Who doesn’t like a festival or a reason to get together with friends and family and share a meal? However, the purpose of all the mandatory Jewish feast days, were to honor God and remember what God did for the Jews. The pagan nations that surrounded them celebrated festivals for each one of their false gods. I discovered that the “patron saint days” observed by Catholics resembles the pagan feasts of the Romans. Which goes to show how the Roman Catholic Church adopted all the pagan rituals. The Jewish feast days were different. Here’s how God wanted them to honor Him with the feast days and how Jesus becomes a part of them in the New Testament. Let’s dig in….
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly.
3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live.
4 “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year.
Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
5 “The Lord’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the Lord continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.”
Celebration of First Harvest
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf. 12 On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You must also offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering. 14 Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.
The Festival of Harvest
15 “From the day after the Sabbath—the day you bring the bundle of grain to be lifted up as a special offering—count off seven full weeks. 16 Keep counting until the day after the seventh Sabbath, fifty days later. Then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 From wherever you live, bring two loaves of bread to be lifted up before the Lord as a special offering. Make these loaves from four quarts of choice flour, and bake them with yeast. They will be an offering to the Lord from the first of your crops. 18 Along with the bread, present seven one-year-old male lambs with no defects, one young bull, and two rams as burnt offerings to the Lord. These burnt offerings, together with the grain offerings and liquid offerings, will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you must offer one male goat as a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a peace offering.
20 “The priest will lift up the two lambs as a special offering to the Lord, together with the loaves representing the first of your crops. These offerings, which are holy to the Lord, belong to the priests. 21 That same day will be proclaimed an official day for holy assembly, a day on which you do no ordinary work. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.
22 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
The Festival of Trumpets
23 The Lord said to Moses, 24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn, you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. 25 You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the Lord.”
The Day of Atonement
26 Then the Lord said to Moses, 27 “Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the Lord. 28 Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement, when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with the Lord your God. 29 All who do not deny themselves that day will be cut off from God’s people. 30 And I will destroy anyone among you who does any work on that day. 31 You must not do any work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live. 32 This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves. This day of rest will begin at sundown on the ninth day of the month and extend until sundown on the tenth day.”
The Festival of Shelters
33 And the Lord said to Moses, 34 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. Begin celebrating the Festival of Shelters on the fifteenth day of the appointed month—five days after the Day of Atonement. This festival to the Lord will last for seven days. 35 On the first day of the festival you must proclaim an official day for holy assembly, when you do no ordinary work. 36 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. The eighth day is another holy day on which you present your special gifts to the Lord. This will be a solemn occasion, and no ordinary work may be done that day.
37 (“These are the Lord’s appointed festivals. Celebrate them each year as official days for holy assembly by presenting special gifts to the Lord—burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and liquid offerings—each on its proper day. 38 These festivals must be observed in addition to the Lord’s regular Sabbath days, and the offerings are in addition to your personal gifts, the offerings you give to fulfill your vows, and the voluntary offerings you present to the Lord.)
39 “Remember that this seven-day festival to the Lord—the Festival of Shelters—begins on the fifteenth day of the appointed month, after you have harvested all the produce of the land. The first day and the eighth day of the festival will be days of complete rest. 40 On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees—palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You must observe this festival to the Lord for seven days every year. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed in the appointed month from generation to generation. 42 For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. 43 This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
44 So Moses gave the Israelites these instructions regarding the annual festivals of the Lord.Leviticus 23 NLT
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. 3 This is the lampstand that stands in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron must keep the lamps burning in the Lord’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 4 Aaron and the priests must tend the lamps on the pure gold lampstand continually in the Lord’s presence.
5 “You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. 6 Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. 7 Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord. 8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. 9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the Lord.”
An Example of Just Punishment
10 One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father came out of his tent and got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. 11 During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the Name of the Lord with a curse. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. 12 They kept the man in custody until the Lord’s will in the matter should become clear to them.
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, 14 “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard the curse to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. 15 Say to the people of Israel: Those who curse their God will be punished for their sin. 16 Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the Name of the Lord must be put to death.
17 “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death.
18 “Anyone who kills another person’s animal must pay for it in full—a live animal for the animal that was killed.
19 “Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted— 20 a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind.
21 “Whoever kills an animal must pay for it in full, but whoever kills another person must be put to death.
22 “This same standard applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.”
23 After Moses gave all these instructions to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him to death. The Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.Leviticus 24 NLT
This is how the Jewish leaders justified the stoning of Stephen in the Book of Acts. He preached that Jesus was the Son of God and they charged Him with blasphemy.
How Does Jesus fit into All This?
The folks from Spoken Gospel explain it very nicely…
The New Testament explicitly ties these feasts to Jesus.
Jesus’ death on the cross coincides with Passover. He is the sacrificial lamb whose blood allows God’s wrath to pass us over (Matthew 26:18).
Easter coincides with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus’ resurrection is the first fruits of the harvest God will make from the dead (Colossians 1:18).
On the day of Pentecost, while Israel was celebrating the gift of the harvest, the first Christians celebrated the gift of the Spirit of God and the harvest of believers that would soon follow (Acts 2:4).
A final trumpet will blow at Jesus’ return, ushering in a final day of perpetual rest (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Finally, Jesus fulfills the feast of booths. When he was transfigured into glory on a mountain, Peter suggested setting up booths (Mark 9:5). This was to show that Jesus is the same God who showed up on Mt. Sinai in Exodus.
We must constantly, daily, remember what Jesus has done for us in his death, burial, and resurrection. If we don’t, we will fall victim to the same fate as the man stoned to death in the story right after these feasts are described (Leviticus 24:11). Remembrance is the cure to blasphemy and sin.“Jesus in all of Leviticus” by Spoken Gospel
This is what Jesus meant when he said…
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”Luke 9:23 NLT
Each day when you wake up, you are vulnerable to attacks and temptations from Satan. If you do not have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you, you will fall victim to his tactics. If you don’t acknowledge Jesus every day, and remember to strive to be Christlike, you will fall back to your sinful ways before you met Jesus. You can’t live with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world. Believe me, it doesn’t work!
If you’re Catholic, whenever you venerate Mary or pray to any of the “saints“, you are committing idolatry and blaspheming the name of God. All that’s going to get you is a one-way ticket to hell. And, friend, you really don’t want to go there.
It’s YOUR Choice!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Top image by Richard Gunther from FreeBibleImages.org. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)