(John Hagee, Final Dawn Over Jerusalem, pp. 165-191)
Say to the people of Israel, The appointed feasts of the LORD which you
shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed feasts, are these.
Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who
proclaims peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows, for never
again shall the wicked come against you, he is utterly cut off.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have
become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.
The clues we need to help us understand God's plan for humanity are
found throughout Leviticus 23. The chapter begins with the directive to
Moses to proclaim and keep holy the seven different feasts. The Lord
established seven occasions of worship to guide Israel through the centuries
until the Messiah comes. Christians often falsely assume these feasts are
exclusively Jewish occasions. The Bible states that these days belong to the
Lord which are established for divine purposes, and everyone has the right
to draw near.
The number seven throughout the Bible represents completeness. Just as
seven days finish a weekly cycle, seven festival occasions complete the
work of God on Earth. Each holiday has a unique purpose. The Hebrew
word for feast, mo'ed, means "a set or appointed time". Another Hebrew
word similar to that is mikrah, which indicates a "dress rehearsal or recital".
Each feast offers a piece to the puzzle of the divine blueprint for Jerusalem,
Israel, and the rest of the world. Through these seven events, God revealed
His 7,000 year plan. Peter reminds us that "a day is as a thousand years
and a thousand years is as a day to the Lord". The final Feast of Sukkot
will begin Jesus' reign on Earth for 1000 years of paradise.
1. The Feast of Passover: On the tenth day of A'bib (March or April on
the English calendar), preparation for the annual Passover begins. The Lord
states, "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first
month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying:
'On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb,
according to the house of his father, a lamb for the household.'"
For four days, a one-year-old male lamb without blemish was tied close to
the house so the family would embrace the lamb as a pet. At 3:00 in the
afternoon, the father of the house laid his hand on the lamb to cut its
throat. Then he applied the blood of the innocence to the sides of the door
and smeared it on the doorposts. The house was literally sealed with blood.
The family was commemorating and reenacting the angel's journey through
Egypt when the Jewish people were in bondage to the Pharaoh. At that
time, an angel of death came to kill all of the Egyptian firstborn children.
The angel "passed over" any house that had the blood of the lamb on its
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and
without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews
In the Old Testament, sins were forgiven annually through this feast. It was
God's way of foreshadowing his gift to humanity of forgiveness of sins
through faith in his son Jesus. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he
exclaimed, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the
world!" John 1:29.
It is also significant that the lamb of the feast was slain at 3:00 in the
afternoon--that is precisely the time that Jesus said, "It is finished!" and
gave up his spirit. Redemption is now given to each person who has
proclaimed Jesus to be his/her personal Lord and Savior.
2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread: This feast is observed the night after
the week-long Passover festival begins. The Passover meal, called the
Seder, is itself a picture of the death and resurrection of Christ. In the
middle of the ritual, a piece of matzo (unleavened bread that is striped and
pierced in the baking process) is broken into three pieces. The second
piece, the Afikomen, is wrapped in white linen and hidden away for a little
while, then found amid great rejoicing.
This is an incredible foreshadowing of how Jesus the Messiah, the Bread of
Life, would be pierced with a spear, wounded with stripes, wrapped in
linen, and hidden away in a borrowed tomb. On the night Jesus was
betrayed, He ate the Last Supper (called that because it was the last meal in
which leavened bread could be eaten before the festival) with His disciples
and told them that the bread was His body that was to be broken for them.
Just as the matzo at the Feast of Unleavened Bread is without leaven
(yeast), Jesus was without sin. His body was hidden away for three days,
but then He rose and reappeared to many on the Earth amid great rejoicing.
3. The Feast of Firstfruits: Immediately after the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, this feast commemorates the day Israel went down into the depths
of the Red Sea and came out the other side alive. The children of Israel
marched into a watery grave and God raised them on the other bank a
nation of free people. Little did they know they were also demonstrating
how God would bring salvation to the entire world!
Paul wrote, "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the
first fruits of those who have fallen asleep."
1 Corinthians 15:20
Jesus arose on the third day after his crucifixion and announced, "I AM the
resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he
shall live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." John
4. The Feast of Pentecost: On the second day of Si'van (May or June on
the English calendar), exactly fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits, the
commemoration of the giving of the Law begins. Following the Exodus and
the Hebrews' miraculous escape from the Red Sea where Israel traveled
until they arrived at Mount Sinai, God instructed Moses to have the people
purify themselves. At the end of their 47 day journey, they purified
themselves for three days, resulting in a total of fifty days, hence the word
Pentecost. At Mount Sinai, Moses received the Ten Commandments
directly from God.
At this point, the stage was set for God to reach the entire Gentile world.
God was doing with the Jewish people at that time exactly what he was
going to do fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
The feasts of the "former rain", consisting of Passover, Unleavened Bread,
Firstfruits, and Pentecost, are acts 1-4 in God's preparations for the divine
drama of the Second Coming. The prophetic counterparts to these feasts
are behind us, their roles fulfilled.
5. The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah): The first day of the Jewish
civil year begins on the first of the seventh month, Tis'ri (September or
October on the English calendar). This is the date that God created Adam,
the first man. This is also called the Day of Judgment, when God sits on
His throne and determines the destiny of each individual in the upcoming
year. The Jewish people celebrate by dressing up in their best white clothes
to signify purity and they celebrate the day with joy.
This feast fulfills the Lord's commandment to Moses: "Speak to the
children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the
month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets,
a holy convocation'" Leviticus 23:24. The "blowing of trumpets" refers to
the shofar, the ram's horn that is blown exactly 100 times during the Rosh
While the first four festivals occur in close proximity, an entire season
passes before the fall commemoration of trumpets begins. This long period
represents the dispensation of grace that we now live in. Of all the feasts,
this is the only time span that cannot be exactly determined. This period is
the one we are currently living in, the period of time where we wait for the
angels to blow God's great trumpet that will call the Bride of Christ (The
Body of True Believers) to her mansions on high. The Rapture of the
Church is very near!
In this interim as we wait between Pentecost and Trumpets, Jesus Christ,
our Bridegroom, returned to His father's house (as is Jewish custom) to
prepare everything for our arrival.
And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will
take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
6. The Feast of Atonement: On the tenth day of Tis'ri (September or
October), the day of Yom Kippur, Israel comes together in worship,
self-examination, reflection, and repentance. This is the most sacred day of
the Jewish year. In ancient times it was the only occasion when the high
priest entered the Holy of Holies, and a scapegoat bearing the sins of Israel
was sent off to Azazel in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:10)
Just as the crucifixion corresponded to the fulfillment of Passover down to
the last detail, the Scripture points to the incredible promise of what will
happen on this day, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Which Yom
Kippur we are not sure of at this point. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
(not the rapture) will occur 2,520 days or seven prophetic years of 360
days after the day Israel signs a seven-year peace agreement with the
Antichrist. This man will be worse than any other leader in history, and he
is about to accept his role on the world stage. Fortunately, the Church will
be "kept from the hour of trial which is to come upon the whole world".
7. The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot): This feast is held by divine decree
on the fifteenth through the twenty-first days of Tis'ri (September or
October). Sukkot begins after the ingathering of the harvest, and is the
happiest of the biblical festivals. It celebrates God's bounty in nature and
God's protection, symbolized by the fragile booths in which the Israelites
dwelled in the wilderness. According to Jewish tradition, Sukkot is also a
festival involving Gentiles, and seventy bullocks were offered up in the
temple for the seventy nations of the world.
This feast is also called the Feast of Lights. How fitting that Jesus stood in
the midst of the people and proclaimed, "I am the light of the world" John
Light reveals, exposes, and conquers darkness. To those who know Jesus,
this is truly a time we are longing for! The final thousand years of rest will
begin with Jesus' Second Coming.
|Significance of the Jewish Feasts