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Passover_The Last Supper2

Those who deny the Passover of the new covenant frequently use Colossians 2:16 to refute the truth:

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. (Colossians 2:16)

The word “judge” originally comes from the Greek word “κρινέτω”; “to judge or to criticize.” They claim that it’s wrong to criticize for not observing the feasts, since the Bible says that it’s not allowed to judge others by what they eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival in the time of the New Testament.

Like their claim, does the above verse really mean that we no longer need to keep the feasts and the Sabbath? If then, why did the Apostle Paul observe the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) and the Sabbath (Acts 17:3)? It does not make sense that the Apostle Paul taught others not to keep the feasts while he himself was keeping them. Such an absurd interpretation arises because they only partially understand the Bible. To understand Colossians 2:16 correctly, we must consider the context.

…having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge [criticize] 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. (Colossian 2:14-17)

“What they eat or drink, religious festivals, a New Moon celebration and a Sabbath day,” which were used to judge them, were all recorded in the written code. It’s also written that all such things are only a shadow of things in the future (GNT.) The correct understanding is: “Since Jesus canceled the written code, the standard of criticism, do not let anyone criticize using the written code.”

What does “the written code” refer to?

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter [a written law: GNT] but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? (2 Corinthians 3:6-8)

The written code is “the Law of Moses.” The Law of Moses is the shadow of the Law of Christ.

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises… “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…” By calling this covenant “new” [By speaking of a new covenant: GNT], he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:5-13)

Through crucifixion, Jesus abolished the old covenant (the written code or a shadow), by establishing the new covenant, relevant to “the new way of the Spirit or the realities.”

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves… Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:1-10)

The verse of Colossians 2:16 means: “Do not let anyone judge you by the law of the old covenant abolished through the cross.” It does not imply that we should not observe the law of the new covenant. It’s wrong to say that the regulation on “what to eat or drink,” disappeared. Strict and various laws of the Old Testament (Leviticus 11:1) were changed to “You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals (Acts 15:28-29),” as a law in the New Testament. The feasts themselves did not disappear but were changed from the regulation of the Old Testament to the New Testament.

For instance, in the Passover of the Old Testament, the Israelites slaughtered one-year-old lambs and put some of the blood on the sides and tops of the doorframes of their houses. Inside their houses, they ate lambs roasted over fire, bitter herbs, and bread without yeast. However, in the Passover of the New Testament, it is celebrated by eating the bread and drinking the wine; symbolizing the flesh and blood of Jesus, who, in reality, is the Passover lamb. This means that the Apostle Paul did not say that the law itself disappeared. He clearly witnessed that he was not under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ.

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. (1 Corinthians 9:20-21)

The Bible distinguishes the Law of Moses from the Law of Christ. The Law of Moses was abolished because it was not perfect, and the Law of Christ was established perfectly with the crucifixion of Jesus. In an attempt to deny the Law of Christ, they use those verses about the Law of Moses. Those who are forcibly trying to remove the Law established by God; what’s their identity?

The World Mission Society Church of God (Witness of Ahnsahnghong) observes the feasts of the new covenant (not those of the old covenant) by following the teachings of Jesus. Today, no other churches except the WMSCOG obey the new covenant. Please keep the Passover of the new covenant to have the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28.)