The fullness of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross is so hard for us to understand. We strive to please Him. We blame ourselves and others when we fall short of expectations. It is good to be the best person we can be… Can we trust the Lord to guide us though?
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
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 2:11-17 NKJV)
This is a beautiful passage that has given me much peace. The early church struggled with the issue of the converting gentiles – do they have to be circumcised and follow Jewish laws to be converted Christians? I believe the above passage reveals the depth of what Christ accomplished on the cross and answered their question. In Christ, being raised in Him through faith, we are buried with Him in baptism and made alive again. It is a spiritual/internal change, not a ceremonial/external change. Jesus paid the debt for our trespasses (breaking of the law) and the uncircumcision of our flesh (external ceremonial commitment). God performed the work of raising Christ from the dead.
We have been made free! Christ wiped out all of the man-made requirements of faith. They were nailed to the cross in a triumphant spectacle. The last sentence is key.
“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.”
We are not to judge others on their choice of custom for celebrating Christ and His good works. People will choose the food, drink, festival, moon/season and sabbath to celebrate the Lord. The importance is Christ Himself, not the method of celebration.
The freedom in Christ takes a faith in what He has accomplished, not on our ability to please Him or earn salvation. Thank you Lord that we cannot add to your goodness. You are perfect! My freedom in You is not deserved, but I am oh so grateful!