Because there is so much to be learned with regard to the significance of the Feasts of the Lord, and due to brevity requirements, this singular post can’t possibly provide a thorough overview. Accordingly, I do highly recommend the following Overview and Study which can be viewed at this link: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/FeastsIntroduction
What this post will provide is a quick overview of the Feasts of the Lord and a brief overview of their signifiance:
In the Old Testament, the Bible mentions several festivals or appointed times that are considered “festivals of the Lord.” These festivals were important religious observances for the Israelites and were established by God as part of their worship and remembrance. These festivals of the Lord provided prophetic foreshadowing of Jesus’ ministry, His redemptive work, and the future events associated with His second coming, the establishment of His kingdom, and the ultimate dwelling of God with His people.
Here are the main festivals of the Lord as mentioned in the Bible:
- Sabbath: Although not technically a festival, the weekly Sabbath was a sacred day of rest and worship. It was observed every seventh day (Saturday) and is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, starting with its establishment in Genesis 2:2-3. The truth of the Sabbath is that we can’t make ourselves holy, only God can do that for us. In other words, there is nothing that man can do, in and of himself, that will make us holy like God is holy. Nothing, absolutely nothing. Our only option is to rest or trust in what God has and will do for us. For an overview of the Sabbath, click here.
- Passover: The Passover was a commemoration of the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It involved the sacrifice and consumption of a lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. The account and instructions for the Passover can be found in Exodus 12:1-28. The Passover feast, with its sacrificial lamb and the application of its blood for deliverance from death, symbolized Jesus as the ultimate Passover Lamb. Jesus’ ministry fulfillment includes His sacrificial death on the cross, shedding His blood to deliver humanity from the bondage of sin and death (1 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19).
- Feast of Unleavened Bread: The Feast of Unleavened Bread followed the Passover and lasted for seven days. During this time, the Israelites were to eat unleavened bread and remove all leaven from their homes. The details of this feast are described in Exodus 12:15-20 and Leviticus 23:6-8. The Feast of Unleavened Bread involved the removal of leaven, which symbolized sin and corruption. Jesus, being sinless, fulfilled this feast as the spotless Lamb of God. His sinless life and sacrificial death made it possible for believers to be cleansed from sin and live a new, unleavened life (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
- Feast of First Fruits: This feast occurred on the day after the Sabbath following Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Israelites would bring the first sheaf of the harvest as an offering to God. It is mentioned in Leviticus 23:9-14. The Feast of First Fruits, where the first sheaf of the harvest was presented to God, foreshadowed Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Jesus became the first fruits of those who would be raised from the dead, guaranteeing the future resurrection of believers (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
- Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): Fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits, the Israelites celebrated the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. It commemorated the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai and the wheat harvest. The instructions for this feast can be found in Leviticus 23:15-22. The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, took place fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits. It celebrated the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai. In Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers, signifying the birth of the Church. This event fulfilled the prophetic foreshadowing of the Law being written on believers’ hearts through the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Acts 2:1-4).
- Feast of Trumpets: The Feast of Trumpets occurred on the first day of the seventh month and marked the beginning of the Jewish civil year. It involved the blowing of trumpets and is described in Leviticus 23:23-25. The Feast of Trumpets was associated with the blowing of trumpets, which represented various spiritual meanings, including warning, gathering, and the announcement of the coming King. This feast foreshadows the future return of Jesus Christ when the trumpet will sound, and He will gather His elect (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Matthew 24:31).
- Day of Atonement: The Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur, was a solemn day of fasting and repentance. It took place on the tenth day of the seventh month. The instructions for this observance are given in Leviticus 23:26-32. The Day of Atonement was a solemn day of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Jesus fulfilled this feast through His atoning sacrifice on the cross, becoming the High Priest who made eternal atonement for humanity’s sins (Hebrews 9:11-14, 10:10-14).
- Feast of Tabernacles (Booths or Sukkot): The Feast of Tabernacles was a seven-day harvest festival that involved dwelling in temporary booths or shelters. It took place in the seventh month and is described in Leviticus 23:33-43. The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of God dwelling with His people in temporary booths. This feast foretells the future fulfillment when Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom on earth, dwelling with His redeemed people forever (Zechariah 14:16-19, Revelation 21:3).
- THREE NATIONAL FEASTS
- The Three National Feasts, also known as the pilgrimage feasts, were significant festivals in the Jewish religious calendar. Three times each year, every male among you must appear before God the Lord….” (Exodus 23:14–17). These feasts held great spiritual and prophetic significance and were later seen as foreshadowing or foretelling aspects of the ministry of Jesus Christ and events yet to come.
- FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD: The Feast of Unleavened Bread was closely associated with the Passover celebration. It commemorated the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt. During this feast, the Israelites were required to remove all leaven from their homes and eat unleavened bread for seven days. Leaven represents sin and corruption.
- Jesus’ ministry connection: Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples and instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, also known as the Last Supper, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He used the unleavened bread to symbolize His body that would be broken for humanity’s redemption.
- Future fulfillment: This feast foreshadows Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross as the ultimate Passover Lamb, providing deliverance from the bondage of sin for all who trust in Him.
- FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS: The Feast of First Fruits was observed immediately after the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It marked the beginning of the harvest season, and the Israelites offered the first sheaf of their barley harvest to God as an offering.
- Jesus’ ministry connection: Jesus rose from the dead on the day of the Feast of First Fruits. He became the first fruits of those who would be raised from the dead, signifying His victory over sin and death. Jesus’ resurrection is central to our Christian faith and hope.
- Future fulfillment: The resurrection of Jesus represents the promise of future resurrection for all believers. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, believers will also experience resurrection and eternal life.
- FEAST OF INGATHERING: also known as the Feast of Booths or Sukkot, was celebrated in the fall to commemorate the Israelites’ wilderness journey and God’s provision for them during that time. During this feast, the Israelites lived in temporary booths or shelters made of branches, symbolizing their dependence on God.
- Jesus’ ministry connection: During the Feast of Ingathering, Jesus went to Jerusalem and taught in the temple courts. In John 7, Jesus declared Himself as the source of living water, inviting people to come to Him and find spiritual refreshment and satisfaction.
- Future fulfillment: The Feast of Ingathering points to the future Messianic kingdom and the ultimate harvest of souls when people from every nation will come to worship and dwell with God. It represents the culmination of God’s redemptive plan and the establishment of His eternal kingdom.
- The Three National Feasts, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, and Feast of Ingathering, beautifully foreshadowed Jesus’ ministry and future events. They highlighted His sacrificial death, resurrection, and the ultimate establishment of His kingdom. These feasts provide rich spiritual and prophetic significance, revealing God’s plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.
- Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!