EXODUS 23:14-19: FEASTS
Exodus 23:14-19 describes three important feasts, assemblies of worship:
- Unleavened Bread, which is the Passover, remembers God is the One who redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt. Passover is described for the first time in Exodus 12, and this feast coincides with planting time.
- Pentecost, the next feast synchronizes with harvest time and remembers God gave all this.
- Tabernacles remembers God's deliverance and Israel's disobedience and wandering in the wilderness when they lived in tents. One of the practices of the Tabernacle feast is to live in tents for a week.
One of the Tabernacles practices is for the priest to pour water in memory of when Moses struck the rock and God provided water. There's a wonderful and often missed connection Jesus made to this practice that's told in the Gospel of John 3:37-39, ESV:
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus was claiming He is the source of life, the giver of the Spirit that will be the life-source of those who follow Him.
Risen Christ, you are living water who flows from the rock that seemed to travel with Israel!
Drink only water today. OK, just one cup of coffee, but the rest water, and celebrate the life Jesus gives like clean water. Consider as you drink how Jesus re-imagined these feasts. How should Christians re-imagine ways to celebrate Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles in the church today?
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.