The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.
“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.
“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.” Leviticus 23:1-3, 5-8 ESV
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ESV
And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. Exodus 12:17 ESV
When you go to a baseball game or football game or any other sports event, it almost always starts with the national anthem. All the fans and all the players stand at attention and face the flag of their country while the national anthem is played or sung. It’s a way to take a quiet moment before the excitement and joy and sorrow of the game and remember our country and our loyalty to it.
God commanded his people to do a similar thing. He wanted the people of Israel to celebrate certain festivals throughout the year, as well as the Sabbath every week. These were days and times to stop their work and look beyond the joys and sorrows of their lives and remember God and what he had done for them. One thing they were to remember on the Sabbath was that they had been slaves in Egypt, and God had freed them from slavery. Every Sabbath was a reminder of the rest God had given them, and the rest they were to make sure their own children and servants and animals were to have every week. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was also a time to remember how God had freed them from slavery in Egypt. It was a yearly remembrance of the freedom God had given them, and they were to celebrate and take a break from their work while they remembered.
Christians also have regular times to remember what God has done for us. Most Christians worship God on Sunday. This is the day Jesus rose from the dead and gave us new life. Every Sunday is a little Easter when we can go to church and remember that Jesus came to life so that we could live forever with him. Jesus died on the cross and rose again at the time of the Passover celebration. We celebrate Good Friday and Easter every year to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. These times of celebration and remembrance keep us from getting too focused on our own lives and keep us focused on all the wonderful things God has done for us in Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us our Savior, Jesus, and for all the wonderful things he’s done for us. Thank your for special times to remember what he’s done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.