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Definition of terms.
CHRISTIAN: Manner of acting or controlling yourself. That is, the way one conducts or does certain things at a particular time or event.
Festivals: A day or period of time set aside for feasting and celebration.
We will for the purpose of this study restrict ourselves to religious festivals and some basic ceremonies.
Aims of study
To remind us of whom we are in our society and various cultural background.
CHRISTIANS ATTITIDE DURING FESTIVALS
Christians have dual citizenship, that of the world and the church.
Festivals are of types-Good and bad. In good festivals,thr Christians can attend but have to humble his or her self and wait to be recognized as Jesus taught in Luke 14:8-11
Festivals involving non-believers can be honoured provided it does not involve idolatry .1cor. 10:27. But if the attention of Christians is drawn to any incriminating thing, he can leave. 1cor.10:27-32.
A Christian must be cautious of temptation during idolatrous festivals. He must not compromise his faith.
Actually, there is nothing in them but for conscience sake,avoid. 1cor. 8:4-6;7-10.
SOME RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS APPROVED BY GOD IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
There are no religious activities that was carried out in the Old Testament and New Testament by God’s people without his approval. They were called”feast of the lord”.
And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to the children of Israel, and say to them:”The feast of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are my feasts.
- The Sabbath -lev. 23:3; Gen.2:1-3
- The Passover and unleavened bread-lev. 23:4-8; Exo. 12:1-14;13:1-10
- The feast of the first fruits.lev.23:9-14
- The feast of the weeks. Lev. 23:15-21
- The feast of the trumpets. Lev. 23:23-25
- The day of atonement. Lev. 23:26-32
- The feast of tabernacles. Lev. 23:33-44
In the new testaments we have the ordained feast.
The Lord’s supper- Matt. 26:26-29; Acts20:7; 1cor. 11:23-29
In all the listed feasts above, certain things were peculiar for them to be called and accepted as religious feasts or festivals.
- They must be divinely instituted and approved by God.
- There must be a specific period(date and time) for celebration.
- The items to be used for the celebration must be given.
- How the feasts were to be celebrated were clearly stated and directed by God.
We shall take one of the feasts earlier mentioned from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, for analysis purpose.
THE FEAST OF PASSOVER
The Passover feast was instituted by God to remember the keys deliverance from the Egyptian captivity. Exo. 12:14,50.
(a) Specific period/dates given. Exo. 12:1-3.6
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, this month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying. On the tenth of the month, every man shall take for himself a lamb for a household. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of same month
(b) Items for the feast specified. Eccl. 12: 2 -6
Every man shall take for himself a lamb for the household of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next to his house take it according to the house of the persons and according to each man’s need.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year, either from the sheep or the goats.
(c) How it was to be celebrated stated. Exo. 12:6-11
The chosen animal was kept until 14th day of the same month. The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
Some of the blood was to be put in the two door post on the lintel of the house where they eat the lamb. The flesh to be eaten on that night, roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs.
Do not eat it raw, nor boil it with water but roasted with fire; it’s head with it’s legs and it’s entrails (intestines). None should remain till the next morning.
They were to eat it with a belt on their waist, sandals on their feet and staff in their hands and to eat in haste.
THE LORD’S SUPPER FEAST
(a) This is a known feast to us instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ as memorial feast for the memory of his death and resurrection. Lk. 22:16-20; Matt.26:26-29; 1cor11:23-29; Acts 20:7.
God knew man would forget the significance of the atonement of his son. For this reason, the feast was instituted in order to regularly remind Christians (as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup) of who they are and why they are children of God.
SUNDAY SCHOOL BY BROTHER AWAKESSIEN