Hallelujah! and pass the pork chops


Pass the pork chopsMark 7:19
Jesus declared all foods clean.
I know people who insist on keeping the OT dietary laws, which is fine if you are doing it for health reasons. No doubt we would all be healthier avoiding the stuff God told the Jews to abstain from eating. Unfortunately, some of these do it for religious reasons thinking somehow it is more spiritual or God-pleasing.

Some celebrate the feasts, love to worship on the Sabbath (Saturday) rather than the “first day of the week” when the NT church met (Acts 20:7). Nothing wrong with that, every day belongs to the Lord. And it is especially appropriate for a Jewish believer as a way to celebrate their heritage. But here is where the problem comes in.

(Pardon me while I climb on my soapbox.) It is too easy to forget that all the feasts, food, ceremonial laws, etc, were a shadow of the reality that has come in Jesus. (Colossians 2:17) A shadow is not real. When the Light comes the shadow disappears – or at least it should. I have observed many folks want to go back and dance around the shadow when the reality is standing in front of them.

I have no problem with a Jewish believer who celebrates these as part of his culture and heritage but when a gentile gets all caught up in trying to be “jewish” and goes back to the shadow I find it troubling, perhaps even dangerous, definitely a deception. Paul expressed grave concern for those who did this.

Galatians 4:9-12 
So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing.

Like mixing dirt (the earthly) with water (the heavenly), the dirt only clouds and pollutes the heavenly. Before Christ came these things revealed Him in an earthly, shadowy form. Now, however, He has made Himself clearly known and the shadow no longer serves a purpose. It does not reveal Christ more clearly for now He has been fully revealed. Rather, mixing the old earthly with the heavenly makes it harder to see clearly. The water, the heavenly element, becomes cloudy, not clear, because the two do not mix well.

Christ paid a brutal price to set us free from the law of sin and death. Let’s appreciate our heritage that does go back to Abraham (even Adam) but let’s not invest time dancing with the shadow thinking that somehow it will reveal the reality more clearly. Shadows don’t do that very well.

Romans 14:5
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 14:14
I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself.

Colossians 2:16, 17, 20-21, 23
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.



One thought on “Hallelujah! and pass the pork chops

  1. “A shadow is not real.” Amen. And how real we try to make it. I remember going on a very strict diet during college. It wasn’t long before I saw how difficult it made it to enjoy meals socially with friends. And seeing the emphasis Jesus put on sharing meals, it would seem that the devil loves it when we get goofy on our diet.

    And I like your analogy of dirt and water mixing to create a cloudy, dirty mix. It would be hard to see clearly through that.

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