It is God who has established the feasts and commanded us to keep them. Among the laws given by God, there is not a single law that has nothing to do with our salvation and has no meaning. The feasts recorded in the Bible are also closely related with our salvation.
The reason why God has established the feasts
We are all sinners who committed sins in heaven and have been cast down to this earth. No one born on this earth escape the penalty of “death,” which is the result of sin.
Ro 6:23 『For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.』
In order to save sinners who were destined to die due to the sins that they had committed in heaven, God shed His precious blood on the cross: By dying on behalf of all human beings, God showed His great love for them and manifested His mighty power. God’s feasts have such important meaning, which help us remember the sacrifice and love of Christ and commemorate the power of God who leads us to the eternal kingdom of heaven.
The reason God has established the feasts is to give people in this world, who are living without even knowing their origin, an insight into the spiritual principles and to lead them to the way of salvation.
The feasts of God
Among the feasts of God, there is a weekly feast—the seventh-day Sabbath. And there are also the annual feasts such as the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Day of Resurrection (the Day of Firstfruits), the Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks), the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These seven feasts are divided into three times of the year; they are called the “seven feasts in three times” (Leviticus 23).
The seven feasts in three times originated with the work of Moses. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God appointed Moses as a leader to bring them out of slavery in Egypt and lead them to Canaan. What Moses did for about a year from the time of the Exodus became the origin of each feast. Through the work of Moses, God showed in advance the work of salvation that Jesus who was to come as the Savior would carry out to deliver His people from this sinful world and lead them into the heavenly Canaan (Heb 3:2-6).
Worship God in spirit and in truth through the services for the feasts
In the Old Testament times, the Israelites offered sacrifices to God by slaughtering animals such as sheep or goats and sprinkling their blood on the altar according to the regulations of the feasts. In the New Testament times, Jesus established the feasts of the new covenant—spiritual sacrifices. So, we keep the feasts by worshiping God in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24).
Lk 22:7-20 『Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” . . . They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer . . .” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”』
Lk 4:16 『He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.』
Jesus Himself set the example of keeping the feasts of the new covenant. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, we worship God in spirit and in truth, so we can receive the blessings promised to God’s people who keep the feasts.
Isa 33:20-24 『Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. There the LORD will be our Mighty One . . . No one living in Zion will say, “I am ill”; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.』
Most Christians claim themselves to be God’s people, but through the feasts God distinguishes His people who are to be saved.
Ps 50:4-5 『He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people: “Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice (feast).”』
Rev 14:12 『This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments (feasts) and remain faithful to Jesus.』
Only those who keep the feasts of God are worthy to be called “God’s people.” So, without celebrating the feasts of God, no one can be saved. We have to observe the feasts commanded by God, not manmade feasts such as Sunday service, Christmas, etc. Only then can we receive salvation. That is why we regard God’s feasts as precious and keep them.