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Fulfilling the Feasts of the Lord Part 1 of 2

By Morgan Feldmeyer

What comes to your mind when you think of Jewish holy days? If you are like most people, Hanukah, the festival of lights, is probably the first holiday to come to mind. Or maybe you recognize Purim which is when Jews remember their deliverance from the law of Haman as recorded in the book of Ester. But did you know that there are particular holidays that are given special attention in the Bible? According to Leviticus 23, God prescribed seven special holy days that He referrers to as “My feasts.” [1] In other words, there are seven special festivals that are not simply Jewish holidays, but are the Lord’s feasts. As I will show you in this two-part blog post, I believe that learning about these feasts is important because they hold the key to the revelations of Jesus and the fulfillment of end-time prophesies.

At this time, I feel it is important to mention that the first four feasts occur during the spring. [2] The three feasts after them all occur during the fall. [3]As I will show, this summer gap between feasts represents the Church age or the time between the past and the future revelations of Jesus Christ. In other words, certain aspects of Jesus have already been revealed in the first three feasts and He will be revealed fully with the fulfillment of the next three fall feasts. This gap between the feasts is the time frame that we are now in, because we are waiting for the next three revelations of Jesus to occur. With that in mind, I will only explain the first four spring feasts during this post.

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The first of the feasts is Passover which shows God’s salvation. [5] Passover commemorates how God saved the first-born children of the Israelites from death. [6] According to Exodus 12, the first Passover happened when the Israelites prepared a special meal of unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and a perfect lamb on the night that the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and killed the first-born people and animals. [7] The death of the firstborn was the last of ten plagues inflicted upon the land of Egypt that were designed to convince the Egyptian Pharaoh to release the Jewish people be free from slavery and to demonstrate the power of God. [8] To make sure that the Israelites did not suffer from this final plague as the Egyptians would, God told the Israelites to “take … a lamb, according to the house of his father,” and “kill it,” before “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel.” [9] Then they were to smear some of the lamb’s blood on the door posts of their houses, so that the Lord would pass by their houses and not destroy them.[10] In this feast, the blood of a perfect lamb saved the children of Israel from death. In the same way, Jesus of Nazareth was substituted as the perfect lamb who died to save us from the penalty of sin: eternal death.[11] In this way, he became the Passover lamb and fulfilled the meaning of the Passover feast: salvation from death.

Likewise, Jesus fulfilled the second Jewish feast, called the feast of Unleavened Bread. The feast of Unleavened Bread is a seven-day feast that commemorates when the Jews exited Egypt the day after Passover.[12] On this day, the Jews were instructed to hurry so much that God told them not to waste time making leavened bread that required time to rise. [13] Instead they prepared unleavened bread that “has stripes that look like bruises and is pierced thru.” [14] In the Bible, leaven represents sin. [15] Therefore, God was saying that the bread of the feast of unleavened bread represented sinless bread. Jesus fulfilled this feast by becoming the sinless bread of life. According to John 19, Jesus was whipped and pierced in the side.[16] In this way, He was pierced and striped just like the unleavened bread. [17] Jesus’ position as the unleavened bread is further evident when we take into account that he was whipped, pierced, and died on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread. [18] Yet, these are not the only feasts Jesus fulfilled.

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The third feast Jesus fulfilled was the feast of First Fruits. This feast is offered during the seven days of the feast of Unleavened Bread, on the day after the Sabbath.[20] During this feast, Jews gave the first potion of their grain harvest to the Lord as an act of thanksgiving. [21] [22]In this way, they were giving back to the Lord a portion of what He had given them in the harvest. Jesus fulfilled this feast by being raised to life on the feast of First Fruits on the third day after he died. [23] The Apostle Paul explained this phenomena in First Corinthians when he said, “now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. … Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”[24] Therefore, Jesus fulfilled all three of these first three feasts within four days.

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The fourth feast that was fulfilled was the feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is a feast that happens fifty days after Passover.[26] Like the feast of First Fruits, the feast of Pentecost was a time when the Jews offered the best portion of their harvest to the Lord. [27] However, on Pentecost, the Jews offered a new grain offering because Pentecost marked the end of the wheat harvest. [28] In addition, Pentecost also commemorates the time when Moses was given the law on Mt. Sinai. [29] [30] This event represents the beginning of the Old Covenant that God had with the Jewish people because it is the time when the Jews are given the law. Likewise, thousands of years later, on the day of Pentecost, God ushered in the New Covenant with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.[31] On that day, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and allowed them to “speak with other tongues.” [32] This showed that the Old Covenant age where people were held apart from God because of their disobedience of the law, was over. Now, God was speaking directly to and through His people because Jesus had become the intercessor (like the High Priest of the Old Covenant) who atoned for our disobedience to the law. [33] Likewise, wheat represents the Church.[34] Therefore, since the Holy Spirit was poured out on Jesus’ disciples at the end of the wheat harvest, Pentecost marks the time of the Church age. Therefore, not only does the first four spring feasts reveal Jesus as the Passover Lamb, the Unleavened Bread, the First Fruits, and the High Priest making intercession for us, but they also show us the time frame we are now in.

 Endnotes

[1] Lev. 23:2, (New King James Version)

[2] Mark Levitt, “The Jewish Holidays: A Simplified Overview of the Feasts of the Lord,” Hebrew 4 Christians, http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Introduction/introduction.html.

[3] Ibid.

[4]https://pixabay.com/en/photos/?hp=&image_type=&cat=&min_width=&min_height=&q=passover&order=popular

[5] Mark Levitt, “The Jewish Holidays: A Simplified Overview of the Feasts of the Lord,” Hebrew 4 Christians, http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Introduction/introduction.html.

[6] Richard Bank,  The Everything Judaism Book: A Complete Primer to the Jewish Faith—from Holidays and Rituals to Traditions and Culture. (Avon MA: F+W Media, 2002), 157.

[7] Ex. 12: 1-9, (New King James Version)

[8] Richard Bank,  The Everything Judaism Book: A Complete Primer to the Jewish Faith—from Holidays and Rituals to Traditions and Culture. (Avon MA: F+W Media, 2002), 156-157.

[9] Ex. 12:3, 6, (New King James Version)

[10] Ex. 12:7-13 (New King James Version)

[11] Got Questions.org “What is the Passover Lamb? How is Jesus Our Passover Lamb?” Got Questions.org, (2017), https://www.gotquestions.org/Passover-Lamb.html.

[12] Mia Kashat, “The Feast of Unleavened Bread…Wait—Isn’t it Passover?” CBN, 2017, http://www1.cbn.com/biblestudy/the-feast-of-unleavened-bread…-wait-isn%27t-it-passover%3F.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16]John 19:1,37 (New King James Version)

[17] Ibid.

[18] Got Questions.org “If Jesus was Crucified on the Day of Preparation, Why had He Already Eaten the Passover Meal?” Got Questions.org, (2017), https://www.gotquestions.org/Day-of-Preparation.html.

[19] https://www.pexels.com/search/unleavened%20bread/

[20] “Firstfruits and Pentecost.” Ligonier Ministries, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Rich Robinson, “Weak on Weeks? The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).” CBN, (2017), http://www1.cbn.com/weak-weeks-feast-shavuot-pentecost.

[23] Firstfruits and Pentecost.” Ligonier Ministries, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/.

[24] I Cor. 15: 20-23 (New King James Version)

[25] https://www.pexels.com/search/grain%20harvest/

[26] Rich Robinson, “Weak on Weeks? The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).” CBN, (2017), http://www1.cbn.com/weak-weeks-feast-shavuot-pentecost.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Firstfruits and Pentecost.” Ligonier Ministries, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/.

[29] Rich Robinson, “Weak on Weeks? The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).” CBN, (2017), http://www1.cbn.com/weak-weeks-feast-shavuot-pentecost.

[30] Rich, Tracey R. “Shavu’ot.” Judaism 101, http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayc.htm.

[31] Acts 2:1-4 (New King James Version)

[32] Acts 2:1-4 (New King James Version)

[33] Rom. 8:32-34 (New King James Version)

[34] Matt. 3 and 13 (New King James Version)

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