The seven Feasts of the Lord are Biblical holy days that God established as “lasting ordinances” (Leviticus 23:14) for all His people. They are set in specific seasons and commemorate key events in Israel’s history, prophetically illustrating God’s plan for humanity. In fact, they even foreshadow the life, death, resurrection, and return of Yeshua (Jesus).
These feasts are divided into two seasons: the spring feasts and the fall feasts.
- Passover (Pesach): Celebrates Israel’s liberation from Egyptian bondage and represents our salvation through Yeshua, our Passover Lamb.
- Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot): Symbolizes the removal of sin, as leaven represents sin in the Bible, and commemorates the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.
- Feast of Firstfruits (Bikkurim): Honors the first harvest of the season and prophetically speaks to Yeshua’s resurrection as the “firstfruits” of those who have died.
- Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Shavuot): Celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit onto Yeshua’s followers.
- Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah): Marked by the blowing of the trumpet (shofar), it is believed to prophesize Yeshua’s second coming.
- Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): The holiest day of the year, signifying the need for repentance and God’s forgiveness, foreshadowing the final judgement.
- Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Sukkot): Commemorates the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings and God’s provision, and anticipates when Yeshua will dwell with us in the Millennial Kingdom.
All of these feasts hold deep significance in understanding God’s redemption plan and deepen our connection with our faith and its rich heritage. They are not just historical commemorations but also prophetic blueprints, painting a picture of Yeshua’s work and His role as the Messiah in God’s redemptive plan.
While there are several feasts and celebrations mentioned in the Bible, not all of them are considered mandatory observances for believers. However, some feasts and celebrations can be voluntarily observed, as they hold significance and were observed by Yeshua (Jesus) during His earthly ministry. Here are a few examples:
- Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): Rosh Hashanah is a significant holiday observed on the first and second days of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, usually falling in September or October. It is a time of introspection, reflection, and renewal, as individuals and communities seek spiritual rejuvenation and seek forgiveness for their shortcomings. The blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) serves as a wake-up call, reminding people to examine their actions and make amends. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is a joyous and solemn occasion, emphasizing the themes of hope, renewal, and the reaffirmation of one’s relationship with God.
- Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication): Hanukkah is an eight-day festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Seleucid Empire. While not mentioned in the Old Testament, it is described in the New Testament in John 10:22 as the “Feast of Dedication.” Yeshua visited the temple during this festival, highlighting its relevance to believers. Hanukkah is typically observed in December and involves the lighting of the menorah, the recitation of prayers, and the retelling of the miraculous events associated with the holiday.
- Purim: Purim is a festival celebrated in late winter or early spring to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from the plot of Haman, as described in the book of Esther. Although not commanded in the Torah, it is widely observed, and Yeshua’s Jewish heritage suggests that He likely participated in the celebration. Purim is marked by the reading of the Megillah (the book of Esther), giving gifts to the poor, exchanging food gifts, and rejoicing with festive meals.
- Sabbath: While the Sabbath is not strictly a feast, it is a weekly observance that holds great importance in Jewish tradition. Yeshua consistently observed the Sabbath during His ministry, setting an example for His followers. The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday and lasts until sundown on Saturday, during which believers are encouraged to rest from work, engage in worship, study the Scriptures, and spend time with family and community.
These feasts and celebrations, including Rosh Hashanah, can be voluntarily observed by believers as a means to connect with Jewish heritage, gain a deeper understanding of biblical events, and honor the traditions associated with them. They provide opportunities for fellowship, remembrance, and spiritual growth, while also acknowledging Yeshua’s involvement and influence on these occasions.