The Festivals of the LORD

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
Leviticus 23:1-2

Observing the Festivals

Can and should believers in Yeshua/Jesus celebrate/observe the Festivals of the LORD – Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits (Resurrection Day), the Counting of the Omer, Festival of Weeks (Pentecost), Festival of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Festival of Tabernacles?

Let’s look at what the Bible says concerning the His feasts and “Gentile believers.”

In Exodus 12:43-49, the LORD/Yehovah is very specific about who can and cannot eat of the Passover.

If a foreigner resides with you and wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover, all the males in the household must be circumcised; then he may come near to celebrate it, and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised man may eat of it. The same law shall apply to both the native and the foreigner who resides among you.”
Exodus 12:?-?

But wait, we have been grafted in to the commonwealth of Israel and as believers in the God of Israel through Yeshua/Jesus, we are no longer foreigners or without hope in the world.

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles in the flesh and called uncircumcised by the so-called circumcision (that done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and decrees. He did this to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:11-19

If you follow the law, then your circumcision has meaning. But if you break the law, then it is as if you were never circumcised. The non-Jews are not circumcised. But if they do what the law says, then it is as if they were circumcised. You Jews have the written law and circumcision, but you break the law. So those who are not circumcised in their bodies, but still obey the law, will show that you are guilty. A person is not a true Jew if he is only a Jew in his physical body. True circumcision is not only on the outside of the body. A person is a true Jew only if he is a Jew inside. True circumcision is done in the heart by the Spirit, not by the written law. Such a person gets praise from God, not from other people.
Romans 2:25-29 ICB

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise
Galatians 3:28-29 BSB

So, the answer to our question is Yes! True believers or Christians have had their hearts circumcised by the Spirit and are therefore true Jews. We have the true circumcision, and we get to follow Yehovah’s law.

GOD’s Pattern

Christianity lost much when they forsook many of the LORD’s/Yehovah’s ways because they deemed them “Jewish.” He created the world in six days. He rested on the seventh day. He told us to get our work done in six day and rest on the seventh.

He created seven appointed times (holy days): Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost/Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles. The first three are referred to as the Spring Feasts and they are very close together. The last three are the Fall Feast and they are all bunched together too. The middle one is Penetcost – so named because it is 50 days after First Fruits/Resurrection Day. These holy days were appointed for specific things to happen in His big picture plan – His plan of salvation and redemption, and we are to rehearse them each year so we are not caught off guard.

And when something significant happens on one of His appointed times (holy days) it does not preclude something else significant from happening on that holy day at another time centuries or millennia later.

Our GOD does things in cycles – seven days in a week, seven holy days in a year, the land was to rest every seventh year. Yehovah gave Moses very specific patterns for making the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, and the menorah – the seven branched lampstand.

Why seven branches? Why seven days in the week? Why seven appointed times? That is Yehovah’s pattern.

GOD’s Holy Days

If you read the account in Leviticus where the LORD is laying out the feasts. He specifically refers to them as His feasts. Sure, He gave them to the “Jews;” who else would He give His holy days to but His people.

Passover is the first of the seven holy days of the year. On the first Passover, the Israelites were protected by the blood of the lamb sprinkled on the doorways of their homes. When the Death Angel went through Egypt, they were spared death. And approximately 50 days later they received the covenant of the LORD and the 10 Commandments were given to them. On the special Passover in the fourth millennium, Yeshua’s/Jesus’ blood was shed for all mankind.

That same year, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits were fulfilled with Yeshua’s/Jesus’ burial and resurrection.

On Pentecost/Feast of Weeks, 50 days later, the Holy Spirit fell on ordinary people.

There have been two millennia (days) since Yeshua ascended. There will be an actual Day of Trumpets and a Day of Atonement – when His return is announced with trumpet blast and we meet him in the air and stand before Him. And then we will enter into His Rest on the Millennial Sabbath and rule and reign with Him on earth when He once again tabernacles with us. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

Is a day 24 Hours or 1000 Years?

Remember when Peter pointed out that with the LORD/Yehovah, a thousand years (a millennium) is as a day and a day as a thousand years? This timing thing is significant. Yeshua arrived (probably in the fall during the LORD’s/Yehovah’s Feast of Tabernacles) close to the end of the fourth day (millennium). The last days started when Yeshua ascended to Heaven. He has given us our marching orders – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel, making disciples of all men.”

When Yeshua ascended, there were two workdays (two millennia) left before the millennial Sabbath (Messiah’s millennial reign). We are very close to the end of the sixth day. Are you ready?

Conclusion

Since we are part of the LORD’s/Yehovah’s family, His people, let’s embrace His festivals and holy days. Let’s draw near to the table and do His will. We are to come out from the world and be a holy/set apart people unto Him. If you are new to this, be aware that there are several calendars. Part of it has to do with one’s understanding of which Sabbath is referred to in the Leviticus instructions for when to observe First Fruits and therefore start the Omer Count to Pentecost. Other issues revolve around the New Moon as observed from the Temple Mount to start of each month.

2021 Holy Days/Festival Calendar

The calendars start at dusk on the date listed.

Hillel Calendar

  • Passover: Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Unleavened Bread (Day 1): Sunday, March 28, 2021
  • First Fruits: Sunday, March 28, 2021
  • Counting of the Omer: March 28 – May 16, 2021
  • Unleavened Bread (Day 7): Saturday, April 3, 2021
  • Pentecost: Sunday, May 16, 2021
  • Feast of Trumpets: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
  • Day of Atonement: Thursday, September 16, 2021
  • Feast of Tabernacles (Day 1): Tuesday, September 21, 2021
  • The Eighth Day: Tuesday, September 28, 2021

New Moon Calendar

  • Passover: March 27, 2021
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread: March 28 – April 4, 2021
  • Feast of First Fruits: April 3, 2021 (coincides with the Christian observance of Easter)
  • Counting the Omer: April 4 – May 22, 2021
  • Pentecost: May 22, 2021 (coincides with the Christian observance of Pentecost)
  • Feast of Trumpets:  September 8, 2021
  • Day of Atonement:  September 17, 2021
  • Feast of Tabernacles:  September 22-29, 2021
  • The Eighth Day:  September 29-30, 2021

Many of the feast are known by several names – which makes things even more fun. Below are a few:

  • Passover – Pesach
  • Pentecost – Feast of Weeks, Shavot
  • Trumpets – Yom Teruah, Rosh HaShanah
  • Atonement – Yom Kippur
  • Tabernacles – Sukkot, Booths, Shelters, Harvest, Ingathering
  • The Eighth Day – Shemini ‘Azeret, The Last Great Day

Resources

  • See the Passover Page for more information and a downloadable Passover Seder Haggadah
  • See the Counting the Omer Page for more information and a downloadable Counting the Omer to Shavuot Devotional

Your Turn

Since the Spring Feasts are upon us, why not celebrate them this year? Check out my Messianic Passover Seder Haggadah (telling) and the Counting of the Omer Devotional marking the 50 days to Pentecost and get on board with Yehovah’s timetable.

When we approach the Fall Feasts, I will add links to more information here.

Don’t stop here. I am still learning, so be a Berean and do your own research.


If this post has touched you or resonated with you, please consider liking, commenting, and sharing it with a friend.


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