“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having blotted out the handwriting of ordinances consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in matters regarding food or drink or regarding a feast or a new moon or Sabbaths—things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the body [the entire Sabbath system] is of Christ.” Colossians 2:13-17
When discussing the truths of the Holy Spirit with christians, this is one of the most commonly distorted passages of scripture. Folks typically misstate what Paul said by lifting verse 16 out of its entire context, and they try to make Paul say that things he embraced and taught to the Gentile converts were actually ended at the cross (which would make Paul a liar and a hypocrite).
So, let’s look at what he actually said here.
First, we see that he is talking to Gentile converts in Colossae, a city in Asia Minor between Turkey and Greece. He tells the Colossians that they were dead in their transgressions and the uncircumcision of their flesh (yes, they were Gentiles, for the physical Jews were physically circumcised (circumcision of their flesh), as opposed to those of Messiah’s bride who are circumcised spiritually (circumcision of the heart), as shown in Romans 2:29).
Then he tells them that their transgressions of the law had been forgiven them, but what “law” is he talking about? He goes on to explain. It was the precepts that were given after the physical Jews received the physical covenant (Ten Commandments). He says that the transgressions that were canceled out were decrees that were “hostile” to us, as the clean vs. unclean laws mandated separation between physical Jews and Gentiles, classifying anything pertaining to the Gentiles as “unclean.”
He speaks of the fact that those laws were contained in “the handwriting of ordinances,” which were the precepts that were written by man’s hand—remember, the Ten Commandments were not written by man, but the Holy Spirit engraved them in the stone tablets Himself.
So, Paul is talking about the precepts, and in those precepts were many laws that forced a separation, keeping Jews and Gentiles in two distinct groups that could not associate with each other. He explains that those handwritten ordinances (the written law of Moses) were taken out of the way—nailed to the cross. It’s the same thing he said in Ephesians 2:13-18, the barrier that kept the two groups separated (clean vs. unclean) was broken down in Messiah.
Now, within THOSE ordinances were a multitude of commandments that covered HOW the physical Jews were to eat, drink, dress, have sex, and observe the Sabbaths. There were many rules about HOW the Sabbaths were to be kept, generally having to do with animal sacrifices and being ceremonially “clean” in order to be able to observe them properly. The same was true about what the physical Jews ate, drank, how they dressed, and had marital relations.
But, as Paul taught, THOSE laws were abolished in Messiah. So, because there are no longer any regulations regarding HOW those things are to be done, nobody is to judge others in HOW they eat, drink, dress, have sex, or honor the Sabbaths, for there are no longer strict rules governing how those things are to be done.
To follow the christian argument logically, though, it would mean that there is no longer any eating, any drinking, any clothing, and there is no longer any sex—IF there are no longer any Sabbaths given to Yah’s people. And, that is easily shown to be wholly absurd!
But, notice, Paul went on to say that the Sabbaths (feasts, new moons, Sabbath days) are a shadow of things that are to come. It is important to note that, if the false christian narrative were true, Paul would have told the Gentile converts that the Sabbaths WERE a shadow of things that WERE TO COME. For, if the Sabbaths had ended at the cross, then he would not have said they ARE a shadow of things THAT ARE TO COME.
Of course, we know that SOME of the Sabbaths were fulfilled during the New Testament era. By His crucifixion, Messiah Yahoshua fulfilled the Passover; by His burial, He fulfilled the Feast of Unleavened Bread; by His resurrection, the Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled, and by the giving of the spiritual covenant (seal of the Holy Spirit on the bride), the Feast of Weeks was fulfilled (Acts 2).
But, there are still three feasts that have not yet been fulfilled: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Trumpets will be fulfilled when Messiah takes His bride to the wedding chamber. Atonement will be fulfilled at the end of Armageddon, when the sheep and the goats are separated. And, Tabernacles will be fulfilled by Messiah’s earthly millennial reign.
And, the further we go into the real substances that are foreshadowed by the Sabbaths, we learn that there are further fulfillments of the Spring feasts that take place after the bride is removed. Of course, those will be fulfilled in a much shorter period of time (shown by the lengthy barley harvest compared to the much shorter wheat harvest).
There are myriad spiritual and prophetic truths that are revealed through the Sabbaths—and, those are all STILL TO COME. So, what christianity did by abolishing the Sabbaths, and replacing them with paganism and humanism, was to thoroughly destroy the doctrinal foundations presented by the Sabbaths, which Yah STILL gives to His people as an eternal family sign between Him and them.
And, THAT is why christianity is fragmented into more than 41,000 different flavors (denominations), and there are so many disparate views on prophecy. It’s because all of those christian teachings are devoid of the Holy Spirit and HIS truth. They are the carnal wranglings of religious men; and, it must be understood that all spiritual error has but one ultimate source (he often masquerades as an angel of light).
So, when a christian states that the Sabbaths were ended at the cross, or that they were only valid during the Old Testament, or that they were abolished with the law (most people don’t understand what was actually abolished), they expose their utter spiritual ignorance, and reveal that they are not led by the Holy Spirit, but by the false traditions of men.
For more information: Feasts After Passover