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Jewish Feasts

Leviticus 23:4-17, 23-28, 33-36, 39-44 (read through)


How many feasts? (7)
Why important? – Colossians 2:16-17… the feasts point us to Jesus. (In fact the Hebrew word for feast means
appointed time – repeat word for “feast” and “appointed time”).

1) Passover (14 Nisan) – go to Exodus 12 to explain point of first feast


a) v. 1-6 – take a lamb 4 days before the slaughter and examine to ensure it’s without fault.
i) Jesus went to Jerusalem 4 days before Passover
(1) John 12:1 – in Bethany 6 days before Passover
(2) John 12:12 – leaves Bethany heading for Jerusalem 5 days before Passover
(3) Mark 11:11 – Jesus makes it to Jerusalem 5 days before but it’s late, so He went out to Bethany
and stayed the night.
(4) Mark 12:12, 15-19 – proves He is perfect in zeal.
(5) Mark 12:13-17 (summarize) – Pharisees and Herodians find no fault.
(6) Mark 12:18-27 (summarize) – Sadducees find no fault.
(7) Mark 18:28-34 (summarize) – teachers of the Law find no fault.
(8) John 18:38 – Pilot finds no basis for a charge against Him. And He shows that they can’t save
themselves by asking His own questions to them that they can’t answer.
b) v. 7, 13 – partake of body and blood to avoid wrath of God. (John 3:36).
i) Jesus is sacrificed on Passover to remove the wrath of God.

2) Feast of Unleavened Bread (15 Nisan) – back to Leviticus 23:6 (Exodus 12:15 – do not eat yeast;
represents sin)
a) 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 – Explains that leaven (yeast) equals sin. As Jesus is the perfect sin free sacrifice,
He fulfills what was the symbolic point of this feast - to rid us of our sins. And, because Jesus has
gotten rid of the leaven in our lives, we are told to, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch
without yeast - as you really are..."

The day after the following Sabbath (i.e. the next Sabbath after Passover) = Feast of Firstfruits. Here is where
the priests would wave the first grains from the previous fall planting. In the morning on the first day as the
priests were in the temple waving the grains before God, Jesus rose from the dead as our High Priest to present
His firstfruits offering to the Most High. In Matthew 27 we're told that many holy dead people came to life. As
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus is the firstfruits from the dead. Jesus being High Priest waved His
firstfruits offering before the Lord and gave Him a sampling of the great harvest that was yet to come!

Fifty days later = Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). This is when the next grain harvest is celebrated. The exact day
the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit. Here the Israelites were told to offer before the Lord bread made
WITH yeast. Interesting, as before yeast symbolized sin and was not allowed, now yeast is required. Why?
Jesus explains in Matthew 13 that the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast mixed into a large amount of dough that
spread throughout the whole thing. This yeast represents the beginnings of the church as it eventually spreads
throughout the world. The grain harvest is symbolic of the soul harvest on Pentecost in Acts 2. 3000 were
added to their number that day.

These are the 4 spring feasts and Jesus fulfilled them LITERALLY = Colossians 2:16-17 "Therefore do not let
anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a
Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

That means we should expect the last three feasts to be fulfilled in a literal fashion as well!
The fall feasts (as former rains made sure the spring feasts brought in good harvests; now the latter rain will
make sure the fall feasts reap whats due them). Joel 2:23 "Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your
God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and
spring rains, as before." Interesting also is that Hosea alludes to Jesus coming twice as he says, "Let us
acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will
come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." (Hosea 6:3) He comes at both times -
during the spring rains (first four feasts), and during the winter rains (second three feasts).

The first day of the seventh month = Feast of Trumpets. Today the shofar is blown for a whole month before
Rosh Hashanah to alert the people to their need to repent because Judgment Day is coming. The feast of
trumpets begins what the Jews call "The Days of Awe" - how great is that. During this time the world will be in
awe as Revelation unfolds. Also on this day, the Jews say to one another, "may you be written and sealed for a
good year" because they believe that ultimately, those who are sealed have their names written in the Book of
Life!

Ten days later is The Day of Atonement. For the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets) and Yom
Kippur (Atonement) the Jews are very solemn as they reflect on their sins and ask for forgiveness. Jesus will
fulfill the Day of Atonement by returning to the earth a second time as they, "Look on the one they have
pierced". We’re told in Zechariah that they will mourn! But ultimately, just as the symbolic Day of Atonement
was for the forgiveness of the Jewish people, so also the Second Coming Day of Atonement will be for the
forgiveness of the Jews. Paul understood this and said, "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery,
brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of
the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he
will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.""
(Romans 11:25-27).

Then on the fifteenth day of the month = The Feast of Ingathering (or Feast of Tabernacles as God will once
again tabernacle with His people). This feast is for the fall harvest. Many will be harvested to righteousness as
His four angels gather the elect from the four winds (Mat 24). But still many more will say, "The harvest is
past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8:20). Isn't this why Jesus gave us so many parables
about harvesting? He was explaining that He would literally fulfill these feasts.

Lastly, during the feast the Israelites are told, "after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the
festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. On the
first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice
before the LORD your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD"

WOW there will be a great celebration when our King returns!