Yesterday, I talked about the celebrations God wants us to observe. These are the family parties He joins in on. The cool thing is each Feast has symbolism on its own, but they all work together to show us God’s redemptive plan for human kind. Let’s begin with the most famous feast, Passover.
Passover, as most of us know, was the last plague of the Egyptians where the Israelites put the blood of an unblemished firstborn male lamb over the doorframe. The spirit of the Lord passed over their house and they were spared a terrible fate. It is now set as a remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt and bondage. Each year, Israelites are to remember their deliverance from slavery.
For followers of Christ, we know that Jesus was crucified on Passover as our Passover lamb. It was his blood that delivered us from sin. In 1 Corinthians 5:7–8 it says, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast, or with the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Paul was telling the Corinthians that they should observe Passover, and the rest of the feasts, in remembrance of the sacrifice God made to redeem us and set us free. The first step in God’s redemptive plan was to sacrifice the unblemished firstborn Son of God so that all may be saved.
The next feast is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leaven, or yeast, symbolizes sin. Unleavened bread speaks of cleansing ourselves from sin. This was the day the Israelites left Egypt and God lead them to freedom. The unleavened bread symbolizes no sin and no slavery.
The symbolism is similar to Christians, though much more significant. Jesus was buried on the beginning day of the feast of unleavened bread. It was during this time where Jesus took all of our sins to the grave with him. His burial, in essence, was a cleansing of sin from our lives. Jesus was also known as the “bread of Life” and was without sin (or yeast). Therefore, if Jesus is the bread of life and is without yeast, He would be like unleavened bread.
The third feast is the Feast of First Fruits. It happens three days after Passover. The word first fruits mean “a promise to come.” It was the day where God brought the Israelites across the Red Sea and out of slavery. It was the first day of real freedom without fear from the Egyptians.
For Christians, Christ is the First Fruits from God. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.” He became the first of God new creation.
If you take the first three feasts, you can see that Jesus was the Passover Lamb who died for our sins. Our position before God changes, as Jesus takes our out sin and we become like unleavened bread. The first fruits then show us the new creation we become in Christ, as a firstborn Son. We then mark our day of freedom from our old self and sin.
The last of the Spring holidays is the Feast of Pentecost. It is exactly fifty days after first fruits. For the Israelites, it was the day God gave them the law and Ten Commandments.
For followers of Christ, 1,400 years after God gave the Law, he sent the Holy Spirit as a counselor and instructor. In Acts 2:1–4, it tells of the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came like a rushing wind to the followers of Christ. For us Pentecost commemorates the day we received the Holy Spirit. No longer do we have to look to tablets, God now lives inside us and has written His law onto our hearts.
We now move into the fall feasts. These feasts have yet to be fulfilled, from a prophetic standpoint. Many scholars believe they point us to the second coming of Christ.
The Feast of Trumpets is a feast to signify a change. For the Hebrews, it begins the Jewish New Year. Trumpets would be blown in an announcement that something significant would happen. This was a celebration to get ready for a change. It is a time for introspection, fixing relationships, and repentance. If you have Israeli friends, they will usually ask for forgiveness for anything that might have hindered your relationship during the year. The blowing of the trumpets gets peoples attentions to get things right with God, and with others.
For Christians, it is also a great reminder to repair any broken relationships and to reflect on the year. From a prophetic standpoint, The feast of trumpets is believed to represent the trumpet that will be blow to announce Jesus’s return or the rapture of the church. In Matthew 24:31 it says, “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Since God marks significant events with His feasts, it is possible, the feast of trumpets announces His return.
The Day of Atonement was the day God would judge the sins of all Israel. It was a day set apart for the purpose of seeking forgiveness for the sins of the country. The Israelites do this every year, as an act of forgiveness from God. Since the Israelites were under the law, the only way to get forgiveness from God was to sacrifice the blood of animals to be made clean.
For Christians, we now have the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus, our Passover lamb, died once and for all, for our sins. Even though we do not need to offer any sacrifices to be forgiven for our sins, it is a good time for soul searching, repentance, confessing our buried sin, and recommit oneself to God. From a prophetic perspective The Day of Atonement could represent the Day of Judgment, when Jesus returns physically to the earth.
The last feast of the year is the Feast of the Tabernacles. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, he had them live in tents. He also lived with them in His tabernacle. So He set this Feast to be a remembrance of their freedom from slavery and for the forty years they spent in the desert with God.
It is a wonderful feast, full of joy and celebration. It is a symbol of God’s provision and his redeeming love. It is a time for rest and connection with God, as well as time for the family and celebration. At the core of this holiday, it is a time of thankfulness to God for everything he has given us.
As Christians, we can celebrate God dwelling in our hearts and being our comforter. We can look to Jesus who is preparing a permanent home for us and celebrate the freedom from sin. Ultimately, it is a time of thanksgiving! As an interesting side note, there are some who believe the early Puritans were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, which became our Thanksgiving.
From a prophetic perspective, it is believed this is when God will again live with us. There will be rest for the earth, which has been having birthing pains since the fall of man. There will be rest for all of its inhabitants. It is also believed that this feast represents the beginning of the millennium.
These celebrations can help believers to experience the rhythm of God and His love for us. I encourage everyone to explore them and ask God if He wants you to join him in His celebrations.