2019 will be the third year of us celebrating the Feast of Dedication. So are we suddenly Jewish?! The short answer is no we are not (phew!). Our Messiah was definitely a Jew though and since we try to follow his example, as Christians we also joyfully celebrate His feasts.
Over the years we have gained a deeper respect for these group of holy-days commonly known as Jewish. Throughout the year we celebrate
The Spring Holidays
- Passover - Jesus died on the cross
- Unleavened Bread - Jesus rose from the grave on the day of first fruits following the first sabbath of unlevened bread 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
- Shavuot "Feast of Weeks" - Holy Spirit came down as tongues of fire Acts 2:1-47
The Fall Holidays
- Yom Teruah "Day of Trumpets" - Warning to repent before the coming Day of the Lord
- Yom Kippur "Day of Atonement" - Judgment
- Sukkot "Tabernacles"- Jesus tabernacled with us and will again in the heavenly Millennium!
Other Important Days
(Hanukkah "Feast of Dedication" - An opportunity to rededicate our spiritual temples to the one true God and to remember persecution of law keeping/God fearing people. John 10:22
Purim "Lots" - An opportunity to remember that God preserves his people through seemingly unlikely means as in the book of Esther)
Hanukkah and Purim are different from the Spring and Fall holidays because they are not 'commanded' by God. Though I would consider them strongly endorsed. (Read more about Hanukkah on my post here)
But aren't those only for the Jews?
I grew up thinking this was the case too. However, it never dawned on me that when God speaks of the Spring and Fall festivals, He calls them His own.
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 23:2)
Didn't Jesus do away with all of this?
This is a common belief. However, we see in Acts of the Apostles that the followers of Christ continued celebrating many of these feasts together even after his death and resurrection.
Revelation also speaks about the New Jerusalem having 12 gates for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. There didn't seem to be any bypass or special VIP doors as far as I could tell. This left me srcatchig my head a bit. If New Jerusalem had 12 gates for only the 12 tribes of Irsrael, would that mean I needed to become a spiritual Israelite to be allowed in? I absolutely believe so. I needed to be grafted into the olive branch and be called an Israelite.
The beautiful thing about God is that when you ask him for His truth, and he knows you mean business, He reveals it to you piece by piece.
So if I wanted to call myself an Isrealite, I should probably behave like one too. This is where I began to learn that God's holidays and commands were for anyone who spriritually committed themselves to be part of His people of Israel. A great example of this is the mixed multitude in the wilderness who left Egypt to serve the God of Israel.
Wasn't Jesus our Passover Lamb?
Absolutely! Yeshua or Jesus was our Passover Lamb and his sacrifice has made atonement possible for us all. That is wonderful news for us who through grace have been given forgiveness of sins.
It is because of his sacrifice that we have learned so much hidden meaning in these feasts and festivals. I can say with certainty of heart, that after three years of fumbling through how to celebrate these feasts as Christians, we have gained an intimacy and closeness with our Messiah that we never had before. Praise be to God.
Jesus is the reason and He is always on time.