Earlier this week, I wrote about Yom Kippur, the Hebrew day of atonement, and the messianic meaning behind behind it.
In fact, every commanded feast found in Exodus and Leviticus, has not only meaning in Jewish faith and tradition, they all have messianic and Christian meanings as well.
Yom Kippur, is associated with salvation, for example.
Jews, they look to be sealed for another year, if they properly repented between Rosh ha’Shana and Yom Kippur. I like to say that they need to “renew their membership” every year.
For truly born again Christians, we have “lifetime membership” – we don’t need to re-up every year.
Starting tomorrow night (in 2021) – Sukkot begins, the last of the year. It runs for eight days, where Jews actually construct small booths called a sukkah, and take meals in them.
For the believer, as the last feast, it represents the Messianic age, the one thousand year rule and reign of Christ.
There are water ceremonies, which represent purification for the Jew. For the Christian, these represent the perfection of this time,
The cycle starts again next spring – just after the biblical new year, as opposed to the civil new year, Rosh ha’Shana, which literally means “head of the year”. The term that should be used is “Yom Teruah” or Day of Trumpets.
There are a total of seven feasts commanded in Exodus and Leviticus. The question we get is why are Christians even observing them?
There are pastors who even tell their people that Christians should have nothing to do with them. Why is that? A lot has to do with it being an Old Testament versus a New Testament thing.
It if you read Exodus and Leviticus, these are to be followed forever.
Regarding Passover, God commanded in Exodus 12:14: This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
And when God says “forever” – I take Him at His word. We all should.
There are seven of these feasts. Four occur in the spring and the final three occur in the fall. By the way, God commanded that they all be observed forever.
If you live south of the equator, then switch the seasons. We have many from Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific islands as well as nations from Africa and South America which are south of the equator.
The spring feasts are Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits and Feast of Weeks.
The fall feasts are Rosh ha’Shana or Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. These, we’ve addressed, but let’s look at the first four, shall we?
The most famous is Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew. In Exodus chapter 12, it’s observed for seven days, however in Leviticus (chapter 23) and Deuteronomy (chapter 16), it’s extended to eight, and incorporates the Unleavened Bread and First Fruit feasts.
Many who know Messianic Jews, will find that will have nothing to do with Easter, but will observe Christ’s death, burial and resurrection during Passover. This is based on John 19:31, Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.
The Day of Preparation is the day before Passover, when everything is prepared for the Passover sabbath. Passover is a sabbath regardless which day it falls on – no work is done on Passover, which is why Jesus’ body had to be taken down off the cross before sundown and placed in the grave, as shown in John 19:31.
Jews aren’t very exact at recording births – but deaths, they were very precise, and John was being extremely precise here. Jesus was crucified the day before Passover, not Good Friday.
And days in the grave?
Passover is day one, when we observe the sacrifice of the final sacrificial lamb, as John the Baptist called Him, the Lamb of God to save us from the sins of the world.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is day two, where we observe that Jesus’ body didn’t decompose in the grave. Unleavened bread doesn’t contain yeast – yeast corrupts any food it comes in contact with (which is why Jews will ensure that all yeast is removed from the home on preparation day).
Jesus resurrected on the third day, and this is observed on the the Feast of First Fruits, when God gave Hid first fruit – His Son’s resurrection and triumph over sin.
Notice that the first three feasts are celebrated one after the other, and for good reason. Do you think God planned it this way all along? I do.
The fourth and final feast, the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, which is observed fifty days – seven weeks – after Passover. What else occurs about this time? Pentecost! We observe this feast for the same reason as Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit!
Jews observe this feast as the giving of the Ten Commandments at Sinai.
So, as you can see, our Jewish friends may look on these feasts in a different way (mostly agricultural, except for Passover – deliverance from Egypt, and Shavuot – the larger context is the Messianic context. God was setting all of this up to celebrate His son. Jews unfortunately, haven’t seen this yet.
For example, most Messianic Jews celebrate the birth of Christ during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, as He was born to tabernacle with us.
Also, the description of shepherds tending sheep by night is more likely late September or early October, than December – the rainy season, and it’s cold in Israel too in December.
If we look at Ezra 10:9, Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain.
These people were cold (trembling) and wet from the rain. This would have been around Christmas (the ninth month in the biblical calendar is late December, early January, and the twentieth day… around what we call Christmas. No shepherd in his right mind would be out in such weather, let alone have his sheep out in it.
So, the feasts could describe the entirety of Jesus’ work – from birth, death, burial, resurrection, the rapture (Trumpets), atonement and finally, the millennium reign.
God is good, isn’t He?
I’d say He is.
Now, go and tell others.
Please join us at our Tuesday evening Prayer Meeting at 8:00 Eastern on Zoom. Details below:
Topic: Heb10 Church
Time: Sep 21, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 849 3703 2002