Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Because of Jesus’ victory at Calvary, we don’t have to let anyone force us to observe the legalisms of Judaic law, or any other form of coercion and control.
Legalism, by the pure definition, is simply the ideology that surrounds religions that promote working one’s way to heaven. “Follow this rule; wear these clothes; do these rituals; don’t do this or that, and you will be rewarded with salvation.”
All of that is a lie. If it were true, then Jesus Christ’s death was useless. If we can earn heaven through our own merit, then His sacrifice was in vain.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5-7.
No man, or organization, or member of the clergy, is able to give us forgiveness of our sin and entry into heaven. It is the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His victory over sin and death and the grave, that make entrance into the presence of our holy God a reality.
What about the Old Testament law?
Verse 17 tells us that the law was “a shadow of things to come.” The church is not mentioned in the Old Testament. The system of sacrifices was a picture of what Jesus would do at the cross, completing God’s plan that blood must be shed for the remission of sin. Once Jesus came, we no longer needed the shadow, or picture, or representation of the remission of sins. He was the substance that gave us permanent forgiveness for the sin nature with which we are all born.
He is the One Who established the great mystery, the church, which is the body of Christ. Instead of being concerned with following every little piece of the Law, we can instead rejoice that He has fulfilled all the Law for us. The only thing we can do is to believe and accept that which He offered at Calvary.