The 7 Feasts of the Lord, are His divine festivals through which He declares His purposes and plans to the world. Their prophetic meaning and significance deepen our spiritual walk, as we celebrate Him through His feasts.
Contrary to widely held belief, the 7 Feasts of the Lord, are very relevant to us as Christians, and Messianic Jews alike.
1 Adonai said to Moshe,
2 “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of Adonai which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times. CJB
Freedom vs. Legalism
Scriptures from the New Covenant – B’rit Hadashah, which causes much debate about celebrating the 7 Feasts of the Lord, were written by Paul, to the Messianic Churches, addressing both Jew and Gentile. The essence of his concern was that Messianic Jews, expected Gentile believers to follow the same traditions and customs in celebrating the feasts, as was prescribed by the Priests and Rabbis for centuries.
These customs and traditions are expressions of the feasts’ spiritual intent, but people placed such a high value on them, that they became the only way of expression, often resulting in legalism and false pride.
Paul’s concern was, rather for us to understand that it is not by keeping the detailed custom or tradition, which determines our spiritual position, but our relationship with God as we celebrate His feasts. He counsels us to express the intent and purpose, which the feast represents.
We have the freedom to express the spiritual intent and purpose of the feasts, in a personal way. Similarly, Jesus pointed the Pharisees to the intent of the celebration when they complained about His disciples plucking wheat to eat on a Sabbath (Matthew 12 and Luke 6).
Traditions and Customs
The Jewish traditions and customs of celebrating the 7 Feasts of the Lord are rich in meaning, and we gain a deeper understanding by studying them.
Our freedom of expression includes the option to celebrate the feasts according to Jewish customs or create contemporary ones for ourselves and our families. It is also a wonderful time, in which our children can learn experientially, about the purposes and plans of the Lord.
The celebration of the Feasts is rightfully our spiritual inheritance, and also becomes treasured family times. As they continue from generation to generation, they leave behind our footprints spiritually.
From a Hebraic perspective, the cycle of the annual Feasts celebrates and enhances the yearly rhythm. They are closely related to the agricultural seasons of the year and layered with historical, environmental, moral and spiritual significance.
As we learn and grow through each year’s cycle of life, we celebrate the Feasts with renewed insight and appreciation. The Feasts can be seen, as annual places of rest, where we take time to reflect and become refreshed for our onward journey.
The Hebrew Calendar
Leviticus 23, is the single chapter, by which the Lord summarized His Feasts and their dedicated times.
In the Lord’s calendar, a day is from sunset to sunset, and the corresponding Gregorian Calendar date, therefore, starts at sunset the evening prior. All Feasts, therefore, start the evening of the day before the Gregorian date listed, except for the Passover meal which is celebrated on the evening of the date as listed below. Due to calculation differences between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar, the corresponding Gregorian calendar dates vary every year.
The Biblical Hebrew Calendar starts in spring with the first month of Nissan, though they celebrate the annual New Year at the beginning of the seventh month of Tishrei.
The 7 Feasts of the Lord, Year 5778 (2017-2018)
Below is the order in which God gave His 7 Feasts in Leviticus 23.
- Pesach – Passover
- Chag Hamatzot – Unleavened Bread
- Yom HaBikkurim – First Fruits
- Shavu’ot – Pentecost
- Yom Ha Teru’ah – Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah – New Year)
- Yom Kippur – Atonement
- Sukkot – Tabernacles
May your spiritual life be enriched by them!
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