Does the Bible tell us to observe any holy days?
Jews were instructed by God to observe certain holy days: Passover and Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), Feast of the Trumpets or New Year (Rosh HaShanah), and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
These are considered high holy days and are still celebrated today by observant Jews. The death of the Passover lamb, which was a symbol of deliverance from death for the first-born of the Jews (and thus through them deliverance for the entire nation), was a type or picture of the antitypical Lamb of God, Jesus, whose sacrificial death freed His true followers and, subsequently, the entire human race from the bondage of sin and death.
Before Jesus was to die as that sacrificial lamb, he instituted the Memorial at the Last Supper. “And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying
‘This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19)
This directive is reiterated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.“And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way after supper he took the cup saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ Our Lord’s Memorial, which falls on the day before the Jewish Passover feast, is the only day of the year that we as Christians are asked by Jesus to observe.
Why is the Memorial so important? Jesus affirmed that the bread represented his broken body sacrificed on our behalf and that the cup represented his blood, which sealed our pardon. By partaking of these emblems (the unleavened bread and the wine) today, we choose to be members of the spiritual body of Christ.
We are the prospective first-borns, the antitype of the Jewish first-borns who were saved because of the blood of the lamb that was placed on the doorposts. It will be through this spiritual body of Christ, composed of Jesus and his faithful followers, that the entire world of mankind will be blessed and saved from the curse of death in the future, just as the Jewish nation was saved in the Passover.
Many Christian groups have taken the directive “do this in remembrance of me” to mean that they may partake of the emblems (communion) on a quarterly, monthly, weekly or even daily basis. We, seeing that the Memorial celebrates the antitypical killing of the Passover Lamb, who took away the sins of the world, believe that it should only be observed on its anniversary. It is during the weeks leading up to the Memorial that we meditate on Jesus’ sacrifice and also on our worthiness to partake of the emblems in the hope of being part of the Body of Christ.
The Memorial is truly a solemn and holy celebration and the only day our Lord tells us to observe. However, we see no reason not to rejoice in remembrance of our Savior’s birth and in His Resurrection on the Sunday following his crucifixion. When we take the opportunity to joyfully recount the mission and sacrifice of our Savior with others we not only witness the Good News to the world, but we also receive a spiritual blessing as well.
To learn more about this important event listen to, “Israel’s Passover- What Does It Mean To Us?”