A handy guide to a magnificent gift from the Lord: His Seven Feasts. You don’t want to miss this–very significant for Christians today!
And by the way, Jesus celebrated these feasts—several are mentioned in the Gospels—as did the early church. Not the feasts the Christian church celebrates today. (John 2:23, John 5:1, John 7:10, John 12:12, John 13:1, Acts 2:1, Acts 18:21). Jesus is also seen observing Hanukah (the “Feast of Dedication” at John 10:22).
The Divine Appointments series I’ve been running on this blog has now taken us through all seven Feasts of the Lord. Before I roll out a new series (drum roll please!! 😉 ), I thought this might be a good time to pause for breath. And to wrap up this vital information on the Feasts in a systematic fashion–with a bow, if you will!
Many Christians aren’t aware of the seven “feasts of the Lord” given to Moses on Mount Sinai—or their fascinating significance to Christians. I was a Jesus-follower myself for decades before I learned about them. It’s been a real journey of discovery, and my joy to share with you! Nothing in the Bible is “old news”!
Note that when the Lord gave the seven feasts to Moses, they weren’t called “your feasts” or “feasts of the Jewish people.” They are feasts to the Lord. They are מוֹעֲדִים, moadim, which means “appointed times.” And they offer an amazing prophetic blueprint for God’s ultimate redemptive plan. There are a total of seven Feasts—the number that in the Bible represents completion or perfection—with the Hebrew lunar calendar determining the dates. (That’s why Jewish holidays seem to “float” with reference to our solar calendar, which is of pagan origin via Rome.)
The first four feasts, the Spring Feasts, are types of Jesus’ first coming. They were all fulfilled, in sequence, in precise detail perfectly on their appointed dates on the Hebrew calendar. The last three feasts, the Fall Feasts, have yet to be fulfilled.
But if the Spring Feasts were fulfilled precisely, in order, on their Biblically-prescribed dates at our Lord’s first coming, is it not reasonable to expect that the Fall Feasts will also be fulfilled precisely, in order, and on their Biblically prescribed dates at His second coming?
If you consider the mystery of the heavenly marriage between Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32), there’s also a fascinating parallel between the Feasts and the wedding process followed in ancient Israel. This is really amazing stuff. I’ve tried to reflect it in the summary below, but it’s laid out better here.
Passover / Pesach
Significance: Commemorates Israel’s release from bondage in Egypt
Fulfillment at Yeshua’s First Coming: Fulfilled when “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor 5:7). “The Lamb of God” took away the sins of the world (John 1:29) when He gave Himself on the cross.
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: Yeshua established the marriage covenant with His Bride and sealed it with the Betrothal Cup (Luke 22:20). He paid the Bride price. (1 Cor 6:20)
Significance: Leaven is a symbol for sin in the Bible. This feast was a call to the Jewish people to live in purity and sanctification.
Fulfillment at Yeshua’s First Coming: Praise God, this one was fulfilled by Christ’s sinless life. “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed, Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us.” (1 Cor 5:7)
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: The Bride prepares for her Bridegroom. “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Eph 5:25-27)
Pilgrim feast: Yes. For three of the seven feasts, all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem.
Significance: Celebrates barley harvest in the Land—Israel offers the first fruits of the land back to God.
Fulfillment at Yeshua’s First Coming: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” (1 Cor 15:20)
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: The Bridegroom goes to prepare a place for His bride. (Matt 26:28)
Pentecost / Shavuot
Significance: In Jesus’ day, this celebration of the wheat harvest was known by its Greek name—Pentecost. It also commemorates the day the Mosaic covenant was initiated. The day God first revealed His law to His people and they covenanted to obey it. (Ex 24:3) NOTE: In the ancient Talmud, Passover is considered to represent the time of betrothal between God and Israel. Shavuot is their wedding day.
Fulfillment at Yeshua’s First Coming: The New Covenant was initiated when the Holy Spirit was given. (Acts 2)
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: The Bridegroom bestows a gift on His bride–the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Pilgrim feast: Yes. For three of the seven feasts, all Jewish males are required to travel to Jerusalem. Which explains why there was a tremendous crowd from all nations present when the Holy Spirit descended upon the new church in tongues of fire!
Feast of Trumpets / Rosh Hashanah
Significance: One hundred trumpet blasts sounded in the Temple on the Feast of Trumpets.
Presumed Fulfillment at Yeshua’s Second Coming*: “The last trumpet” will sound before we’re caught up in the air. (1 Cor 15:50) Many believe Paul’s language in this passage regarding the Rapture may be a reference to this feast.
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: Bridegroom comes to “snatch away” His Bride “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess 5:2)
Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur
Significance: Annual atonement for the nation’s sin. The pinnacle of the Jewish High Holy Days. The one day during the year the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation.
First Fulfillment at Yeshua’s First Coming: Christ “offered Himself without spot to God” as an atoning sacrifice for us (Heb 9:13-14). Like the animals sacrificed at Yom Kippur, Yeshua “suffered outside the gate” (Heb 13:11-12).
Presumed Ultimate Fulfillment at Yeshua’s Second Coming*: Many believe this Feast prefigures the day of Christ’s return as both High Priest and King (Heb 7:1), when the Jewish people will “look upon Him they have pierced” and receive their Messiah. (Zech 12:10, Rom 11:25-36)
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: Bridegroom returns home with His Bride
Feast of Tabernacles / Sukkot
Significance: A joyful celebration of the “ingathering” of the third and final harvest, the fruit harvest.
Underscored at Yeshua’s First Coming: Yeshua demonstrated in John 7-9 that as the Giver of Living Water (John 7:38) and the Light of the World (John 8:12), He is the focus of the Feast. Many also believe Yeshua may have been born during the Feast of Tabernacles. (“And the Word generated itself into flesh and tabernacled among us…” John 1:14)
Presumed Fulfillment at Yeshua’s Second Coming*: Observant Jews have long believed this feast prefigures the Lord’s Millennial reign. The Lord will once again “tabernacle” or dwell with men! (Ezek 37:27, Rev 21:3)
Significance to the Marriage of Christ and the Church: The Bridegroom reigns with His bride.
Pilgrim Feast: Yes. For three of the seven feasts, all Jewish males were required to travel to Jerusalem.
* Please note that the “Presumed Fulfillments” are speculative. It’s a view held by many prophecy scholars, but scholars are not unanimous in this view. And even if they were, “we see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor 13:12)!
If you’ve never opened God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus (Rom 3:23, 6:23), please please please be persuaded to do it now! It’s simple. Just tell God from your heart that you admit you’re a sinner that needs a Savior (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23) that you’re done running your own life, and that you’re ready to make Jesus Lord of your life.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Rom 10:9-11)
The decision that saves you is that simple!
Simple… But no one said living it out will be easy. Especially now, in these last days.