Colossians 2:16-17 Bible Study by Bridget Willard

The Substance is Christ: Colossians 2:16-17

R0015150_v1 by Sigfrid Lundberg, on Flickr
R0015150_v1 by Sigfrid Lundberg, on Flickr

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 2:16-17

Foreshadowing has been a tool of storytellers throughout time. Often, it is used as an allegory to make a point or teach or moral truth.  The lessons in the Old Testament were used to teach the Israelites (and now us) that Christ’s coming was part of God’s Eternal Plan.

Take the instance of Isaac, Abraham’s miracle child, as an example.  His birth was a miracle, just as was the birth of Christ.  Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son, which God the Father did.

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

In this instance here in Colossians, they are told to not regard the traditional festivals higher than Christ. Why? Because they were a teaching tool to lead people to recognize God’s plan of salvation in His Son.

Last night we were talking about the glory of the Lord and how it has weight. In that moment it occurred to me that God’s glory is heavy because it has substance just like gold. It’s heavy, it has value, and it has brilliance.  In this passage, Paul tells us that all of these feasts and festivals were the shadow but Christ himself is the substance.

Let’s not worship our own traditions. Let’s worship Christ.

Questions for Further Thought:


All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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