Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Substance of the Sabbath (intro)

Intro | Part 1 | Part 2

"Do You Know What It Means?"

I have this scenario that's been floating around in my head for awhile. It's from the time just after Pentecost when so many people came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The believers met together not just once a week, but every day. And not only that, but we find them breaking bread together as often as they could. Today even the most die-hard communion-lover only has the Lord's Supper once a week, but they couldn't seem to get enough! I wonder why?

Well, imagine that you lived back then and were part of their community--the Jewish community. You've been eating the Passover meal for thousands of years. Your great-randparents taught it to your grandparents, and your parents taught it and its history to you. Today you are just setting down with some close friends and family to have the Passover meal, when another friend comes in...
Did you hear about what just happened in Jerusalem? Some men and women started speaking different languages they didn't know, praising God and prophesying. Some of them stood up and talked about Jesus, saying He had risen from the dead and was the Messiah! Not only that, they said He had to die -- He was the Passover lamb, the Lamb of God! I believed, and His disciples showed me--look, here, I'll show you...

This bread, this is His body, broken for us...
This wine, it is His blood, poured out for our sins...
This is the New Covenant that Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Malachi talked about!

Can you understand the palpable excitement as an ancient ritual ceremony suddenly came to life with meaning? The Passover was what the Bible calls "a shadow" of Christ. It looked forward to Him, and it was fulfilled in Him. The bread and innocent lamb were not the substance. Christ is the reality. Today, even though they don't have to, some Christians still "keep "Passover", especially if their heritage is Jewish. But the important thing is that they know what it means and Who it is about. The substance of the Passover is Jesus Christ. Christ is the substance of all the ceremonies and festivals of the Old Covenant.

Colossians 2:16-17 includes the Sabbath day as one of these shadows:
"Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." (ESV)

Now I know that many Christians believe they must observe a Sabbath day, and many other Christians believe they must not or aren't required to. Scripture says not to judge one another by these things (Romans 14:5-13). If you want to observe the Sabbath day, it's your Scriptural right to do so just as Jewish Christians have the right to continue observing the Passover meal. However, how tragic would it be if the Jewish Christians did not know the meaning of the Passover? What if they didn't know that the lamb, bread and wine represented Jesus?

In the same way, what if people who observed Sabbath did not know what Sabbath really meant? I am your brother in Christ. Just think of me as a giddy little excited disciple who has just learned what "Sabbath" meant, and is coming next door to share with you what I've learned: Jesus is the substance of the Sabbath! It pointed to Jesus! Let me show you how...

(to be continued in Part 1)

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