Note to parents
We encourage you to read through this material with your children to provide an overview of the meaning of the spring holy days and what they picture. Then go through each festival in detail along with supplemental pages you feel would be helpful in teaching and reinforcing the meaning of the days. It might also be helpful to review all of God’s holy days to provide an accurate and complete understanding of God’s plan of salvation. For a good review, see “God’s Plan and Purpose for Humanity Illustrated in the Seven Annual Festivals” located in this section of the Manual.
God has a plan to make human beings His sons and daughters in His eternal family. Using seven festivals throughout the year, God proclaims Himself and His plan to humanity. These annual Sabbaths impart knowledge and understanding that God is creating a family—a family that includes you and me!
Generation after generation, God continually reveals and magnifies His master plan of salvation through His holy days.
The Old and New Testaments clearly establish that God’s people have always kept His holy days. These abiding observances demonstrate God’s earnest desire from the foundation of the world for all of humanity to become reconciled with Him (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 13:8) . Generation after generation, God continually reveals and magnifies His master plan of salvation through His holy days.
The Passover memorial testifies of God’s absolute love and concern for humanity by commemorating the death of Jesus Christ on our behalf (John 3:16) . Because sin separates us from the Father, we first must have our unrighteousness covered (Isaiah 59:2) . Repenting of our sin and claiming the precious blood of Jesus Christ allows our sins to be forgiven so that we can boldly come before the Father (Hebrews 4:16) . The atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ—the Passover Lamb—provides complete remission of our past sins.
Christ instituted new symbols for the Passover ceremony, leaving us a lasting reminder of our part in His suffering and death. By partaking of unleavened bread and wine—symbols which picture Christ’s battered body and shed blood—we internalize the cost of sin and recall His sacrifice for us. With deep humility, we confess our sins, seek forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures our complete commitment to obeying God’s law and serving Him wholeheartedly. By removing leaven, which pictures sin, from our homes for seven days, we focus on living an "unleavened" life—a life free of sins. Eating unleavened bread reminds us that our goal is to live a life in complete imitation of our Savior, Jesus Christ (1 John 2:6) . Aware that God requires His sons and daughters to have an obedient and repentant attitude, we actively seek to remove our sinful tendencies, resisting our human weaknesses. We are reminded that salvation requires a continual process of overcoming.
Marking the second season in God’s annual holy day cycle, the Feast of Pentecost pictures the giving of the very Spirit of God to His elect—His firstfruits. We learn that professing the name of Jesus is simply not enough; God grants His Holy Spirit only to those who sincerely repent (Acts 2:36-38) . Once the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us, God can begin writing His laws and commandments upon our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:16) . Granting us a measure of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) , God empowers us to overcome sin and live a blameless life.
Although God is only calling out a small number of firstfruits today, later at the appointed time everyone will have the opportunity to know God and His great plan. God in His supreme wisdom and love is not offering salvation to the whole world now. But at the appropriate time, God will offer the hope of salvation to all people. We’ll learn about this glorious hope during the final four festivals in God’s plan of salvation for all of humanity.
You can use the following activities to deepen your child’s understanding of and appreciation for God’s spring holy days.
Holy day card games
- Download and print the file “Holy Day Card Game” on card stock.
- Have your child cut out the cards and place the holy days in the correct order.
- Have your child match the correct meaning to each holy day.
- Play “Concentration” with all the cards, pairing the holy day with its meaning to create a correct match.
- Mix up the cards. How fast can your child sort the holy days and their proper meanings into the correct order?
- Make a mobile with the cards.
- For older children: Research and add scripture references to the cards.
Further Your Study
God’s Plan & Purpose for Humanity
Review God’s step-by-step plan of salvation for all of humanity by being reminded of the meanings and fulfillment of each of the annual festivals outlined in Leviticus 23. See how all seven festivals fit together to provide a complete Read More >
The first annual festival, Passover, lays the foundation for all the following festivals. Teach your children about this solemn memorial of Jesus Christ’s death and what His sacrifice means for us today. Several pages of discussion points are Read More >
Feast of Unleavened Bread
What is sin and what is righteousness? Deepen your understanding of this seven-day festival and teach your children about the importance of worshipping God in sincerity and truth using the built-in teaching tool of leaven. Several pages of discussion points Read More >
Feast of Pentecost
What symbolism do firstfruits of a harvest have in God’s plan of salvation? Teach your children about the founding of the Church of God and the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit. Several pages of discussion points are Read More >
Holy Day Card Game
Print these festival flash cards on card stock to create multiple game possibilities. Play “Concentration,” matching games, sequencing games, and the list goes on. See our “Spring Festival Season Overview” lesson or our “Fall Read More >
God’s Festivals Pocket Sorter
Using some basic office and teaching supplies, assemble this fun teaching tool with your children. This is a great project to review your knowledge of all of God’s festivals. Read More >