Using biblegateway.com I found 19 references in the ESV Bible to various observances that are said to be a “statute forever.” Since some of these references speak to the same element, the list of items to be “statutes forever” comes to 14:
- Passover (Ex. 12:14, 17)
- Tending the lampstand (Ex. 27:21; Lev. 24:3)
- Garments for Levitical priests to wear (Ex. 28:43)
- Levitical priesthood (Ex. 29:9)
- Bronze basin used for ceremonial cleansing (Ex. 30:21)
- Not eating fat or blood (Lev. 3:17)
- Levitical priests not using alcohol while ministering (Lev. 10:9)
- Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29, 31, 34; 23:31)
- Designated place for sacrifice (Lev. 17:7)
- Firstfruits festival (Lev. 23:14)
- Feast of Weeks festival (Lev. 23:21)
- Feast of Booths (Lev. 23:41)
- Sacrificial regulations for native and foreigner (Num. 15:15)
- Ceremonial cleansing (Num. 19:21)
As Christians who believe the Old Testament is God’s eternal and infallible word (e.g. John 10:35), we must take these charges seriously. But how do we fulfill commands that are wrapped up in a Covenant that has been surpassed by Christ’s covenant (Heb. 8:13)?
The good news is, any true Christian already is observing and fulfilling such ordinances by our worship of Christ. In fact, these ordinances amazingly point to Christ and His commands!
- Jesus = “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5:7)
- Jesus = our “great High Priest” (Heb. 4:14) who tends the “lampstand” (i.e. the church – Rev. 1:20)
- Jesus = our “clothing” (Gal. 3:27), and our righteous deeds follow this as “fine linen” (Rev. 19:8), even as we are priests of God (1 Pet. 2:9)
- Jesus = a priest superior to and replacing of the Levitical priesthood (Heb. 7)
- Jesus’ sacrifice provides ultimate and eternal cleansing to all who trust Him (Col. 1:22)
- Fat and Blood – this one I’m not sure about. Anyone else?
- We all, as priests, are called to not be drunk (Eph. 5:18) and be sober-minded (1 Pet. 5:8)
- Christ fulfills the Day of Atonement in his death and resurrection (Heb. 9)
- Since Christ accomplished the ultimate sacrifice, we can now worship God anywhere (John 4)
- Christ = “our firstfruits” (1 Cor. 15:23)
- The Holy Spirit coming down at Pentecost brought the church into an unending “feast of weeks” (Acts 2)
- Feast of Booths – seems to signify Christ’s return; could also have fulfillment in the fact that our bodies are called “flesh-tents” (2 Cor. 5)
- Christ put an end to sacrifice as the ultimate and forever sacrifice (Heb. 9:26)
- Ceremonial cleansing – see point #5
Faithful worship of Jesus fulfills this far and beyond what any Jew of the Old Testament could have dreamed. May we worship the Lord today for who He is and what He’s done!
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