Principles & Practice Pt 3: The Principles in the Feasts
The feasts of Israel were living memorials to what God had done for His people. They were not only to remember these divine acts fondly, but God’s people were also to reenact and participate in them over and over again. This reenactment served as a way of bringing what God had done for their ancestors into their present lives, keeping His favor and blessings fresh on their minds and letting them impact their lives throughout the year. God had them relive the experience—the sights, sounds, the smells, and tastes—of the events that had shaped their Hebraic heritage.
However, God was not only trying to help His people remember what He’d done for them; He was trying to etch His principles and ways upon them.
Many Christians respond with something like this when I begin to teach on the biblical feasts: “I don’t celebrate these feasts because I’m not Jewish. Why do we need to know about this as believers?”
This might seem like a valid concern, but it simply shows that they do not understand the component of the Old Testament which functions as a shadow or pattern of the New Covenant we have under Christ. The writer of Hebrews says, “The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves” (Hebrews 10:1 NLT). Paul writes, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality” (Colossians 2:16-17 NLT).
The Old Testament was a preview of what Christ would fulfill on earth. But Jesus Himself said that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18 NIV).
God established His principles to be kept forever. And while we as Christians may not observe the feasts as the Hebrews do, it is vital that we don’t abandon the principles of what is important to God, because nothing that God established and Jesus fulfilled will ever become worthless.
The point of studying the feasts is not to bind Christians to celebration, ceremonies and rituals of the law. Rather, it is to learn about our Love, Christ Jesus, from the principles God established for His people before the time of Christ. These principles were revealed hundreds of years before Jesus fulfilled the promises of Scripture. In Christ, we have an excellent relationship with God, better than we could ever have through observing feasts and celebrations. However, the feasts and celebrations give us insight into the mind and heart of God.
As you learn of God’s ways, it is my hope that you will implement these principles in your daily lives. Then, having learned about our Bridegroom and His ways, live as though His Kingdom were on earth. As our hearts say,
“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 NLT).