Leviticus 23-27 ~ Let's Party!
Colossians 2:16-17 tells us to let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath for these are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Ultimately, Jesus is the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).
But what about the Sabbath? Do we still need to observe it? While Colossians 2:16-17 has made it clear that it is not to be made legalistic, Deuteronomy 5:15 informs us that the Sabbath day serves to remind us of God's rescue work while Exodus 20:10-11 and Exodus 23:12 encourage us to be like God, in taking rest that we may be refreshed.
Feasts and festivals aside, some of the Levitical rules mentioned are still noteworthy. For instance, the act of blaspheming contravenes the Lord's prayer opening line of "hallowed be Your name". The "eye for an eye" rule was in place to minimize retribution and revenge but not a strict order to retaliate. Instead, Matthew 5:38-42 teaches us not to exact revenge but to do good. Leviticus also goes on to teach us to deal kindly with the poor in Leviticus 25:23-28 and Leviticus 25:35-37.
Blessings for obedience are also discussed in Leviticus 26. It is an encouragement in light that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). On the other hand, disobedience deserves punishment. That said, such disciplining serves for our own good that we may share in His holiness as portrayed in Hebrews 12:7-11.
We are also commanded to keep the vows we make, especially those with God, in Leviticus 27. Matthew 5:33-37 discourages us from swearing falsely or even taking an oath at all but simply let our 'yes' be a 'yes' and likewise, a 'no' a 'no'.
At the end of the day, we still have much cause to rejoice in His holiness and in what Christ has accomplished on the cross. Praise the Lord indeed for His goodness!
Ps. Heartiest congratulations go out too to a dear brother David and a dear sister Mandy who exchanged wedding vows today and graciously invited me to share in the joy of witnessing their union before God... ^_^