And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. Revelation 21:23
We are in a special week as we finish out the Isaiah 62 Fast. The fast culminates on Pentecost, coming up on Friday and Saturday (many churches around the world will celebrate this coming Sunday). Over the next few days, we will explore the Feasts of the Lord in prayer. Many Jewish people also add Purim and Chanukkah to these fasts (that’s how you get the 9 branch Chanukkah menorah), but we want to stay with the original temple menorah. It had seven total lamps that sat on it. If you read the previous post you’ll remember it was shaped like the almond (שָׁקַד) tree, because God is “watching” (שָׁקַד) to see His Word fulfilled.
An Overview of the Feasts and the Timing
As you read through these feasts, notice that God is fulfilling the feasts IN THE PERSON of Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus Christ)! They are circling around again and again every year, and He is choosing to act ON the feast days, not for His own sake, but because HE wants people to recognize Him watching over His word and fulfilling it! Those who keep these laws and festivals should be able to recognize the Messiah’s coming as long as they see their need for repentance! (Luke 24:26-45; John 5:46-47). He is the light of the world (John 8:12). He is the lamp in the new Kingdom (Revelation 21:23-25). He is the fulfillment of ALL seven of the festivals and the High Priest who fulfills His Word. These things were never meant to discarded, but kept and remembered, not out of a religious fervor, but as watchmen on the walls, those discerning the times and seeing what is coming next.
The Spring Feasts (1st Coming of Messiah)
We start with Passover (Pesach) because Passover is the first feast of the Jewish new year as established by God (Leviticus 23:4-8). Passover is date specific. It begins the fourteenth day of the first month with an evening meal. This was to remember the blood on the doorposts when the angel of the Lord came to kill the firstborn of Egypt. It may have been the full last meal they would eat before leaving Egypt. It was the last meal Yeshua ate with His disciples. Yeshua would be put to death at Passover as our sacrificial lamb so that death could “Pass Over” us.
Directly from there we move into a seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzo) (Leviticus 23:4-8). This reminds people of the bread they made when leaving Egypt. Listen and understand. It is pressed down, crushed, and not risen because it was yeastless. Does this remind you of anyone you know and love? During the the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Yeshua was entombed. Sinless, yet Crushed. Not risen. Crazy right? It gets better.
The Feast of Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim) (Leviticus 23:9-14) is not dated. It is a sacrifice of first fruits from the wheat harvest (which is a spring harvest here). But have you ever wondered why the Bible says Yeshua was the firstfruit of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20)? He rose on the Feast of Firstfruits! How do we know this? It’s because Pentecost, or Feast of Weeks was a timed festival in relation to firstfruits…exactly seven weeks after firstfruits began, to be specific. So if you count back 50 days they would include the days Jesus walked with his followers and the days after His ascension. I’m convinced that on that year, Jesus rose from the dead during firstfruits.
Not only this, but the feast of firstfruits is the lead-up to the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot)/Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22). Tradition says Ruth, a Gentile, took on the yoke of the Law on this holiday, and the book of Ruth is read in the synagogue on Pentecost. One of the Hebrew titles for the holiday is Zman Matan Torah—’the season of the giving of the Law.’ The festival is also celebrated as the revelation of the Five Books of the Torah by God to Moses and to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai, seven weeks after their Exodus from Egypt, an interpretation we know Paul drew upon in His doctrine of the New “Law of the Spirit of life in Messiah setting us free from the Law of sin and death.” This was the day celebrating the finishing of the feast of weeks, the fulfillment of the harvest of firstfruits! Pentecost was the day those gathered in the upper room were given tongues of different (Gentile) languages–the first of full harvest of the gentiles (like Ruth) would be brought in! (Acts 2:1-12)
And these are just the Spring (Wheat Crop) festivals! Take a look at the Fall (Wine Crop) festivals!
The Fall Feasts (2nd Coming of Messiah)
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) is a special, extra Sabbath Day on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:23-25). It does not necessarily fall on Shabbat. So it is a signaling of an extra day of rest that month where people brought a food offering to the Lord. We know that God appointed this dated feast, but have we seen it’s Messianic fulfillment yet? Some say Yeshua was born on the feast of trumpets, but I get really excited about the prophecies concerning trumpets to come.
What are trumpets used for in scripture?…Battle Signals and Announcements.
What does Yeshua say will happen when the trumpets blow? The time for our working in the harvest will be finished and we will rest from our labor in the harvest (John 9:4). And there will be a battle. (Revelation 8:6-12; Revelation 9:1, Revelation 13; Revelation 11:15) These trumpets signal God’s wrath being poured out and the harvesting of the earth’s people (like a harvest of grapes in a winepress on the Day of the Lord… Revelation 14:19, Isaiah 63:3-4) And the sounds of the trumpet also signal that we will be gathered to Him in the rapture to enjoy a great wedding feast (Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Matthew 25). Will all of this happen on the feast of trumpets? We do not know the hour or day, but we shall know the seasons. We need to be ready at all time, because HE is keeping HIS own timed feasts as He continues to bring His word to pass. Why? So that we can recognize Him when He moves and be ready.
In that same vein, following that, on the tenth day of that same month, is the Day of Atonement. A day where each person was to mourn their sin before God (Leviticus 23:26-32). This is the day of judgement during which the High Priest would atone for the sins of Israel by the blood of the lamb. It is the day that God’s wrath would be satisfied. All will mourn their sin before the throne of God. For those who trust the blood of Messiah, we know we will stand forgiven because of His blood (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 13:12, 1 John 2:2).
The final feast, beginning on the 15th day, is the Feast of Tabernacles/Tents or Sukkot. It lasted one week. During this closing feast (Leviticus 23:33-43), every native born Israelite was to prepare a food offering of blessing and go prepare a shelter in the wilderness to celebrate God’s faithfulness to them in the wilderness. We know that John saw Jesus as taking on flesh and tabernacling with us. It was during this festival that Yeshua offered Living Water at the temple, speaking of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-41). But wait and look, because you will see Him offering this water again from a river of life flowing from the throne in the new heaven and new earth, where HE is the lamp, and we dwell together in communion FOREVER! (Revelation 22.) He will dwell with us again (pitch His tent, His tabernacle with us), in a new heaven and earth. He will willingly make a dwelling with and for us. Hallelujah!
It’s a lot to see all of this at once, so what’s the point?
Yeshua Fulfills ALL the Feasts (Bread and Wine)
The lamp is a picture of the Bread and Wine Festivals. What is special about these? These are the key elements in communion. Every time we take communion, we can remember Him as the lampstand, the culmination of all the promises of God to the Jewish people. As we keep watch in communion with Yeshua, we drink His cup of suffering when needed, we take the daily bread of His Words into us. Knowing the feasts and times of the Lord will not be necessary for salvation, but it will keep many from being deceived in the last days. You do not have to go through the last days feeling confused and not knowing what is happening. And neither does Israel. We will watch with Him as we have been asked to do.
Will the feasts be one of the keys to “All of Israel” being saved (Romans 11)? Jewish people celebrate these feasts every year! I have only touched the edge of their significance to the Lord and to the Jewish people. Do they mean the same to you? It’s not a point of interest. It’s a matter of survival for future generations in the last days. We need to understand these things as one new man in Yeshua, Jew or Gentile. It’s not complicated. It’s just a learning curve for many Gentile believers. The Jewish people have a beautiful way to understand Yeshua Hamashiach by understanding His connections to the feasts in this powerful way. Let’s pray for them to recognize Yeshua in the feasts.
Abba, we pray that the unbelievers’ eyes in Israel would be opened to see the symbolism of your story. Even today, prepare their hearts for Shavuot (Pentecost). Pour out your Spirit. We know you love to show yourself. We ask you to make yourself known and invite the rest of the Jewish people into the Holy Place to keep watch with you!
Father, we know that the law (and the festivals) was given as a teacher that leads the Jewish people to the Messiah (Galatians 3:24, Romans 15:4). We repent for despising your Word as heavy. We know that we live by a law of grace and that many laws were added on to your intended yoke for your people. But we also know that the feasts are a shadow of things to come that teach us about the Messiah (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:1). We believe that they are prophetic types and foreshadow significant events in your plan of redemption (1 Corinthians 10:1-6,11). We also know that the feasts set forth the pattern of heavenly things on earth (Hebrews 8:1-5; Hebrews 9:8-23); (Exodus 25:8-40; Exodus 26:30); Numbers 8:4; Ezekiel 43:1-12). Help the Jewish people have an “Aha” moment as they walk through these feasts. Even as they prepare culturally for this, help their hearts to have room to unpack and truly see the way you have fulfilled your word.
You are making all things New. Light of the World.