From the beginning, God has actually wanted to have relationship with people. Throughout history, He developed opportunities for this. One method He advised the Hebrew people is through feasts. The word moadim in Hebrew is generally translated feast, however actually means “appointed times.” Let us explore this amazing prophetic evidence for the feasts of the LORD.
The Jewish feasts or more appropriately stated; the feasts of the LORD, were set up in such a way in order to help remind the Jewish people of God and His ways, however to likewise point to a Messiah, a Savior. That promised One is Jesus.
In Leviticus 23, God speaks with Moses about 7 feasts. Observant Jews still observe them now.
4 feasts take place in the spring and are linked to Jesus’ first appearance in the world. They are: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks. 3 feasts in the fall are bunched into fifteen days. Scholars and theologians strongly believe the symbolism of these feasts will be actually fulfilled in connection with Jesus’ 2nd coming. They are the Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles.
Here’s how all 7 feasts of the LORD, explained in Leviticus 23, are associated with Jesus.
Passover indicates Jesus as the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). The perfect lamb’s blood was spilled to protect the Hebrews from the tenth plague prior to their release from Egypt. Jesus’ blood acts as our covering against the justice brought upon us due to our sin. Jesus was crucified on the day the Jews butchered lambs in preparation for Passover the next day. What a prophetic evidence this turned out to be!
Pertaining to the Israelites: On the fourteenth day of the very first month at twilight, the Passover is to be sacrificed. The Passover is the unblemished lamb that was set apart 4 days beforehand. After cohabiting them for a short time, the lamb was to be sacrificed and its blood was the sign that death would Passover those who had actually put on the blood of the lamb to the door post of their houses. God offered this appointed time to His people for their remembrance of His redeeming them from their chains and allowing them to move on to the Promised Land.
The Unleavened Bread
The Unleavened Bread illustrates Jesus’ sinless life. Leaven is symbolic of sin throughout the Bible. Jesus was without sin and for that reason a blameless, spotless, perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body stayed in the grave throughout the beginning days of this feast. He, like a planted seed, would resurrect into brand-new life.
Pertaining to the Israelites: When God took the Israelites out of Egypt, He did so rapidly; so rapidly that the dough of their bread would not have time to inflate. For that reason, the leaven was not needed.
Jesus was resurrected on the day of First Fruits, becoming the first to beat death and provide us brand-new life. This is one reason why Paul describes Jesus as the “first fruits” of the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Pertaining to the Israelites: First fruits deal with returning to God the first fruits of the harvest. It was an annual Thanksgiving for the Jewish people for the grain collected in the spring in the land of Canaan. They were to bring the sheaf of the first fruit of the harvest. This was the start of the harvest, which would continue for 7 weeks. They could not eat of the harvest up until they offered their first fruits. To do this was to rely on God, for in offering the first fruits, one was depending upon God to continue to provide.
Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
50 days after the start of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. Numerous sacrifices were made throughout the Weeks Festival, which is connected to the concept of harvest. It was at Pentecost (Acts 2) that Jesus sent out the Holy Spirit. Peter preached and about 3,000 Jews responded to his pronouncement of the gospel. This Pentecost is thought about to be the birth of the church.
Pertaining to the Israelites: Israelites must celebrate this feast at the Lord’s temple. God appointed this day for the Israelites to remember how God provided them what they needed to live.
Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
The Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, is the very first fall feast. Many link this to the rapture, when Jesus appears as He returns for the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13– 18; 1 Corinthians 15:52), as it is announced by the blast of a trumpet.
Pertaining to the Israelites: The trumpet helped remind the Jewish people of their past, such as God’s giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20). It was a reminder of God’s power and, as the start of a brand-new spiritual year, intended to remind the people to stay loyal to God.
Day of Atonement
Likewise in the fall, the Day of Atonement is when the Jewish remnant is to look upon the One they pierced, repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah as foretold in Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1– 6, 25– 36. Jesus has actually already made atonement for believers (Jew and Gentile alike) on the cross. Many strongly believe this festival will be a prophetic evidence to Jesus’ 2nd coming when atonement is completely realized and the Jewish remnant acknowledges Jesus as Messiah.
Pertaining to the Israelites: This feast was the only day that required fasting, and the Israelites were to afflict their souls. And when the high priest sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat, the sins of Israel were covered for another year. This was Israel’s greatest day of the year!
The seventh feast of the LORD, the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths would be a prophetic evidence to when Jesus will once again dwell with His people (Michal 4:1– 7). Jesus has actually already come as Immanuel, God with us, and dwelled on earth amongst people. However He will come back to rule for 1,000 years on earth and eventually dwell with His people for all eternity in the brand-new heavens and brand-new earth.
Pertaining to the Israelites: This feast commemorates the ingathering of the harvest at the years end. It was a season of great joy and rejoicing over God’s abundance.
Some Messianic Jews (those who believe Jesus is the foretold Messiah) commemorate these feasts of the LORD today. Should everybody? Paul advises us to follow our convictions in Colossians 2:16– 17 and not judge those who do or do not practice the spiritual festivals. Undoubtedly studying the feasts of the LORD is a helpful exercise, as they are prophetic evidences of what is fulfilled in Christ, and we are welcome to commemorate these festivals if we choose.