Monday, June 13, 2011


The Feasts of Israel were to be celebrated every year according to the Law. They are listed in Leviticus 23:1-44. They are: Passover (v. 4-5); Unleavened Bread (v. 6-8); First Fruits (v. 9-14); Wave Loaves or Pentecost (v. 15-22); Trumpets (v. 23-25); Atonement (v. 26-32); and Tabernacles (v. 33-44).

Much has been written on the Feasts of Israel over the past twenty centuries, but ironically, there is very little mention of them in the New Testament following the founding of the Church (Acts 2:1). In Acts 18:21, the Apostle Paul left Ephesus with the intention of attending a feast in Jerusalem. Commentaries vary on which feast it was, but based upon Acts 20:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:8, I believe the feast in question is the Feast of Pentecost. Paul used the Feasts of Israel as opportunities to witness for Christ, rather than as a religious obligation. He made it quite clear that the Church was not required to keep the Law (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 5:18; etc.). The other three times feasts are mentioned in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:27; 2 Pet. 2:13; Jude 1:12), all have to do with an elaborate meal rather than with the Feasts of Israel. "Passover" is mentioned one additional time in Hebrews 11:28, where it refers to the first Passover in Egypt.

So why all of the fascination with Israel's Feasts? Simply put, although the Feasts of Israel were originally meant to celebrate significant events in Israel's calendar, they also represent the events of Christ's First Advent, the Church Age, and His Second Advent. The first three feasts occur in the first month of the Hebrew calendar; they are a picture of Christ as the Lamb of God and His death, burial, and resurrection (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 15:3-4). The last three feasts occur in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar; they picture Christ as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the events of His Second Coming, which I shall discuss later (Rev. 5:5; 19:11-21).

The middle feast, known as the Feast of Wave Loaves, the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of Pentecost, represents the first harvest as did the Feast of First Fruits, but there are several differences. The Feast of First Fruits pictures the Resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:20, 23), and because leaven represents sin (Matt. 16:11; 1 Cor. 5:7-8) and corruption (Acts 2:27; 13:35) in the Bible, the wave offering of freshly harvest grain did not contain leaven (Lev. 23:9-14). Since the two loaves of bread waved by the priest contained leaven, they cannot picture Jesus.

The prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 indicates that there would be seventy sevens before the "consummation." Webster's New World Dictionary defines "consummation" as: "a consummating or being consummated; completion; fulfillment; an end; or a conclusion." Based upon the rest of Scripture, all of the definitions apply to Israel's future. This is especially clear in Luke 21:24 which says, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

To be continued, Lord willing.

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