THE FEASTS OF THE LORD
The feasts of the Lord, are divine appointments between God and the Christian people. They are registered in the Bible, in the book of Exodus 12:1-28 and described in Leviticus 23, they were established by God as a perpetual celebration, as a part of a redemptive plan for the people of Israel during their exit from Egypt. But these feasts are also a calling to set apart time for an encounter and dedication to God; so we can understand the times of the coming of the Messiah and the role it would play in the divine restauration of men and the earth, after the sin and fall of Adan.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts”. Leviticus 23:1-2
Even though we have heard about it, these celebrations are barely known within the Christian Church. Unmistakably they have been considered like the Feasts of the Hebrews or Jews, because they are the ones who have celebrated them for centuries until now, but in the books of Leviticus 23: 1-44 and Numbers 28:16-40, states clearly that they are the “Feasts of the Lord”; and they have been established to be celebrated forever by the creator of the heavens and the earth “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them…the message is for all of those that have received His word, that keep it in their hearts and obey it, the ones who believe in Him, these are the children of Israel, because it is written in Romans 2:28-29 “ For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
God indicates that these feasts are for the Jewish and non-Jewish:
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.” Exodus 20:9-10.
Let us remember that the bible was written in Hebrew and translated in Greek, the original writings say that the word feast means: an appointed time, specific, precise. An appointment, a cycle or year. So we understand that God has appointed a specific time, in which He will fulfill his plan of redemption and the restauration of humanity and the earth, through Jesus. We can say these feasts are prophetic, since the Messiah will fulfill something in each feast. These are times designed and separated for and by the Lord, is a calling for the ones who believe in Him and have accepted His son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and must be celebrated for the Glory of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, worshipping the Messiah, who came and will come for the second time.
Also, they are feasts to be celebrated FOREVER: “And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” Leviticus 23:21
This order is repeated 4 times in the book of Leviticus chapter 23 in verses: 14, 21, 31, 41. FOREVER, means something ETERNAL, in other words, the command established by the Lord, is that we should celebrate the feasts forever, for eternity. When God says to make Him a feast, we need to understand that behind each feast there is a specific time assigned by Him, an appointment in the day, the month and year that He tells us, in other words, that these feasts should be celebrated in the exact times within a cycle of seven months.
The Lord established that human beings be guided in seasons by the sun, the moon and the stars, they were put in the heavens like the clock of God for us and they indicate when the day and the night starts, they mark the beginning of the 4 seasons of the year and the beginning of the agricultural seasons: sowing and harvesting.
These times serve as guidelines or signs.
“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;” Genesis 1:14
These times established by the Lord for each feast has a triple meaning; it shows in the natural so we can understand the spiritual;
The agricultural sense: In the physical and the spiritual it represents we need to give in order to receive. Is a time of sowing and to present offerings to the Lord so we can receive our blessings.
The way God treated his people: So we can understand the times of the coming of the Messiah.
The Redemption of Humanity: The restoration of Men to God through the Messiah
The Feasts of the Lord are marked by the times, the first 4 one that already passed are the Spring Feasts: The Feast of Passover, the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, the Feast of the First Fruits and the Feast of the 50 weeks or of Pentecost. Each one has a prophetic meaning, because it teaches us about the most important events of the first coming of the Messiah and the reason why these events become a very important part of the divine redemption of man.
In the Fall Feasts we found the Feast of the Trumpets o Yom Teru’ah, The Day of Forgiveness or Yom Kippur, and the Feast of the Tabernacles or Sukkot, it gives us a perspective of the relevant events in the 2nd coming of the Messiah, that is still to be fulfilled.
The Lord instructs us to have Holy Convocation every year, being grateful for what he has done for us and to prepare us to what he is going to do in the future. Jesus Christ established that we should celebrate the Feast of Passover, as a remembrance of His sacrifice in the cross which opened the door to the Kingdom of God. We as Christians have forgotten to celebrate Passover and have concentrate in celebrating His resurrection.
The feasts are the blue prints through which the Lord reveals the design of redemption for men and the earth and Jesus is the substance or the fulfillment of the great plan of the Lord, that is what is truly important of this 7 celebrations.
The New Testament also talks about the Feasts of the Lord.
“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5: 8
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2: 1-4
The feasts are part of a cycle that the Lord gave us, that should be celebrated every year so we can have a true knowledge of his purposes, until we reach spiritual maturity. The feasts serve as a testimony of the divine plan of redemption of the world and the role that the Messiah plays in the fulfillment of this plan. Is not enough just to love God with all your heart and to serve Him every day, we need to have a personal relationship with Him and seek a deeper spiritual vision from the Bible. Maybe, the real importance and meaning of these feasts, is that through them we will have a better understanding of the times of God: Jesus came to the earth in a specific time established by God and God has established the right time in the future in which He will judge the world, according to Acts 17:31
“because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”