The Meaning of the Biblical Festivals
The festivals that Yahweh gave to ancient Israel (Lev. 23) were tied to the agricultural seasons. After they
entered the Promised Land, they were to continue keeping the Passover, and the Days of Unleavened Bread that immediately
followed. The Passover depicted their release from the bondage of Egyptian slavery. The Messiah is called "our
Passover," in 1 Corinthians 5:7. He made it possible for us to be released from sin by repenting and accepting
His sacrifice to pay for those sins. The Days of Unleavened Bread celebrated the barley harvest, which was the
first harvest of the season.
So we find here, portrayed in the annual Holy Days, the plan of salvation:
Passover/Unleavened Bread (April 19-26 this year): He lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, and then
resurrected the third day. We are to repent and put sin (law-breaking, 1 John 3:4), out of our lives. We put leaven
out of our homes for seven days to depict putting sin out of our lives (1 Cor. 5:6-8).
Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) (June 11 this year): We are called "Firstfruits." Pentecost (wheat harvest
time) celebrates the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) so we can keep
that law (the 10 Commandments) with a Spiritual intent and purpose. See Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Hebrews 8:6-10.
After repentance and baptism, we will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), so that we CAN keep the law with a spiritual
intent not possible for the natural mind. This Spirit, called the "earnest of the Spirit," dwells in
our minds. This is what Yahweh meant in Jer. 31:33-34, about "writing His Law in our hearts."
After conversion, we live a life of overcoming and sharing of the Gospel with our fellow man. One way we love
Yahweh is by loving His wayward children enough to want to help them understand His plan for our eternal lives,
so that they, too, may share in His blessings - both now and in the Kingdom to come.
Next is the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets (Sept. 29 this year) pictures His return to the earth ("at
the last trump") to set up His 1,000 year reign, when His resurrected saints (the firstfruits) will reign
with Him from Jerusalem. All man's governments will be subject to Him. Rebellion will be forcefully put down.
There will be peace on earth for 1,000 years.
The Day of Atonement, nine days later (Oct. 8 this year) pictures reconciliation and the Marriage of the Lamb just
after His return (Rev. 19). Read the Old Testament accounts of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16, and Leviticus
23:27-32. Both of the goats in Lev. 16 picture Yahshua: the goat sacrificed for our sins, and the goat made to
bear our sins into the wilderness. Some still cling to the idea that the goat let go in the wilderness depicts
Satan, but think about it. Did Satan take away your sins? Or did Yahshua?
The Feast of Tabernacles follows 5 days later and lasts for 7 days (Oct. 13-19 this year). It depicts the Millennial
(1,000 year) reign of the Kingdom of Yahweh here on this earth, where Yahshua will rule with His saints, and Law
will go forth from Jerusalem (Micah 4:2). This will be a time of restoration, and preparation for the general,
or 2nd resurrection. (Rev. 20:4-6). It is the fall harvest time, spoken of by Yahshua in John 4:35-38, Mat. 25:31-46,
and Luke 14:14, as well as several other places.
Then the Last Great Day (John 7:37-38)(Oct. 20 this year) follows immediately, and is the 8th day of the Feast.
This depicts the Great White Throne Judgment when everyone who has ever lived, and was not in the First Resurrection,
will be resurrected to life to be judged. Read all of Rev. 20 and Mat. 24 and 25, as well as 1 Peter 4:17 (Judgment
is now upon those being called), and Matthew 10:15, which shows that final judgment has not yet been pronounced,
even upon the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and a future final judgment still awaits them.
The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day is a time of joy and renewal, when we come before the Creator of
the Universe, Yahweh, and His Son, Yahshua the Messiah. We come out of the world for 8 days, and have daily worship
services - singing praises to Him, expounding His Word, studying His Word, exhorting one another unto good works,
and generally putting the cares of the world away and devoting our time and energies to Him and His Word.
We look forward to the fulfillment of these days, when we can be with Him forever in His Kingdom! HalleluYAH!