Two Priesthoods and the Passing of the Law of Moses – #7
Israel’s Feast Days and the Passing of the Law of Moses- Part 2
In the first installment about the Two Priesthoods and Israel’s Festal Calendar we demonstrated that the feast days – all of them – were typological. They looked beyond themselves to something else, that something else being the things of Christ.
It is common for commentators to claim that the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of Colossians 2 foreshadowed the personal ministry of Christ and that since he fulfilled them, this means that the Law of Moses passed at the cross. But, this is untenable. All of the feast days did not foreshadow Christ’s personal ministry. The last three feast days were eschatological in their function and design.
The New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of Colossians 2 typified the judgment (Rosh HaShanah, the Feast of Trumpets), the coming of Christ for the Wedding, the resurrection, (Succot, Feast of Harvest) pointing to the New Creation! Those three final feast days were eschatological to the core.
This is incredibly important, and yet, I have found few (actually none) responses by non-Sabbatarians to the claim that the feast days foreshadowed Christ’s personal ministry. One reason for this is that as we have noted, both Amillennial and Dominionist writers make the same distinction between ceremonial and moral law that the Sabbatarians do, and thus, entrap themselves. They also believe – uncritically in my opinion – like Sabbatarians that the festivals in Colossians 2 did foreshadow Christ’s personal ministry. Read again the comments by Bahnsen and the others that I cited earlier.
Undeniably, if the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of Colossians 2 foreshadowed the Day of Judgment, the Wedding of Messiah and the resurrection, then one of the foundational pillars of Sabbatarianism crumbles to the ground. This would mean that the so-called “ceremonial feast days and Sabbaths” will remain valid until the eschatological consummation! I will express it like this:
Not one jot or one tittle of “the law” would pass until it was all fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18).
The New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths were a vital, integral part of “the law” (Leviticus 23, Numbers 28, etc.) and were administered by the Levitical priesthood.
Those New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths foreshadowed the Day of Judgment, the Coming of Christ for his wedding, the resurrection. (I will document this in another installment, but, there is no debate, no controversy about this).
Therefore, until what the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of Colossians 2:16 foreshadowed – I. E. the Day of Judgment, the Coming of Christ for his wedding, the resurrection – was (or is) fulfilled, not one jot or one tittle of the Law will pass away– and the Levitical priesthood remains valid.
Israel’s Final Three Feast Days and the Passing of the Law of Moses
Only if the Law, with its New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths has been fulfilled, (meaning that the Day of Judgment, the Coming of Christ for his wedding, the resurrection is fulfilled) can one say that the Levitical Priesthood is not still valid. That priesthood would remain valid until the fulfillment of those New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of Colossians 2:16. This reality effectively negates the Sabbatarian claim (echoed by Postmillennialists and some Amillennialists) that the “ceremonial aspects” of the Law passed at the Cross, while the “moral law” and prophecy remains to be fulfilled. (It should be noted, for instance, that nothing was more “prophetic” than Israel’s festal calendar – including the final three feast days. So, once again, it cannot be claimed that the “ceremonial” aspect of the Law of Moses passed away but prophecy remains, because the last three feast days– i.e. ceremonial feast days – were intrinsically prophetic. Thus, “the law” which was prophetic and “ceremonial” would remain valid until fulfilled – all fulfilled.
Logically and Biblically, to affirm that the Levitical priesthood has been abolished is to say that the Judgment, the coming of the Lord and the resurrection is fulfilled. To say that the “ceremonial law” was fulfilled is to say that Christ’s parousia and resurrection is fulfilled.
In the next installment, we will show that a correct view of Hebrews 9:6-10 confirms our analysis here, and that is that the while part of the feast days were indeed fulfilled in Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection, there were other elements of the festal calendar that pointed directly to the eschatological consummation. Those ceremonial Sabbaths – to use the term – would remain valid until that soteriological climax – at the appearing of Christ for salvation (Hebrews 9:28) took place. Simply stated, if Christ has not come for salvation and the resurrection, then those last three feast days are not yet fulfilled. If those last three feast days are not fulfilled, then the Levitical priesthood remains valid to this very day and will remain valid until the (supposed) end of time. If Christ has not come, the Law of Moses– not one jot or one tittle – has passed away. The failure of futurists to carefully consider the eschatological nature of Israel’s festal calender, the last three feasts, logically (and effectively) negates modern views of the Sabbath, the passing of the Law of Moses and futurist eschatology.
When Hebrews was written the Levitical priests continued to serve, standing daily and ministering in the temple (notice the present active Greek tenses in Hebrews 8:4). They continued to serve in a priesthood that, while always ineffective, they were nonetheless fulfilling the typological aspects of the Law until it was all fulfilled at the parousia that was coming in a “very, very little while” (Hebrews 10:37). That means that both the priesthoods, the Levitical and the Melchizedec, were valid and operating at the same time.
More to come