Horus Reads the Internet
Why Christians are no longer bound by Jewish Ceremonial Laws
Something that is made clear throughout the scriptures is the distinction between the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law. The Moral Law is the stuff found in the 10 Commandments: things like, “You shall have no other gods”, “Don’t murder”, and “Don’t commit adultery.”
The Ceremonial Law on the other hand is the stuff found primarily in the book of Leviticus that the Israelite people were required to observe: things like, “Don’t eat pork or shellfish” and “Those who engage in homosexual acts must be put to death.”
The Bible also teaches the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law have two very different purposes. According to Romans 5, for example, the purpose of the Moral Law is to show us our sins so that we can see our need for Christ and his forgiveness. And because all of us are sinners who need to have our sins set before us in order to see our need for Christ, the Moral Law still applies to us today.
According to Exodus 19, the Ceremonial Law is quite different. The purpose of the Ceremonial Law was to mark the Israelites as the people from whom the Messiah was going to come. In other words, the Ceremonial Law formed the way the Israelites worshipped, dressed, ate, worked and practiced justice, this was God’s way of reminding the Israelites that the savior of the world would come from them. And so, when that savior finally came in the person of Jesus, the purpose of the Ceremonial Law had been fulfilled. So, in the same way that you don’t need to hang up flyers for a concert once the concert is over, after Jesus died and rose again, it was no longer necessary to follow the Ceremonial Law.
This is why in the Book of Acts, Chapter 10, God tells Peter that all of the animals are now considered clean and that the Gentiles who didn’t follow the Ceremonial Law were welcomed into the Christian faith. So, the reason that Christians can eat pork and shellfish isn’t because we don’t take our faith seriously, it’s because we take our faith so seriously that we’ve actually read the Bible, and the Bible tells us that we are now free to eat these things.