Have you ever been interested in the Biblical Feasts? Here is part one of a brief introduction to God’s feasts and how God uses them.
As a teenager, I did a week long internship at the Vancouver Opera. It was a fantastic experience, especially since at the time I was an aspiring to be an opera singer.
One part of the practicum was that I got to observe a rehearsal of La Traviata at an old church in the city. There were no flourishes, or costumes. Just a piano, the actors, and their movements. It was very simple. But even without the perfection of the real stage, the costumes, the makeup, or the orchestra, I was almost in tears in the end. The voices and acting alone were so powerful that I was drawn right in to the story.
I will never forget the beautiful sounds, and the emotions the music conjured up.
God’s Plan to Remember
If you read my post on Why God Loves Food you’ll remember that I pointed out how I pointed out that God uses the tastes, smells and textures of food to remind us of him in ways that are deeper than words.
God knows our humanness better than we. So he set up a way for us to remember him throughout the generations. No, I’m not talking about the Bible here (though that is one way we remember who He is and what he has done..
He created festivals!
Sometimes they’re referred to as the Jewish Feasts, but I’m going to call them the Biblical Feasts here.
Just thinking about God creating feasts makes me all warm and fuzzy feeling. He could have just left us with some words hewn in rock:: dead and lifeless.
But no! He knows US.
He knows we love food, and flavour, and celebration, and relationship, so he made time for that.
The feasts are more than just excuses to have a good time though, there is multi-faceted intention behind them.
The feasts are there for us to remember, reenact what has happened, or what God has done and to rehearse what is to come.
Let’s get a very quick overview on the feasts.
Feasting to the Glory of God
You’re probably familiar with the Exodus story. The Jews were released from bondage (Exodus 12) and were commanded to keep The Passover in order to remember.
The Christian remembers that we were released from sin as Jesus, the sacrificial lamb died on the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7). The Exodus was a shadow of the greater redemption that came!
Day of First Fruits
This is a special feast celebrating the God’s gift of the early crops.
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of first fruits.
We celebrate that Jesus was the first fruit (1 Corinthians 15:20), and we wait for the next fruit – us finally in our resurrected bodies.
Feast of Unleavened Bread
It begins the next night after Passover. Leaven in the Bible typically means sin. God commanded the Jews to abstain from yeast and leaven during the feast. The matzo bread that is eaten is striped, like Jesus’ body (Isaiah 53).
Exactly 50 days after first fruits there is the Feast of Harvest, which we refer to as Pentecost. After Jesus’ resurrection, he joined the disciples for 40 days and then he told them to wait until the Holy Spirit would come. And he did, exactly on the day of feasts. There was a great harvest of souls (3000) which correlates those lost in Exodus 32:28.
Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets)
Usually in September we the memorial of trumpets (Leviticus 23:24). The trumpet blowing was a reminder for the worker in the field to stop immediately, and come for worship in the temple.
We read in the New Testament that the last trumpet sound that will raise the dead and rapture the living (1 Corinthians 15:52 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement
On the Day of Atonement the High Priest of Israel entered the Holy of Holies to make a sacrifice on behalf of himself and Israel. (Leviticus 23:28-32) It was a time for each person to confess his or her sins from the year.
We know our atonement is in Christ alone, by faith alone. This will be fulfilled when Christ returns again.
The Jews remember that God provided shelter for them while they were in the wilderness. They build little shelters outside their houses and live and worship in them for the time.
I have a friend who does this as a family, and I think it’s such a neat way to reenact and remember what God has done.
We know that God will establish his new temple in Jerusalem in the age to come. (Micah 4:1-7)
A very special and holy day that happens once a week. God lays a framework of rest and worship. Some understand the Shabbat as a rehearsal of the peace or shalom to come. One day a week where man, nature, and God are right with one another.
Every Shabbat I’m reminded that the rest and peace that I experience is just a shadow of what is to come. It reminds me to anticipate, and I long even more so for the Return of the King!
Biblical Feasts of Remembering
When you look at all those feasts, they’re pretty much spread right around the year. That means God set it up so that we literally can remember and celebrate him and all that he’s done all year long!
I think of it like Christmas on steroids.
Ok, that’s not a fantastic example.
But growing up in a Mennonite background, Christmas was pretty much the highlight and it only came once a year. How sad.
When I first came across the Shabbat I got totally excited. It was like Christmas every week! Read about that experience here.
God Loves to Party
After I realized there was a whole host of festivals I started to realize that God was pretty interested in us.
I absolutely thinks that he WANTS us to ENJOY him.
He wants us to BE with him.
Not just at Christmas!
He designed a whole yearly and weekly rhythm for us to continually set our gaze above and remember him.
It’s so easy to get stuck down in the muck and not remember and celebrate who God is and what he has done.
Have I just blown you away and you don’t even know where to begin with this all?
Sign up for our family’s Simple Christian Shabbat guide below to get started!
Try it out, and tell me how it went!
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