Friday, July 13, 2012
Feasts and Prophecies: Reflecting the Trinity
Just as God’s Triune nature is reflected in His creation, in the names of His Son, and in Temple worship, so it is in the special feasts Jehovah designated for Old Testament worship, and in prophecies corresponding to these feasts.
The Seven Feasts (Leviticus 23) that God set apart for Israel as special times of worship include three spring feasts, one summer feast, and three fall feasts, each with prophetic meaning. The prophesies of the three spring feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, have already been fulfilled by Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection -- the triad underlying Christian faith (1 Corinthians 15) -- at the times of year God set apart to celebrate these feasts.
Jesus Himself declared that He was the fulfillment of prophecies in all three divisions of the Old Testament (Luke 24:44): the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms (poetic books),
Passover (Leviticus 23:5) commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from the curse intended for the Egyptians. The destroyer claimed the life of every firstborn unless the home was protected by the blood of a sacrificed lamb, marking the three points of the cross on the two side posts and upper post of the front door (Exodus 12). This foreshadows the perfect sacrifice of Jesus to pay for all our sins. At the Feast of Passover in 33 AD, Jesus was crucified and shed every drop of His blood as the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
He was buried the next day, on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-8; Exodus 12), symbolizing Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6) containing no leaven, which represents sin (Matthew 16; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8). On the third day, on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:10-14), Jesus rose from the dead, representing the firstfruits from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) and making the way for us to follow. Because He rose and ascended into Heaven, all who trust in Him have eternal life (John 3:16).
The summer feast was the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-22). This feast was also fulfilled prophetically at the preordained time when, 50 days after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit descended with flaming tongues of fire upon the disciples of Jesus (Acts 2:1-4), empowering them to spread the Gospel to those speaking any language.
Prophetically speaking, the remaining three feasts are still unfulfilled, but the prophecies symbolized by these fall feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) will one day come to fruition, again through Jesus Christ. The Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25) corresponds to the trumpet of the Lord sounding at the Rapture, for all believers to be caught up in the air to meet with Jesus (1 Thessalonians.4:15-17). This glorious moment, long awaited by believers, will also begin the prophesied 70th week of Daniel (Daniel 9:2) and the seven-year Tribulation period (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 7:14).
The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32) foreshadows the return of Christ (Matthew 24:29-31), which will occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. The King of Kings will return in glory and power for the battle of Armageddon and judgment to occur at the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 13:30; Revelation 16:16).
Finally, the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-43) originally commemorating the Israelites dwelling in tents as they fled from Egypt, will be fulfilled as Jesus Christ dwells among, or tabernacles with, His people during the 1000-year Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 21:3). This will be an unprecedented time of joy, peace and productivity as the deserts will bloom (Isaiah 35:1-2), rivers will spring forth (Isaiah 43:19), and former animal predators will be harmless to us and to their fellow creatures (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25).
In this seemingly long interval between the past fulfillment of prophesies corresponding to the spring and summer feasts, and the future fulfillment of prophesies corresponding to the fall feasts, God has continued to guide our Church Age worship in ways still reflecting the Trinity, as we shall see next week!
© 2012 Laurie Collett