In this week’s Torah reading, one learns that each day there are certain sacrifices which are required to be offered at the Temple. This includes on the Shabbat and Holidays as well. Obviously today, without the Temple, there is no place to offer such sacrifices. Setting aside the discussion of whether one needs to make these offerings or not, due to Messiah Yeshua’s work on the Cross, the fact remains that today no one makes these offerings. In other words, no one is keeping or able to keep the Shabbat or any of the Festivals of Israel.
This does not mean that one cannot acknowledge these days and study the significance of them and allow their message to impact one’s worship and behavior. I am stating these things because it is incorrect for one to say that he or she is keeping the Shabbat or the Biblical holidays. I am grieved that more and more there seems to be a division occurring between the Messianic community and traditional followers of Yeshua. The basis for this division is whether one “keeps” Shabbat and the Festival days. This should not be the case!
Paul clearly writes in Colossians chapter two that such things are not to be used as instruments of judgment (See Colossians 2:16-17). Having said this, we should encourage each other to understand that what Paul is addressing in this passage (Shabbat, Kashrut, and Biblical Holidays) do not only have a past fulfillment, but also point to the future. This means that because these things are Scriptural, it is incumbent upon us to learn about them and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in applying their truth to our lives.
It is this last point, asking the Holy Spirit to guide the believer in applying the word of G-d to his or her life that is the key to maturing in the faith. Often times in the believing community there is only an emphasis on learning what HaShem wants to do in a person’s life, and not how He wants the believer to live. I hear one Bible teacher after another sharing “life principles” which are usually very good principles to follow; however, although these principles are derived from the Bible, seldom is one challenged to wrestle with why on the Shabbat two male lambs were sacrificed with an offering of 2/10 of fine flour mixed with oil, and its libation? Or why the Shabbat offering was different than the regular day offering? These things were written to instruct the follower of the Living G-d of Biblical truth which does indeed impact one’s life. Yet a person will never learn this Scriptural truth until one brings such verses before the Holy Spirit and prays for the insight to understand their instruction for us today.