“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV).

 

There is a great difference between a body and a shadow. A shadow is never as important as the body who casts it.

The Greek word “skia” translated “shadow” in the New Testament was often used to express anything “imperfect or unsubstantial.”

But, the Greek word “soma” translated “body” was used in opposite sense to express anything “substantial, solid, and firm” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary).

The word “shadow” means “a faint indication.” When used as a verb it means “to represent vaguely, mysteriously, or prophetically” (New A.H. Dict.).

It is a sheer foolishness for anyone to continue to pursue, follow, hold unto or cling to the shadow when the body which casts the shadow is available or has manifested fully.

Jesus Christ is the body which casts all the Old Testament shadows!

The Scripture reveals that all the Mosaic dietary laws, regulations, offerings, rites or ceremonies “are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” (Col. 2:17 NKJV).

The Old Testament law was not intended to be a means of salvation, but simply “our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal. 3:24-25 NKJV).

All the sacrifices or rituals of the Old Testament are not intended or designed by God to serve as a basis of having an intimate and loving relationship with Him, or as a basis of earning God’s love, acceptance or favour.

Rather, their ultimate purpose was simply to serve as a shadow, copy, or figurative representation of spiritual realities about Jesus Christ and His redemptive work.

The Scripture amply testifies to this truth.

Hebrews 10:

 1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. (NKJV).

Romans 10:

4 For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.” (AMP).

Romans 10:

4 For Christ is the fulfillment {or, completion, or end} of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (WEB).

Romans 10:

4 For Christ has brought Law to an end, so that righteousness may be obtained by every one who believes in him.” (TCNT).

The religious folks in Jesus’ days missed God’s best for them because they continued to religiously cling to the Mosaic laws and rituals (the shadow) when Jesus Christ (the body) which casts the shadow had manifested fully to them.

In spite of the revelation of the grace of God that brings salvation to all men, yet many religious folks today are still pursing, following and observing the Old Testament laws and rituals as a means of righteousness, or as a means obtaining God’s favour, approval, or salvation.

It is simply foolishness to keep chasing after the shadow when the body which casts the shadow is available and within your reach. The shadow is not a substitute for the body which casts it, but it is simply a representation of the body.

The shadow serves no good when the body which casts the shadow has appeared or manifested fully. Only a fool or mad person will leave you (the body) to chase after your shadow while you are physically and fully present, available or within his reach.

This is what many believers today are doing. How sad!

Many people today who claim to be believers in Christ are still passionately striving to keep all or some of the Mosaic laws and rituals so that they may be righteous in God’s sight, have a loving and intimate relationship with God, or so that God may love, accept, favour or bless them.

This is simply abandoning the body and chasing after its shadow!

This is nothing but foolishness!

Paul warned the Christians at Colossae in his epistle not to allow anyone to judge them in food, drink, or regarding a festival which are just a shadow of things to come.

Colossians 2:

 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (NKJV).

Unlike Paul, unfortunately, many servants of God today are not presenting and exalting Jesus Christ as the body or the substance which casts all the Old Testament shadows to the people.

This is why many believers today are still striving in vain to please God or earn God’s love, acceptance, favour, or blessing through their performance, self-righteousness, or works of the law.

It is sad but true that there are many people in our churches today who are completely immersed in religious rules and rituals, but without any personal, intimate and loving relationship with God through faith alone in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.

Friend, when you are striving to keep all or some of the Mosaic laws in order to be righteous in God’s sight, to please God, or to earn God’s love, acceptance, favour or blessing; you are simply chasing after the shadow and not the body, which is Jesus Christ.

In these days of apostasy, it is vital for you to always ensure that you are clinging or holding fast unto the substance of your faith, Jesus Christ, and not merely to a shadow – any religious laws, rules or rituals.

Colossians 2:

 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (NKJV).

Be watchful that no one deceives you into chasing after or clinging to any shadow – the Old Testament laws, rules, sacrifices or rites as a means of salvation.

Galatians 5:

 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. (NKJV).

Colossians 2:

 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations–

 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

 22 which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men? (NKJV).

Beloved, it profits absolutely nothing to neglect the body or substance (the Lord Jesus Christ) and cling to His shadow (the Old Testament laws, sacrifices or rituals).

Embrace today and cling to the Lord Jesus Christ (the grace of God) that brings salvation to all men.

Stop chasing after the shadow!

 

Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for opening my eyes of understanding today to recognize Jesus Christ as the body or the substance which casts all the Old Testament shadows. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to hold fast unto Jesus Christ to the very end, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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