THREE ANNUAL FEASTS
“Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God. “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until morning. The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.(Exodus 23:14-19)
These three feasts are very significant in the lives of the children of Israel and in our lives too. The first reason is that what God did in the midst of them had never been done before in the history of mankind. He did this to let the whole world know that the only God that there is is the God in heaven that the children of Israel serve. The nations that existed before the nation of Israel were serving man-made gods and they have no power to save. The world needed to know that there is only One God who created the whole world, and all that are in it. Secondly the children of Israel needed to remember that it is the power of God that delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh. They were delivered by a mighty and outstretched hand of God and this will serve to remind them so that their mind do not stray away from God. Thirdly, it is good to give thanks to God for what He did at the time of their deliverance and what He continued to do for them. He led them on a journey to the promised land, provided homes and land for every one of them. He blessed them with the blessing of heaven, and they lacked nothing. Therefore God is teaching the children of Israel to show appreciation to the goodness of God in their lives.
Each time the children of Israel come before God to celebrate these feasts, they are teaching the younger generation to be obedient to the commands that God gave to them. They are also making them aware that all they have come from Him. and they need to honor God with their substance, The Faith of the younger ones will increase seeing what their parents do every year. Another point to stress is the fact that they must not appear before Him empty. That is to say that they must learn to give to God out of what they have been blessed with. We need to learn the same lesson too. When we give to God, it shows we appreciate Him and it is a way to worship Him. Giving to God is a demonstration of our love to Him. God was the first to show His love to us by giving us His Son, John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Luke 6:38 also says “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Therefore giving unto God is a direct way of receiving more blessing from God.
The Feast of Unleavened bread is also known as the Passover, the night that the angel of death passed them over while the firstborn of the Egyptians were killed. The blood of the Lamb was placed on their doors and lintels to identify them. The Lamb that was slain that night , the night at which the children of Israel were set free from their bondage was a prototype of what Jesus came to the world to do. He was the Lamb that was slain to take our sins away. Before Jesus was arrested, Paul had this to say, ” For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) This is what Christians now do to thank God for what He did to save mankind, and also to remember Him. Constantly we must be proclaiming His death and resurrection and the fact that He is coming back again. This is done again and again to put our focus on the Lord Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith so that we can daily prepare ourselves for His return to take us home. May the Lord count us worthy to be with Him in His kingdom in Jesus Name, Amen. Remain blessed!!!