Sunday, February 27, 2011

G-d's Days of Commemoration

The Passover season is coming up and it will soon be time to contemplate its significance. It is the only feast so far that Jesus Christ was physically present on earth when it was fulfilled. After that, he was gone back to heaven and was not physically present in the New Testament to keep the other festivals and to command their observance.

Many Christians feel that Jesus abolished all other laws except the 10 commandments, when many of them have not yet been fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). In fact, if we study the scriptures carefully, only three of the festivals/feasts were fulfilled.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came. That is another occasion that we have neglected to celebrate according to God's calendar. SDA Pentecost does not fall in God's time line either, as SDA church leaders have chosen a convenient day for "Pentecost and More". Generally, some other churches name themselves after the feast, for example Pentecostals, and totally ignore this celebration of the anniversary of the Holy Spirit entering the church. Instead, the church leaders chose to remember Azusa Street Revival.

The Day of Atonement - which is believed to be of special significance to SDA theology is also not commemorated corporately or even on the correct day. However, Feast of Trumpets is all but ignored in SDA theology, despite the fact that it comes before the Day of Atonement.

It is a pity that some feel that Jesus abolished all other laws except the 10 commandments, when many of them have not yet been fulfilled. While the sacrificial ceremonies have been abolished (or perhaps suspended since G-d promised Phineas the Levite an everlasting priesthood in Numbers 25:13), because of the fulfilment of Jesus as our sacrifice, it was not God's intention that we do not commemorate these special seasons, especially those with future meaning and significance. They are still his Feasts, even the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:2).

It is not about observing days and times, but about reflecting and commemorating on God's work and intervention in human affairs. As Christians we love celebrations and annual special times like Christmas and Easter. Why should we just choose our own anniversaries to celebrate G-d, when he has his own?

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