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The Jewish Feasts
There were seven yearly holy days, or holidays, in ancient Israel which were also called sabbaths. These were in addition to, or “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord” (Leviticus 23:38), or seventh-day Sabbath.
The Yearly Sabbath Feasts – Abolished at the Cross
These feasts foreshadowed, or pointed to, the cross and ended at the cross. The Bible teaches:
“having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:14-17).
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephesians 2:15).
“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years” (Galations 4:9-10).
God’s seventh-day Sabbath was made before sin entered (Genesis 2:2,3), and therefore could foreshadow nothing about deliverance from sin. That’s why Colossians chapter 2 differentiates and specifically mentions the sabbaths that were “a shadow.” The weekly seventh day Sabbath of Creation remains binding today. “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:4,5, 9, 10).
Keeping the Jewish Feasts – A Matter of Conscience
Whether or not a Christian should celebrate the Jewish feasts is a matter of conscience for the individual. Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5). While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feasts, it is beneficial to study them. And for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, these special feasts demonstrate the work of redemption.
In His service,