As I mentioned yesterday, the first three Feasts of Israel represent the First Advent of Jesus Christ. They picture His death (Passover), His burial (Unleavened Bread), and His Resurrection (First Fruits). Since the last three Feasts picture His Second Advent, and it has not occurred yet, interpreting them dogmatically would be a mistake. However, it is possible to make an educated guess as to their meaning.
The Feast of Trumpets could represent two events since the word “Trumpets” is plural. One Trumpet could be the “last trump” the Church will hear at the time of the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16). Another Trumpet could be God’s call for His people to assemble. Following the covenant between Antichrist and Israel (Dan. 9:27), Israel will be gathered in the Land of Promise where they have been “guaranteed” safety for seven years. I do not believe the “last trump” refers to the seventh trumpet of Revelation (10:7; 11:15), because it would have to sound in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev. Ch. 6-18), the period known as the Wrath of God (Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1). The Church must hear the “last trump” before the Tribulation begins, for the Church has not been “appointed to wrath” (1 Thes. 1:9-10; 5:2-11).
I believe the Feast of Atonement represents the Tribulation itself. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “atone” as “making amends or reparation for wrongdoing, to become reconciled to those one has offended.” It is the only Feast which involves a fast (afflicting one’s soul - Lev. 23:26-32; Ps. 35:13) following a trumpet call (Isa. 58:1-14). Romans 11 speaks of a time of partial blindness for God’s people until the “fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (v. 25). Israel is reconciled to God through “the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (v. 26-27). Based upon the finished work of His First Advent, Jesus will declare Israel’s sins “paid in full.” Jesus atoned for all of mankind (Rom. 5:8-21).
The Feast of Tabernacles is a picture of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus. The word, “tabernacle” in the verb form means “to dwell with.” It has the same meaning as “Immanuel” which Matthew’s Gospel interprets as “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). From Isaiah 7:14, we know that “God” refers to Jesus Christ. The return of Jesus will mark the end of the Tribulation, and the beginning of Christ’s reign of a thousand years (Rev. 19:11 – 20:15).
Thanks to the prophet Daniel, we know that the First Advent of Christ would occur “sixty-nine weeks” (“seven and three score and two weeks” or 483 years) from the command to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25). We know the “weeks” (sevens) are periods of seven years because the last week is the seven year Tribulation. We know they are literal years because half of the seven year Tribulation is described as being forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5); 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6); and a time, times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14). The first sixty-nine weeks ended with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Dan. 9:26), and the seventieth week is yet future. That means there is a gap of about two thousand years between His First Advent and His Second. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will once again address the Feast of Pentecost, the picture of the Church.