Remembrance of grace

Deuteronomy 16:1-22

Three times a year, all the men of Israel, are commanded to meet as one congregation before the Lord their God in the place which he chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths. No man shall come empty-handed, but every man shall give in accordance to the blessing that the Lord God has given him. Their culture was agrarian; therefore, their meeting together centered around feasts. 

The first feast, the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread was in the month of Abib, the first month in the Jewish calendar. This commemorated the Exodus from Egypt. They were to sacrifice the Passover Lamb, in the evening, at the place that the Lord God designated among them, then eat unleavened bread for severn days. The seventh day of this feast was to be a solemn assembly to the Lord their God.

So, the first feast commemorates the Lord’s Passover of their first born in Egypt, and their Exodus from Egypt, but the next two feasts have to do with thanksgiving. The second feast, the Feast of Weeks, began seven weeks after they began cutting the grain of the field. The third feast, the Feast of Booths began seven days after they had gathered the grain of the field. Entire families celebrated these feast and they included the Levite, the stranger, the orphan and the widow in these two thanksgiving feasts. 

The Lord God was to be their King, and his commandments, their law; therefore, they were to appoint judges and officers in all their towns to judge the people with righteous judgment. They were not to distort justice or be partial, nor take a bribe. The Lord is a just God, therefore, the judges whom they appointed must make righteous judgments. They are to do as the Lord commands and not add to it the things done by the people of the land.

Christ Jesus assigned his church two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s supper. My Christian denomination is Baptist and we refer to baptism and the Lord’s supper as ordinances commanded by Christ, but other denominations refer to them as sacraments, which implies conveyance of grace. I do not believe that these convey grace, but should be understood in the same context as the three feasts commanded by the Lord to the sons of Israel. Ordinance means decree or command; therefore, I believe that baptism and the Lord’s supper were commanded by Christ, to the church, as remembrances of the grace that he has already given us.