Sacred Festivals
Ezekiel 45:18-25
Thus said the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, you shall take a young bullock without blemish…

The prophet here refers to some of those great "feasts of the Jews" which formed so interesting a feature of the social and religious life of the chosen people. These references are suggestive of the spiritual privileges and religious exercises of the vaster Israel of God, which he has redeemed to himself by the death of his Son and consecrated to himself by the grace of his Spirit. Among the lessons which these festivals may thus convey may be mentioned -

I. THE UNITY OF THE CONSECRATED PEOPLE. Never could Israel have more impressively realized and displayed their oneness in political and religious life than when they together celebrated such festivals as those of the Passover and of Tabernacles, both referred to by the prophet in this passage. A grander unity distinguishes the spiritual Israel, which is one because under the care of the one Father, because redeemed by the one Mediator, because informed, hallowed, and guided by the one Spirit. It was the prayer and the purpose of the Divine High Priest that all his people might be one - as one nation, cherishing the same memories, obeying the same laws, speaking the same language, and honoring the same King.

II. THE INDWELLING OF GOD AMONG THE CONSECRATED PEOPLE. It was not to celebrate a merely human community that the children of Israel kept their solemn feasts; it was in order to realize, in a striking and helpful manner, the perpetual interest and care of their glorious Lord and King. They were a chosen nation, a peculiar people, and this they both recognized and testified when they assembled to observe their festive solemnities, instituted by Divine wisdom to retain among the nation the sentiment of nearness to the unseen but mighty Head.

III. THE MORAL HARMONY EXISTING BETWEEN GOD AND THE CONSECRATED, PEOPLE. The sacrifices and offerings presented were the symbolic means of preserving this harmony between Jehovah and the seed of Abraham. Offences were confessed with penitence, submission was made, prescribed observances were complied with, and the favor of God was manifested and the conscience was purged from guilt. Such harmony, only deeper and more spiritual, obtains between God and his Church on earth. The estrangement and enmity are abolished; reconciliation is effected; communion is enjoyed.

IV. THE PERPETUAL REMEMBRANCE OF INSTANCES OF DIVINE MERCY, FORBEARANCE, AND DELIVERANCE. The Hebrew people were accustomed, upon occasion of their sacred festivals, to remind one another of the blessings bestowed upon their forefathers. The Passover reminded them of their deliverance from the cruel bondage of Egypt; the Feast of Tabernacles brought to their memory the wanderings in the wilderness. On such occasions they would turn their thoughts to their marvelous national history, and especially to its more instructive and memorable incidents. Similarly in. the Church of Christ, the wonderful interpositions effected by Divine power and clemency can never be forgotten; they must be held in everlasting remembrance; the mighty works which God did in old time must never lose their freshness and their wonder. The "sacred year" of the Church is filled with reminders of God's mercy, and especially of those supremely glorious and blessed events in which the Church on earth wok its rise-events connected with the advent, the sacrifice, and the glory of Immanuel, and those connected with the gift of the Holy Spirit of God.

V. THE PRIVILEGE OF UNITED AND JOYFUL PRAISE. The Hebrew festivals were occasions of social and sacred joy. With them were associated the thanksgivings and the adorations of a nation. The people gave thanks to the God of gods, the Lord of lords, to him who remembered them in their low estate, who led his people through the wilderness; for his mercy endureth forever. There is no exercise more congenial or delightful to the Church of Christ than the exercise of grateful praise. The songs of the redeemed and the righteous ever ascend to him from whom all mercies flow, to whom all praise is due. The moral nation of the saved ever lifts to heaven the tribute and offering of filial gratitude and spiritual worship. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the first [month], in the first [day] of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish; and you shall cleanse the sanctuary.

Top of Page
Top of Page