Showing posts with the label Leviticus

Food and Calendars

Paul argues for tolerance in the church on food regulations and the observation of holy days – The shadows now find their fulfillment in Jesus.  The law of Moses specified what foods the people of God could eat by distinguishing between “clean” and “unclean,” and the consumption of the latter was forbidden. A comprehensive description of the dietary regulations is found in the eleventh chapter of the book of Leviticus .

From Shadow to Substance

The eighth chapter of the  Letter to the Hebrews  highlights the incomparable benefits believers now receive under the New Covenant inaugurated by the sacrificial death of Jesus. If the fulfillment of the promises of God arrived in him – his death and resurrection - to return now to the incomplete revelations of the past “ spoken in the prophets ” would mean embracing the glimpses and “ shadows ” of the “ coming good things ” rather than the substance and abiding reality that God has provided in His “ Son .”

Upon These Last Days

According to  Hebrews , God has spoken His decisive and superior “ word ” in His son. Moreover, He did so “ upon the last of these days .” This clause refers to the end of the period epitomized by the Levitical code with its priesthood and repeated animal sacrifices, a system of worship that was centered in the Tabernacle, and later, in the Temple in Jerusalem. With the exaltation of the Son to the “ right hand of the Majesty on High ,” a new and final era of salvation has commenced.

Rudiments of the Old Era

In his Letter to the Galatians , Paul chides believers for their desire “ to return to bondage under the weak and beggarly rudiments ” of the world, including calendrical observations and circumcision. Since they are no longer “minors” but full heirs who live in the AGE OF FULFILLMENT and have the Gift of the Spirit, resorting to outmoded rituals is tantamount to returning to a state of slavery.