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
thank you for this post...i love reading reflecting and thinking about Jesus!
Amen, Annmarie! Thanks so much for your lovely comment!
Appreciate everything you share.
It is the point where Old Testament meets New Testament. Some people think that Old Testament isn't important or that it is only for Jews. But there are first roots of our faith. Old Testament cannot be separated from New Testament. Greetings for You! :)
Like Zim said, so many believe the Old Testament isn't relevant to us, yet Paul said that the Old Testament writings were for examples for us to learn from in I Corinthians 10:11. As II Timothy 3:16 declares, all scripture was given by God and is worth studying. Everything in the Old Testament ultimately points to Christ.
Thanks, Denise! Blessings to you, dear one.
So true, Zim -- Jesus studied and taught the Old Testament Scriptures, and so should we.
Amen, dfish! I once heard a preacher say that Christ can be found on every page of the Bible, even in Esther where the name of God is not mentioned once. If we devalue the Old Testament, we start down a slippery slope where there is no reason to believe any of the New Testament either. God inspired all the Scriptures for our edification, so that He could reveal Himself to us.
YIPPEEEE!!!You mentioned the Rapture, which seems to be disbelieved by many Christians today, including those in my local church. I have just referred to the Rapture in my latest blog, "Oh To Fly Like A Bird."
The more I read your posts, the more I am impressed with your wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures. Your latest on Old Testament festivals is a classic. Thanks for posting.
In 2000, my wife and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary in Israel, which coincided with both the Yom Kipper and the Feast of Tabernacles. Booths were seen everywhere in the streets of Jerusalem, and we even dined in a booth set up outside a restaurant. It was a memoriable experience.
I can't imagine trusting Christ and yet not looking forward to His glorious appearing! Shortly after I was saved, I learned about the doctrine of the Rapture and was so excited about it that I couldn't wait to discuss it with the pastor of the Lutheran church we were attending. Sadly, I discovered that there was a reluctance, almost an embarrasment, to acknowledge this key Bible teaching. That was one of many reasons we left that church, and we have been blessed to be members of an independent Baptist church ever since.
One of the first blog posts I wrote was about the Rapture:
Thank you so much for your kind words & encouragement -- they mean a great deal to me!
It must have been a wonderful time to visit Jerusalem!
I'm headed over to check out your Rapture blog post now!
Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed learning about the feasts.
Thanks so much for this post. For some reason, I have trouble with the feast days and remembering what they represent. You made it simple and easy to understand.
I hope you don't mind but I would like to print off each of your studies this past month to get to grips with a bit better. There is so much excellent stuff to absorb here!
You're very welcome, Judith! Blessings to you,
You're very welcome, bettyl, and thanks for your kind comment! Glad you enjoyed the post.
I'd be honored if you would like to print my posts for further reference, and I am blessed by your kind comment!
Love in Him,
Such an interesting post! Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower here, found you at the link up at the 'Getting down with Jesus' blog hop.
God bless :)
Welcome, Cathy! Thanks so much for your kind words & for following!
I'm next to you at "God-bumps". One of the things I love about the Word of God is the patterns and foreshadowing found there. Very informative piece!
Stopping by from th elIfe in Bloom link up today. This was a fascinating study and a parallel that I'd never really considered - or heard - before. The depth and richness of the Word is truly unending. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Elizabeth, for your visit & kind comment! It is amazing how the inspired Word of God so beautifully fits together, especially considering the number of men and the span of years involved in recording it.
Blessings to you,
Thanks, Amy, for your visit & encouraging words! God's Word is a treasure trove of wisdom and beauty.
I saw your link on the C&MA website under the Missions conversation.
Your blog looks like a great resource. I will be back.
Thanks so much for your visit & kind comment! Look forward to "seeing" you again soon!
Blessings to you,
I loved studying the feasts at school, so much to learn and wonderful parallels! Thanks for linking with What's Up Wednesday!
Hi Katharine -- you're very welcome, and thanks so much for your sweet comment & for following!
Thank you for sharing these special words of wisdom. Prophecies are not always easy to understand. Your explanations are helpful.
I didn't know about the three points of the cross. How fascinating!
Thanks, Charlotte, for your encouragement! I'm glad you found this to be helpful.
Love in Him,
Thanks, Jennifer! It is amazing how God foreshadowed the shed blood of Jesus, and its redemptive power, throughout the Old Testament -- this has been called the "scarlet thread."
Blessings to you,
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