“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a 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 KJV).
One of the most misquoted scriptures is Colossians 2:16-17. Christians have used these verses to rationalize why Christians should no longer exclusively celebrate Biblical Feasts, or justify why they celebrate holidays with a Christian-pagan mixture in them.
First, if you think Paul would advocate mixture in regard to holydays, you need to crack your Bible open and read the whole counsel of Scripture. Second, please notice that we are told that holydays (i.e. festivals) are “a shadow of things to come.” Yeshua (Jesus) is the substance; but we must comprehend that a shadow always resembled its substance. Understand when it comes to holydays, we will be answering to the Creator of all things who is casting the shadow.
Believers are not told to not celebrate Biblical Feasts in Colossians 2:16-17, but not to let anyone judge us with regard to them. Meaning we are not to criticize, censure, condemn, or punish people on how these celebrate a biblical feast, new moon celebration, or a Sabbath day.
If Christians used the same logic for the Ten Commandments as we have for religious festivals, where would the church be? There is an assumption in the statement “Don’t let anyone judge you?” that God’s people are already eating, drinking, and celebrating. It is similar when God states in Matthew 6: “So when you give to the needy” (vs. 2), “when you pray” (vs. 5), and “when you fast” (vs. 16); the Lord is assuming His people are already giving alms, praying and fasting.
The whole nation of Israel is said to be God’s example for us (1 Cor. 10:4-11). Don’t you think Jesus would have confronted any corrupt thought or practice in Jewish society? Everyone knows Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables. Jesus taught against the traditions of men. He also told people that just to look upon a woman in lust was to commit adultery. Have you ever wondered why Jesus never told Jewish believers to cease celebrating the feasts that are/were a shadow of Him?
Don’t you think that if any biblical feast was idolatrous that Jesus would have come out against it, instead of being in the temple participating in the festivities? Jesus was not timid, and He would have come out against the Biblical Feasts, if they were a corrupting influence. Not only did Jesus NOT rebuke the Jews for celebrating His feasts, but He also actually used them as object lessons in teaching His people about the fulfillment in Himself of their biblical traditions.
Biblical Feasts are God’s occasions for celebrating, just as the Ten Commandments are God’s ordained laws. God created us to celebrate Him His glorious ways! Read the gospels. Jesus loved a party! His first miracle was at the wedding feast at Cana where He turned 180 gallons of water into fine wine (John 2:6).
The church has not flushed the Ten Commandments. Why should we throw away His feasts – parties celebrating Him? Don’t you want to come to the feasts that the Lord Himself has invited you to? The spring feasts of the Lord speak of Jesus’ first coming. The fall feasts speak of Jesus’ second coming. Hanukkah and Purim are pictures of His church becoming the Bride of Christ. These Biblical Feasts are audio-visual displays of the prophetic reality of Christ. They can only serve to bring us into a deeper relationship with one another and with Messiah Yeshua.
In 2 Chronicles 8:13, the primitive root for mo-ed (“feasts” in Hebrew) is the Hebrew word ya-ad. Ya-ad is the term used for when Adam intimately knew Eve. This primitive ya-ad root implies that the Lord is summoning His people to meet Him at His stated time, He is directing us into a certain position, and He is engaging us for marriage. My question has been: If we don’t do Your appointed feasts, Love, can we still marry you?
Think about a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife. Think about them inviting you to celebrate with them; then think about rejecting their offer in order to party with your friends on another day, so you can do anything you want to do any way you want to. That basically what we do when we celebrate Christmas, Easter, and other religious holidays with mixture in them.
Won’t you consider meeting the One who loves your soul at His designated times in His designated places in order to marry Him?
~ Robin Main
This article is a slight modification to pages 171-172, Chapter 7, This is Radical, SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up => http://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159