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. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians2:16-17
The Colossians had been saved by trusting in Christ as their Saviour. They were saved by amazing, undeserved and never-ending grace.
But along came the neo-Jews who wanted to "kosher" them with diet, ritual and tradition. Paul is adamant about the enormity of their mistake: It's like going back to shadows when you had the real deal...
All the traditions of the Old Testament were signposts pointing toward our need for a Saviour. They were like the shadows of the future Messiah being cast backwards in time so that we could have some idea of what was coming. The shadows cannot compare to the three dimensions and full colour of the Reality.
The Reality isn't a religious system, but a Relationship with the Risen Christ.
Tradition and Ritual are, in some ways, easier than Relationship. They are predictable, safe and to some degree flexible enough for us to mould them and ourselves to make a good fit. Relationship, on the other hand, is unpredictable: it can take us to new places and can push us out of our comfort zone.
But with relationship comes the comfort of love and forgiveness.
With relationship there is intimacy and growth and development.
In relationship we are transformed through knowing and being known.
Being a follower of Jesus isn't "safe."
He may lead us into places where we will be stretched and must grow.
But He is good! He is the real deal! - He is full-colour and 3D.
For the next two days we'll continue to compare Ritual to Reality...
Take a moment to thank God that we can know Him personally as our Saviour and Lord - this is true reality - this is true life...
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3
Theo Groeneveld firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/