Physical observances demonstrating deep spiritual lessons

Physical observances demonstrating deep spiritual lessons Written by Bill Bradford

Physical observances demonstrating deep spiritual lessons

My family and I take the observance of God's Holy Days very seriously as they are commands from God. During the seven days of Unleavened Bread we will eat no leavened bread.

"Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters" (Exodus 13:7).

At our house we have already begun the process which begins with the removal of leaven and products containing leaven from our home, car and possessions. Some make it a habit of doing more extensive cleaning at this time probably because, once you have begun to remove the bread and leavening agents from the home, it makes sense to just keep on cleaning.

God has a clear intent with His instruction to remove leaven. When we observe His command, it must be done with His meaning in mind. It is quite simple...once we understand Christ is our Passover who died so that our sins should be remitted; we are then instructed to live a life of removing sin from our lives.

The Passover and Unleavened Bread observances tell us that our life is one of "overcoming" and "coming out of the world" once we turn to God in repentance and asking that our sins would be forgiven. When a person is baptized for the remission of sins in the name of Jesus, he/she would obviously not go back to then live the same kind of life of which they had repented.

But the argument is: this is a "physical observance" and has no meaning under the new covenant. We live by the spirit, or we are in Christ, as the argument goes, and there is no need for a physical observance of this kind.

However, God commanded it for Israel "as an everlasting ordinance"(Exodus 12:14). God was clear on the meaning to the Israelites: "You shall observe this day (first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread), for on this day I will have brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus12:17). So too, God is clear with the meaning for us today. The seven days of Unleavened Bread represents the process of coming out of our practice of sin once we have accepted the death of Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sins (I Cor. 5:7-8).

But, why a physical observance to demonstrate a spiritual matter? Again, the answer is simple...we are all physical. There are a number of physical observances under the New Covenant to give us meaning for what should be happening deep within our lives.

The Sabbath: to be observed on the 7th day...a physical rest but the meaning and the lessons are multitudinous. To neglect the Sabbath is to neglect the meaning.

Baptism: complete immersion, representing a washing of our sins and a burial of the old man. Can God remit sins without being immersed? Yes, He can, but He commands us to be baptized to help us understand what is happening to us in the spiritual realm -- we are washed from our sins!

Laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit after baptism: Again, can God give the Holy Spirit without laying on of hands? Of course, He can. But He is clear that hands are laid on a cleansed person by one who is authorised. This is a physical action to help us understand what God is doing with us.

We should follow and respect God's observances. They have great meaning for us today and He has a reason for commanding them for His people.


Related Articles

What Is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?

Lesson 6
What Is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?

Is the work of organized religion the Kingdom of God on earth today? This is the central idea that shapes the view of the religious world. But is this the same Kingdom of God the Bible describes? In this lesson you'll discover the biblical answers to these important questions.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ
The Real Story

Did Jesus do what the records show? Was He, is He, really who He claimed to be? Can it be proved historically? Or are we left to simply accept it on blind faith?
This booklet seeks to address and answer the major questions that intelligent, reasoning people naturally ask in trying to understand Jesus Christ--the real story.

Who Was Jesus?

Who Was Jesus?
March-April 2014

Where did Jesus Christ come from? Who was He? This is a mystery that far too few really understand. Do you? It does matter - your future and your salvation depend on it!

Christianity: A Way of Life

Lesson 11
Christianity: A Way of Life

Is it acceptable to believe we are free to worship God as we wish, to refashion God in our own image? Or has God revealed an approach to life that He expects us to follow? Does it make any difference in the relationship we are supposed to have with Him? In this lesson we examine the answers to these questions and more from the Scriptures.

God's Holy Day Plan

God's Holy Day Plan

Is it possible to know what the future holds for us? The Creator of mankind does have a plan for us, and He reveals it to us through an annual cycle of festivals described in the Scriptures. It is an astounding plan offering an incredible future to every man, woman, and child who has ever lived. This booklet will help you understand the incredible truth about what lies ahead for all humanity.

Holidays or Holy Days?

Holidays or Holy Days?

Many people are shocked to discover the origins of our most popular religious holidays. They are also surprised to find that the days God commands us to observe in the Bible-the same days Jesus Christ and the apostles kept-are almost universally ignored. Why? Also, why are today's supposedly Christian holidays observed with so many rituals and customs that are not sanctioned anywhere in the Bible? In this booklet you'll discover detailed answers to these questions.

The New Covenant

The New Covenant
Does It Abolish God's Law?

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds"  (Hebrews 10:16, New Revised Standard Version).

Does the New Covenant negate Old Testament law and do away with God's direction to obey His Ten Commandments and other laws? The belief that it does has long been a popular teaching in traditional Christianity. We'll thoroughly examine this question in this booklet.

Transforming Your Life

Transforming Your Life
The Process of Conversion

In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!

About the Author

Bill Bradford

Beyond Today Magazine

  • The Global Impact of the U.S Election

    The Global Impact of the U.S Election

    The Global Impact of the U.S. Election

    by Darris McNeely
    Nations don’t die all at once. Various factors contribute over time—cultural shifts, economic challenges, political instability, external pressures. We are witnessing the decline of a great pow-er, America, long blessed by God as an exceptional nation and model for others. People around the world are watching this year’s election. They know it will impact their future.

    The Last Best Hope of Earth

    by Tom Robinson
    As the United States celebrates its national birthday and gears up for a rancorous political election season, many lament how far the nation has fallen from its early aspirations and fear its soon-coming demise—of losing what Abraham Lincoln called “the last best hope of earth.” But America was never that. The true last best hope is yet ahead.

    On the Edge of Great Change: Where to Turn?

    by Rick Shabi
    Is it too late for America? Has it grown too polarized to ever unite again? Has its downward spiral into depravity so corrupted the populace that it cannot return to the basic principles of family and morality underpinning every successful nation?

Free Bible Guides

  • Managing Your Finances

    It's a struggle for most.  What does the Bible say about managing your wealth and our attitude toward it? Is money really the root of all evil?

  • Overcoming Alcoholism

    Overcoming Alcoholism

    Alcohol can be an uncomfortable subject. If you have an alcohol problem it's not easy to admit it and seek help. If you know someone with a problem, confronting them with the issue or knowing how to help can be very difficult.

  • Forgiveness Is Possible

    Forgiveness Is Possible

    Forgiveness is at the core of Christian faith, belief and action.

  • What You Need to Know About Baptism

    What You Need to Know About Baptism

    Are we here for a reason? "...Broad is the road that leads to destruction...and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" — Will you?

  • Transforming Your Life

    Conversion is a process: God's calling, repentance, baptism, resurrection to immortality—the ultimate transformation!