There are just some things that we should never forget on a national level. Not just bad things but good things. Good things that God has done.
In the US every year we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is the time we thank God for our blessings and his provision at harvest, we (sometimes) remember the pilgrims and how tough it was, and we gather together as family to feast (and watch football). It’s a good thing and one to be remembered in perpetuity.
In the Scripture when we read the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible), or the Psalms, there is one event that is righteously scarred into the hearts and lives of every Israelite. And that is the Exodus. God did something so extraordinary that the earth trembled when they heard of His mighty power.
Remembering that He is Yahweh who brought them out of Egypt
And God wanted them to remember and never forget.
So what he did was gave Israel holy festivals–some solemn, some joyful but all sacred.
- There was the Passover festival where they remembered that the angel of death “passed over” those who had put blood on their doorpost.
- There was Festival of Unleavened Bread where they ate bread that had not been made with yeast to commemorate the haste at which Israel left Egypt.
- There was the Festival of the first fruits where there was a celebration of harvest.
- There was the Day of Atonement in which sins were atoned for.
- Then the Festival of Booths to remember how the Israelites had to live when they escaped Egypt.
Each of these festivals was to make sure the Israelites remembered and never forgot the extraordinary things the Lord did when he brought them out of Egypt. It was one of the most momentous events of history for the world.
And thousands of years later, they still remember.
Remembering in our Day
Today, 33 years ago, I was baptized. It’s a day to remember. But more importantly for all of us, it is a time where we are moving into the season of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the events around the Exodus were to be sacralized and remembered, how much more should we the events around the cross?
In a not-so-good kind of way “Easter” isn’t too big a deal around here. We may get together to eat and in decades past, we used to attend sunrise services. A few kids may search for eggs. As much as nativity scenes and passion plays around Christmas, how much more should we do this season?
I think we need to make the Passion of Jesus a much bigger deal. Do away with the distraction of bunnies and eggs, and make the events of the season just that–events.
Unfortunately I’m not in a season or position to do that right now, but I can enlarge these days in my heart. Not treat them as common or ordinary days to do work and barely remember. I can look for churches that are commemorating and celebrating the most important event in human history.
Three times in Scripture we are commanded to celebrate the festivals. It was because they were much more important than we realize. It marks something in us, and for those around us, and signals that something of importance happened.
Let’s remember together in a few weeks, and not make them just ordinary days.