasts and ceremonies pointed to.
An example: The first fruits were waved as a sheave before the Lord on the 3rd day after the Passover, since Jesus was the Passover lamb, and died on Calvary’s cross, did this anti typically take place three days after He was offered for our sins?
“:But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” 1 Corinthians 15:20
Was He waved before God?
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17
The offering was waved literally before God symbolizing that the offering was for the Lord.
The ceremonies in the old testament was only a type (example) or shadow of the plan Christ laid out to save us. He had things to be this way, so we might more fully understand the plan of salvation. But oh how the jews after all these ceremonies, failed to recognize the Savior when He came. Nonetheless the ordinances was nailed to the cross and done away with. No longer should we judge anyone in the keeping of these ceremonies, for Christ has paid it all for us.