I find the feasts fascinating and would've liked to have spent more time studying them in depth, but that didn't happen this time around.
I appreciated Deffinbaugh's summary....
the fall holidays of Leviticus track the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The blowing of trumpets speak of the warnings and shaking on the earth to call all mankind to repent. The Day of Atonement speaks of the day that Jesus will physically return and the day that Israel as a nation will find salvation. The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of the Millennial Kingdom.....
Should the Church of Jesus Christ celebrate these things? Four times in Leviticus 23 we are told, “It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.” Of course, the command is addressed to the Jews. On the other hand, these appointed times testify over and over again about the past and future work of our Lord. Should we not make room for the principal ones like Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles? These speak of three major doctrines of our faith: the Death of Jesus for our sins, His return, and His coming Kingdom. Think how clearly these holidays speak of these truths, because they are free from the secular clamor that surrounds Christmas and Easter.
Leviticus 24 shows us the importance of ritual in developing our spiritual maturity. The lamps and bread were to be tended exactly the same way all the time. Justice also to be a matter of ritual and was to be carried out consistently every time. So, too, we should develop spiritual rituals. Of course, rituals can become meaningless if we do them without thinking. But that doesn't mean there is a problem with the ritual itself. Indeed, we all know the power of forming good habits in our daily life, how much more so in our spiritual lives! (Like Daniel and his prayer ritual).
There's a lot going on in our Revelation passage.
In the letter to the church in Ephesus we see that the Christian life takes hard work and effort, that tremendous value is placed on truth and integrity, but that both of those do not make up for a lack of love. We can't excuse our bad behaviour with our other good behaviour, thinking the scales are tipping in our favour. We need to remain humble and pray that God would reveal our weaknesses to us, and be willing to fix them in His strength.
The letter to the church in Smyrna reminds us that trials and tribulations are test of the integrity of our faith and our loyalty to Jesus Christ.
The letter to the church in Pergamum reminds us that the church must not give in to the temptation to compromise our ethics in order to conform to society around us - talk about applicable to us today! Truth is what God has revealed to be truth in the scripture, and we need to be willing to stand firm on that. As unpopular as it is in our society today, there is absolute truth. There is obedience and disobedience to God's commands. There is judgment for those who disobey. As Christians, living by God's truths is not optional.
The letter to the church at Thyatira reminds us of the necessity of living a holy life. I will give to each of you according to your works. We'd love to be able to skip that verse, but we can't. God commands us to live a holy life, and if we refuse, there will be consequences. Of course, our obedience does not save us - we are saved by grace, not by works. But works must accompany faith or that faith is dead. We need to live in thankfulness to Jesus for His free gift of salvation, while at the same time obeying God in the prospect of the judgement day.
Wow - there was a lot going on in our passages today!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Leviticus 25; Revelation 3