Observing OT/Jewish Law

Hello!
I’m currently studying through the Old Testament. I’m curious to hear some thoughts on verses such as Exodus 12:24, when referencing the passover: “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever." I understand that Jesus brought a New Covenant, but how does the New Covenant negate/cancel OT verses such as this one?
I have friends who are Messianic Jews. They strictly observe these types of commands, even to the point of removing any traces of yeast from their home during this time. I struggle to understand how a focus on these types of things truly encourage us to focus on the New Covenant and the fulfillment of the law that Jesus brought. But then again, how do verses, such as the one mentioned above, play into all this? I hope my question is clear. :slight_smile:

Blessings to each one,
Julia Whitt

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Hello Julia,
I’ll try to tell you what I think about this as much as possible :smiley:
All the Old testament’s prophecies and commandments lead us to Jesus. once he came he fulfilled every prophecy in him.
The passover especially is a prophecy for the Crucifixion, the strict rules how to choose the passover lamb, how they mustn’t break a bone (as jesus died without having a broken bone) and many other rules ofcourse all are verified in Jesus so he completed the prophecy and there is no point to continue offer a passover lamb, since the perfect lamb (Jesus) has finally come and held all our sins and died once and for all.
So after all the OT is actually verified not cancelled. :slight_smile:

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Good question, @juliawhitt87. And @Mary-Gayed is right about Jesus being our permanent Passover that never needs to be offered again - see I Corinthians 5:7.

And you can extend that concept to numerous OT rituals which were just pictures foreshadowing the spiritual realities that would one day be embodied in Christ. Of course, once the Reality appeared, the pictures were no longer necessary. Colossians 2:13-17 says that these OT rituals were taken out of the way and nailed to the cross with Christ - so we are no longer to be judged by them.

Having said that, however, I should mention that many Messianic Jews do understand what I’ve just told you, and they would be the first to agree that they do not observe their Jewish holidays and other rituals out of a legalistic expectation that it earns them special favors with God. They keep these things more as a celebration of their heritage - no different from an Irishman celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, or a Mexican celebrating el Cinco de Mayo.

You might explore what your Jewish friends’ true motives are in their observances. If they are what I suspect, then there would be nothing wrong with you even attending a seder service to better understand the cultural and symbolic nuances behind it - as a cross-cultural, educational exercise. Since you’re studying the OT, it might give you some fascinating insights into what might have otherwise been complicated and confusing rituals to you.

That is, if your conscience would allow it.

I hope this helps!

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Since you mentioned Passover and the days following it you should start in Lev. 23 where all of God’s Sabbaths and Festivals are listed in order.
The first thing you will notice is God says these days are His. He does not say they are the Jews’ and yes they are to be observed forever and for all generations.
God’s Sabbaths and Festivals are where one learns God’s plan for
the salvation of man.
Without understanding these Days you will never understand God’s plan for mankind.