Paul writes in Colossians 2: 16-19: „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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.“
Since these verses are very often are used, to explain, that we are no longer have to hold the dietary laws, Sabbath and the feasts of God. Let us take a closer look on these verses.
What is a shadow? In the dictionary from Duden I found the following statement: „A shadow is – (more or less sharply delimited) in the shade of a body lying cut out an otherwise of direct light sunlit surface, depicts out dark out of the lighter surrounding.
Range that is not directly reached by the light of the sun or other light source, and in which therefore just muted brightness, semi-darkness [and cool at the same time], is available.
Body, shape, or the like, which (in that they are out of a lighter background stand out) just in outline, only schematically recognizable as a silhouette.
Dark point, dark spot that appears on something.
(Pictorially) as a shadow watched body of a deceased, Isolated (in the realm of the dead the antiquity)
The Greek word that was translated as shadow is σκιά; and the translation ways are shadows, silhouette.
If you look at the first verse, you can recognize, that the body, which casts the shadow, is Jesus Christ. The shadow or Silhouette, that is generated through Jesus Christ, are the commandments and ordinances of God, which all was been lived by Jesus. The early Christians held the dietary laws, Sabbath and the feasts of the Lord. Because of these way of life they were sued by the Gentiles; and have been made a bad conscience to them, because they living just different. They also should because of their lifestyle been attacked from a grouping, which angels worshiped. Therefore Paul encouraged them in verses 16-19 continue to hold out, in what Jesus Christ has shown us through his life, and themselves do not let make a bad conscience because they follow the dietary laws, Sabbath and the feasts of the Lord.
If Paul with these verses have to them declared, that the dietary laws, Sabbath and the feasts of the Lord are no longer valid, then the verses would be 20 – 23 give no sense.
In Colossians 2: 20-23 we read: „Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.“
The dietary laws, the Sabbath and the feasts of the Lord, are clearly given by God and thus certainly not the commandments and doctrines out of human. Commandments and doctrines of human are for example stricter dietary laws given from the scribes and Pharisees, Sabbath provisions, and fictitious rituals for the feasts of the Lord, as well as festivals and holidays that were yet done by the religious leaders. Exactly because of these things Jesus Christ has already attacked the scribes and Pharisees.
Paul told the Colossians, that they should not make yourself a bad conscience, because of these commandments and teachings made from human, because through Christ they’re already died to the influences of the world.
Today we see, how justified are the worries of Paul. Many who claim to be Christians, have rejected God’s commandments and his statutes and follow the commandments and doctrines of human, which have an appearance of wisdom, but in fact they are not worth anything.
For centuries, the word of God will be twisted and raped, just to get reasons why the commandments and doctrines of men (Sunday, Christmas, Easter, …) are kept; and God’s commandments and his statutes (dietary laws, Sabbath, feasts of the Lord), no have more validity.
Paul exhorts the Colossians in Colossians 3, 1 – 4 with the words: „Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.“
Above, where Christ is, there is also the Torah of God.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Amen (Psalm 1, 1-6)