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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Saturday-Pasta Days

You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!

Galatians 4:10

On June 28, 1870, the first official list of holidays was approved by congress. And to no one’s surprise, there weren’t a lot of them. As a matter of fact, there were only four.

  • New Year’s Day

  • Independence Day

  • Thanksgiving Day

  • Christmas Day

Today, that number has swelled to 12. And to make holidays more popular and easier to observe, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passes in 1968. This moved Columbus Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day from a specific date to a Monday. And just in case you were wondering how popular of an idea this was, almost 93 percent of those polled were enthusiastic supporters.

In the Jewish calendar, there were 14 holidays that were celebrated every year. But there were other special days that were honored. These were on top of the weekly Sabbath[1], monthly New Moon, and special years where other unique regulations and sacrifices were required[2].

Each Jewish holiday and celebration had its own set of special instructions and obligations. And they didn’t even have an app to keep track of all this. Thankfully, we do[3].

But Jesus had a mission to accomplish when it came to the laws, holidays, and other requirements.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:17

Jesus wasn’t all about getting rid of the old laws. He wasn’t trying to immediately bring in a new kingdom where King Jesus was at the top of the organization chart. He also wasn’t trying to bring down the current government and replace it with his.

He came to fulfill the laws. And by some counts there were 613 of them[4]! But what does it mean to fulfill all those laws? All those holidays, ceremonies, and regulations did two very important things.

  1. It clearly shows that no one’s able to follow all of them. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is messed up, jacked up, against who God is. We’re in it only for ourselves.

  2. By saying that he fulfilled them all, he’s saying that he’s God and has lived a perfect life as proof. No one else has ever claimed to have lived a perfect life and has made it stick.

There are only two ways to look at rules.

  • The Pasta Way – sometimes called The Pressure Way. To make all the different shapes of pasta, they press pasta dough through a die[5], which is a metal plate that makes the different shapes. The pasta doesn’t have a choice, it’s pushed and squeezed so that it’s forced into a certain shape. We try to use laws and rules in the same way, to force us to do something from the outside.

  • The Peaceful Way – Instead of pushing from the outside with rules and laws, God gives us his power and desire to do what pleases him. We are so thankful for who he is and all he’s done that we just can’t help ourselves. We’re so in love with Jesus for coming and dying for us that we are excited at the possibility of pleasing him.

If I were a betting man, I’d push in all my chips that we’ve all tried The Pasta Way and failed. I’d go all in on that bet in a heartbeat. We’ve tried to use rules, laws, shame, and even guilt to make us do something, or to stop doing something.

And we’ve all failed. But not just failed by a little bit. Oh no. We’ve failed by a whole lot.

The truth is that we’ve all sinned[6]. Some of us are drowning under a sea of guilt and shame. The only solution, our only hope is to throw ourselves into God’s merciful and forgiving arms through Jesus’ sacrifice for us. He paid it all so that we could receive it all.

If you were to receive his forgiveness today, that certainly would make this the most special day of all.

[1] Exodus 20:8-11 [2] Numbers 28:11 [3] [4] Moses Ben Maimon (1138—1204) is known to English speakers as Maimonides and to Hebrew speakers as Rambam, is the one who came up with the 613 list: 248 negative and 365 positive. [5] [6] Romans 3:23

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