Frank Viola Author on the Sabbath

Those who have read my books Revise Us Again, Jesus: A Theography, and From Eternity to Here, are aware that those who follow Jesus Christ are not under the Law. Instead, we’ve been given the Spirit of the living God who fulfills the Law in and through us.

Consequently, the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament era have been done away with in Christ. The New Testament is clear that those laws were merely “shadows” pointing to Jesus.

That said, those who have not read the aforementioned books sometimes write us and ask, “Are Christians obligated to keep the Sabbath like the Old Testament Jews were?”

In this post, I will answer that question in some detail.

In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul actually answers this question. He writes,

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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

In this passage, Paul mentions several Old Testament ordinances and warns us against judging one another concerning their observance.

He argues that because the ordinances are shadows that have been fulfilled in Christ, we must not allow anyone to judge us concerning them.

Biblically speaking, a shadow is an illustration of an aspect of Christ. Old Testament shadows are usually physical people, events, stories, or ordinances that typify spiritual things relating to Jesus.

Just as a physical shadow resembles the physical object in which it reflects, a biblical shadow resembles the spiritual things that Christ has provided for us in the New Covenant. For example, the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb was a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ, the real Lamb of God (see 1 Cor. 5:7).

Therefore, we no longer sacrifice lambs because the shadow of the real Lamb has been fulfilled in Christ.

The principle of biblical shadows dictates that when the reality of the shadow appears, the actual shadow is no longer kept.

Hebrews 10:1 states that the Law (that is, the first five books of the Old Testament known as “the Torah”) contains many shadows.

In our book Jesus: A Theography, Leonard Sweet and I trace numerous Old Testament shadows that are often ignored, explaining how they are fulfilled in Christ

Read the full article by Frank Viola, author here: