And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram…
In all religions there are instituted festivals and public functions, which serve to manifest and to sustain the religious life of the community. This was especially the case with Judaism, which prescribed many stated solemnities. Even the Christian religion has its appointed sacraments, and, in addition to these, which were instituted by the Divine Founder, the Church has at various periods set apart times and seasons for certain public observances, participation in which has been found conducive to religious earnestness and vitality, as well as to ecclesiastical prosperity.
I. RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS AND SOLEMNITIES ARE JUSTIFIED AS HARMONIZING WITH THE VERY NATURE OF THE HUMAN MIND. It is not in human nature to proceed in one undeviating and monotonous course. Life is best lived when the regular and stated order of things is varied by occasional diversities. As in ordinary existence, so in the religious life, it is well that there should be variety, and that men should be invited to special engagements of a spiritual nature, whether of humiliation or of rejoicing, whether commemorative or anticipatory. Men do not cease to be men because they are Christians, and Christianity is not only compatible with, it is promoted by, special sacred festivals, fasts, and other observances.
II. RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS AND SOLEMNITIES ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE NATURE OF DIVINE INTERPOSITIONS WHICH ARE OCCASIONAL AND SPECIAL. The Jews had, in the course of their national history, experienced wonderful interventions of Divine mercy upon their behalf. And it is evident that the solemnities, which formed so beautiful a feature of the Jewish religion, were for the most part designed to celebrate the great things which God had done for his chosen people. The treatment of the nation by God had not been of a uniform and regular character; and it was natural that there should be a correspondence between the national history and the national religion, between what Jehovah had effected on behalf of his chosen people, and what that people did in acknowledgment of the Divine mercy. Similarly with our Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; we celebrate the special mercy of God in the advent, the death, and the resurrection of our Savior, and in the fulfillment of "the promise of the Father" in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
III. RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS AND SOLEMNITIES ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS WHO NEED TO BE IMPRESSED BY THE SAME GREAT SPIRITUAL TRUTHS. With reference to the Jewish Passover, we are expressly assured that one purpose of its observance was to train the rising generation in the reverent memory of the signal favors of God. When the son of the household asked, "What mean ye by this service?" the answer was given that it commemorated the loving-kindness and faithfulness of the God of the Hebrews, who had delivered his chosen people from destruction and assured to them his lasting protection. How much more powerfully was such a lesson taught by such ordinances than by words! The youthful mind is especially impressed by sacred solemnities, and by their observance provision is made that the attention of successive generations shall be directed to the glorious truth that God has visited and redeemed his people. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.