“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Leviticus 23:1-2.
I am about to take many of you on a ride you probably have never been on. I will admit from the start this is a difficult lesson to understand. It might take some of you a couple of readings, but I want to communicate Gods truth to you. After all that is all I know how to do. So I will say from the start please excuse my grammatical errors. This blog is designed to help you understand the real day Jesus died on the cross. To some you might say, What is the big deal? It is to you that I say, We have a duty to teach the Word. There are many people who are cynics or skeptical about Christianity because some things just dont add up. So here we go…
Like all of Biblical Judaism, the festivals (feasts) in some way teach us about the Messiah. One of the greatest passages of Scripture that will enable you as a Bible Student to unlock the Bible is found in Leviticus 23. Remember the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. Joseph Good says, if one can obtain a good working knowledge of the festivals, then he will have in his possession Gods blueprint for mankind.
These festivals are rich in that they are multi-faceted. Some are commemorating a historical event while others look forward to future redemption. There are seven festivals that we draw our attention. (Note: Interesting enough my stage name is SE7EN, which has no barring in this study just thought I should mention it.) These seven festivals are celebrated in two seasons (four and three), which correlates with the Jewish two agricultural seasons. The four spring festivals take us from the beginning to the ingathering of the barley harvest. The three fall festivals begin at the time of the ingathering of the wheat and other crops. Naturally seasons depend heavily on rain which is what is called the Former rain (spring season) and the Latter Rain (fall season).
Hosea 6:3 says, and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
For those of you who believe that God does everything by His sovereign will, you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat right now in great expectation. I want to turn your attention now to the book of Leviticus as we discover what the Bible says about these seven festivals.
Passover (Pesach) The first feast is on the fourteenth day of the first month. This month is called Nisan or Aviv and usually corresponds with our March/April. Of course it commemorates the time when the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and the death angel passed-over the homes of those who sprinkled the provision on their doorpost (slain lambs blood on two doorpost and lintel.) In the book of Exodus 12:3 the Lord said, On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb. The purpose of taking this lamb was to inspect it and to see if it was spotless, or without blemish (v.5). In Leviticus 23:5 it says, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight (between the evenings) is the Lords Passover. What that means is that the children of Israel where required to take that very lamb that they had been inspecting for four days and kill it.
Unleavened Bread (Hag haMatzah) The second spring festival was the feast of unleavened bread which fell on the fifteenth day of Aviv. This commemorates the meal of the lamb with the unleavened bread and bitter herbs and the actual departure from Egypt. It is called Hag Ha Matzah, because during this week-long feast (is to be celebrated for seven days and the first day shall be a holy convocation with no customary work a special Sabbath).
Firstfuits of the Barley Harvest The third festival falls during the week-long celebration of Unleavened Bread on the day after the weekly Sabbath (Saturday). This means that this feast was to be celebrated on the first Sunday after the fifteenth of Aviv.
Good Thursday vs. Good Friday I am under the deepest conviction that our Savior was slain on Thursday. I believe that these festivals were a picture of what was to come. These were Gods appointed times (Lev. 23:4) or in other words these were the days God made an appointment with His people. Traditionally the church celebrates Palm Sunday, which is the triumphant entry of Christ on the donkey into Jerusalem and we celebrate the day that Christ rose from the grave on Sunday. I want you to take a look into some interesting discoveries. On the 10th day of the month every male was required to take a lamb, this day was on a Sunday (in that day there was no Sunday, Monday, Tuesday they were called the 1st day, 2nd day, etc). The fourteenth day was the day the Passover lamb was slain. Jesus Christ is said to be our Passover lamb (1 Cor. 5:7 says, Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us). I believe that at the same time (at twilight, or between the evenings which is 3pm – Matt. 27:45) the High Priest was slaying the lamb in the temple or Passover Lamb gave up His spirit. The Scripture that most have a hard time dealing with is found in John 19. According to verse 31 it was a Preparation Day. Notice what it says, Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day). Many will look at this and thing see I knew He died on Friday. Well, John gave a footnote if you will; he called that particular Sabbath a High Day, or Special Sabbath. It was not the weekly Sabbath it was the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, which all customary work was suppose to cease. Note Matt. 28:1 says, “at the end of the sabbaths.” This imples that there where more than one Sabbath. Lets do the math…
10th Sunday (examination of the Lamb)
14th Thursday (Passover)
15th Friday (Unleavened Bread)
16th Saturday (weekly Sabbath)
17th Sunday (Firstfruits)
Notice that by looking at he pure numbers Jesus would have died on Thursday not on Friday. Also, logically one cannot get three days out of Friday, only two. According to the Scripture 50 days from the Feasts of Firstfruits the next festival took place, namely Shavuot, or Pentecost. This is one of the popular feasts among Pentecostals. For this is the festival the Holy Spirit came down. (Note: it wasnt because they where on one accord in one place, it was the fulfillment of Gods appointed times.) In the Old Testament on Shavuot, God wrote the Law on stones. While in the N.T., God sent His Holy Spirit to write the law on our hearts.
Also note the next festival we are looking for Christ to fulfill is the Fall Festival (Latter Rain) Rosh Hashanah, or the blowing of trumpets (Lev. 23:23; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 4:1)
For a detail understanding of all of the festival please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2006 All Rights Reserved. Robert L. Wagner