“A voice came to him, ‘Get up, Peter, kill and eat!’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.’ Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (Acts 10:13-15).
The issue of kosher and non-kosher foods is a sensitive one here in Israel. That said, it is just as unavoidable an issue for believers today as it was for Peter when he wrestled with God on a rooftop in Jaffa. There is no such thing as “kosher” and “non-kosher” foods according to the Torah; only “clean” and “unclean” foods (see Leviticus 11). And unclean foods were just one of many causes of ritual impurity that kept people from drawing near to God who walked among our people in the tabernacle (see Leviticus 12-15). And once a year (the Day of Atonement), the high priest cleansed Israel from all their uncleanness so that they could continue drawing near to God (Lev 16:16, 19-20, 30). But what about followers of Yeshua today? Do certain foods (Leviticus 11), monthly periods (Leviticus 12), skin diseases (Leviticus 13-14), and bodily discharges (Leviticus 15) cause us to become unclean before the Holy God? If we say yes, then we must reassess our understanding of Yeshua’s priestly work on the cross. Not only did he die for our sins, but his blood also cleansed us (Jew and Gentile) from all uncleanness. Living in Israel, there are obvious reasons we must consider our surroundings and not cause unnecessary offense by the things we eat (i.e., our testimony). But let us never forget:
Because of Jesus, we are ever and eternally clean, which means we can draw near to God without any fear 24/7 (read Heb 9:6-14!).
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb 10:19-22).