In His covenant with His bride, Israel, God ordained 7 feasts and festivals: 4 in the spring, and 3 in the fall. While followers of Jesus aren’t forced to observe them, knowing of the events and their past, present, and future significance will help understand where we’ve come from and God’s covenant with Israel and our Christ’s covenant with the world are related.
~ Spring Feasts of the Lord (fulfilled by Jesus’ first coming) ~
Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread: These first two spring feasts commemorate the salvation of the Hebrews from God’s judgment against Pharaoh and their exodus from Egypt in about 1445 BC. Passover commences on the 14th day of the first month at twilight. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for 7 days beginning on the day after Passover. Jesus fulfilled the role of Passover lamb sacrificed for the choice of salvation (just as with the Hebrews in Egypt), and He represented the removal of leaven (yeast) – sin, as we see in 1Corinthians 5:6-8.
Feast of First fruits: This marks the beginning of the harvest period and gives Israel an opportunity to present the first fruits of that harvest to God in thanksgiving. It occurs 50 days prior to the Feast of Weeks. Jesus fulfilled this event as the first fruits of the resurrected dead presented to the Father (1Corinthians 15:20 & 35-48).
The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): This particular feast occurs 7 weeks and a day (50 days total) after the feast of First Fruits. The purpose is to signal the end of the grain harvest and give thanks to God for His provision. It’s also marked the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Spirit of God to empower His followers for ministry (John 14:16).
~ Fall Feasts of the Lord (will be fulfilled by Jesus’ return to earth) ~
The Feast of Trumpets: This ‘memorial of blowing of trumpets’ is to happen on the first day of the 7th month (usually September) and will most likely signal our Christ’s return to earth and the gathering of His bride at the ‘last trumpet’ (cf. Matthew 24:30-31 and 1Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The Day of Atonement: The event is meant to be a time of atonement for the Jews and will most likely mark the manifestation of salvation and reconciliation between God and Israel at the end of the ‘time of the gentiles’ (cf. Luke 21:24 and Romans 11:25-27).
The Feast of Tabernacles: Finally, this feast commemorates the Israelites’ time in the desert just before entering the land of Canaan. During the festival, which lasts 7 days, Jews are compelled to live in structures – booths – made of branches, twigs, and leaves. This practice most likely also represents the time of Jesus’ kingdom where He will dwell with man and once again be the protector and provider for Israel.
Which will it be for you – feast or famine (spiritually-speaking)?