December 23, 2023
Picture: The Feasts
Leviticus 23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
They certainly could not have realized the significance of what was happening at the base of mount Sinai. They had been elated to escape the morose destiny charted before them in Egypt, but they lacked a vision for what they could truly become. Indeed God had not only saved them from slavery, but His intention was always to make them the people of God.
With Each command that Moses communicated, they were being given the building blocks for establishing a holy nation. Along with dietary laws, and sacrifices, God also punctuated certain times of the year with feasts. Leviticus 23 describes 7 feasts in detail.
There were 4 in the Spring:
Passover Feast, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, and the Feast of weeks or Pentecost.
And 3 in the Fall:
The Feast of trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
As these days came and went, the familiar traditions became way markers as the people of God trod the path of time, their future becoming their history. But embedded in each feast was a prophetic shadow that the ministry of Jesus would bring into living color.
The pictures embedded in these feast reached full flower at the end of Jesus ministry on earth.
On Passover Day, Jesus would become the Passover lamb. His blood providing a covering for the sins of mankind. (See Matthew 26:17-27)
Hours before His death, Jesus referred to His body as unleavened bread while breaking unleavened bread saying, “This is my body broken for you." A body that was tempted in every way, but remained perfect and sinless. Leaven in the scriptures represented sin. At the feast of unleavened bread, Jesus’ unleavened (sinless) body was placed in a tomb.
The Feast of first fruits occurred 3 days after the feast of unleavened bread. On this day, Jesus rose from the dead, revealing his power to offer eternal life as the first fruits of salvation to all who believe. (See 1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
Pentecost occurred 50 days after the feast of unleavened bread and it was typically a celebration of the last days of the wheat harvest. On this day, the Holy Spirit was given as a gift to all who believe and a great harvest of thousands of people repented of their sins and formed the only organization commissioned by Christ to make disciples; the church. (See Acts 1 & 2)
The Jewish people had celebrated these feasts for generations, creating through wrote repetition what should have been subconscious anticipation of the advent of Jesus Christ. Yet, many missed the prophecy being fulfilled before their eyes.
The next feast that Christ will embody is the feast of trumpets. This is the first of the fall feasts and follows a period of planting, and smaller fruit harvests. It also ushered in the beginning of a new Jewish year. It’s beginning was marked by the blowing of trumpets.
Jesus will flesh out the shadow of this feast when he returns to rapture His church. The Church since Pentecost has been left on earth to sow seed and harvest spiritual fruit. This epoch will end with the sound of a trumpet. The church will be gathered into heaven and God’s redemptive timeline will enter a new year.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NKJV)
At Christmas, Immanuel, God with us, declares the subliminal message that lurked beneath the 4 spring feasts with full voice. The birth of this child calls us to anticipate the day a trumpet will sound and the dimly lit glass guarding the true meaning of the first fall feast will shatter, and the church will unite with her Savior forever more.