Remembering God through Celebrations

Sunday Lesson Notes from October 16, 2022

Why do people celebrate Special Holidays?

  • Helps us to remember special events, moments and people
  • Allows us to take a break from work
  • Facilitates family members getting together

Read Leviticus Chapter 23: 1-44

  • The Israelites were told by God to celebrate 7 Major Festivals throughout the year
    • The Sabbath, celebrated every 7 days
      • Three Spring festivals
        • The First Fruits, early spring harvest
        • The Passover,  remembering deliverance from Egypt
        • Festival of Weeks, Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Passover
      • Three Fall Festivals
        • Festival of Trumpets, celebrating repentance
        • The Day of Atonement, sins forgiven, sacrifices by the High Priest
        • Festival of the Booths or Tabernacles-celebrating time they lived in tents in the wilderness and were delivered by God
  • What was so special about the Festival of Booths?
    • They were offering animals that they had raised all year, true sacrifice
    • They were remembering the discomforts of living in a tent but could remember how God took care of them at that time
  • Read John 7: 1-39
    • Jesus was participating in the Festival of Booths during this passage
    • Jesus’s brothers were giving him a hard time but he stood up and taught the people any way
    • The people were questioning Jesus’s authority as he challenged their beliefs, but he was confident in who he was and where he came from 
    • He advised the people to test his words by obeying God’s words
    • Jesus reminded them that he was returning back to his Father in Heaven
    • The leaders were misleading the general population with lies so they would not follow Jesus’s teachings
    • Jesus was teaching them the true meaning of the Festival, that God will provide for them as God did back in the wilderness and escape from Egypt
    • Jesus taught the people that he was there to bring them living water, the source of life. Water was the source of life in the wilderness of the desert and it is the source of spiritual life now. Jesus brought the never ending living water to the people with his words. 
    • When we obey Jesus’s teachings we become the spiritual spring of water for others which leads to eternal life through Jesus
    • Everyone is invited to participate in the Festivals of Jesus and follow his teachings
  • Read John 7:40-53
    • Jesus’s teachings were so different at this time that the leaders were trying to kill him
    • Some of the Jews at this time were using scriptures to try to convince others that Jesus was not the Christ which also led to a great deal of conflict
    • The Festival of Booths was celebrated to remember the coming out of slavery of Egypt and living in the wilderness as God took care of the people, yet the Pharisees were still trying to keep the people in slavery to an old law.
    • Jesus dwelled among us to show us how to live on earth and how to worship God
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