One of the lessons learned by keeping Yahweh’s holy days and Feasts is the desire to choose His ways over own. Taking up His observances and doing them is a clear indication of our heart’s desire to follow Him in obedience. We follow Him by what we do, far more than by what we say.
We can talk the most convincing talk, but unless our words translate into active obedience, it is all just empty rhetoric. The Apostle Paul calls words without action “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.” The actual keeping of Yahweh’s Feasts is the test of our sincerity.
The Passover demands that we take a personal assessment of our lives prior to partaking of the emblems. Through this memorial we accept the blood of Yahshua to cleanse our sin. But taking part in the memorial also means that we root out all that offends in our lives, which is reinforced by the removal of leaven for the Feast of Unleavened that follows.
There may be no real need to participate in the Passover year after year if our sinful behavior stopped after the first time we kept it. Sadly, that is not the way of human nature. Because we still fall short, Yahweh has provided seven yearly avenues for returning to and drawing closer to Him again — His Moedim or days set apart.
Nearly two months before the Old Covenant was ratified and before he scaled Mt. Sinai to receive the codified law from Yahweh, Moses was instructed about Passover and the first Feast, Unleavened Bread.
Yahweh said, “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep [it] a feast to Yahweh throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever,” Exodus 12:14.
We learn first of all that it is a “feast to Yahweh.” Later, in Leviticus, Yahweh commanded Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts,” 23:2. He leaves no doubt that these observances belong to Him, not just to Jews or to any particular group of people. It didn’t matter whether you were an Israelite or a stranger, you were required to observe these days set apart by Yahweh Himself, Exodus 12:19.
There are five classes of law in the Scriptures: spiritual; commercial-civil; ceremonial-ritual; judicial-criminal; and natural. The Feasts are part of the spiritual law, just like the Ten Commandments. They reveal the spiritual attributes of Yahweh and help produce a spiritual change in us when we observe them in true sincerity.
The change in the law that many like to cite came about in the ceremonial-ritual law, not in the spiritual law. The Book of Hebrews speaks of the temporary nature of animal sacrifices and other ritual: “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation” (Heb. 9:9-10).
Ritualistic ordinances were added to the law obligation because of Israel’s continued transgression (Gal. 3:19). Yahshua now intercedes for us as High Priest. His blood is the only effective remedy for sin. This is the change in the law that the Scriptures speak of. Nothing in the Bible affects or alters our responsibility to keep the spiritual law and the Feast days.
Numerous New Testament examples show where people were intending to keep the Feasts, were keeping them, and would keep them again the in Kingdom. Those passages include: Luke 2:42; John 5:1; 7:2, 10, 14; 12:20; Matthew 26:2, 17, 29; Acts 18:21; and1Corinthians 5:8.
Why do we see Yahweh’s own Son and His people still observing the Feasts in the New Testament? For one reason, in no fewer than four times in Leviticus 23, Yahweh declares the Feasts “a statute forever.”
Even in the coming Kingdom we find that people everywhere will be obedient: “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says Yahweh,” Isaiah 66:23.
And what if they refuse, as many do today? “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain,” Zechariah 14:16-18.
Yahshua Himself promised to keep the Passover in the future Kingdom with His disciples, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18,30. Everyone, including Yahshua, will be keeping the Feasts when the Kingdom comes to earth. So why would we not be keeping them right now?
May each of us be like the Apostle Paul when he said clearly and with total resolve, “I must by all means keep this Feast!”