Jesus Our Messiah and the Ancient Jewish Calendar
As we enter into the Passover-Easter season, we can learn a lot by looking at the main holy days that God gave to His people. They are filled with prophetic meaning and spiritual truth.
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, the Passover celebration began, which included the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then, on the first Sunday after Passover, there was the celebration of Firstfruits. Fifty days after Passover came the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).
Outside of Sabbaths and New Moons, there were no other holy days until the seventh month.
The first three holy days speak of the Lord’s first coming; the last three holy days speak of His return. That’s why there’s a gap of several months between them.
The Spring Feasts and the First Coming
On the first day of the seventh month the Feast of Trumpets was held (this later became the Jewish New Year). Ten days later was the Day of Atonement; then five days after that came the Feast of Tabernacles.
The death of Jesus coincided with Passover. (Remember, He was the Lamb of God! See John 1:29; in 1 Corinthians 5:7, He is called our Passover Lamb.) His resurrection coincided with Firstfruits, as Paul points out: “But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20) The Holy Spirit was poured out on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).
The Fall Feasts and the Second Coming
The gospel began with the first three holy days of Israel. It will end with the last three holy days of Israel.
Feast of Trumpets
The return of Jesus will coincide prophetically with the Feast of Trumpets.
They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call … (Matthew 24:30-31)
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
Jesus will come back with the blast of the trumpet!
Day of Atonement
Zechariah tells us that when the Jewish people see their crucified Messiah, they will mourn deeply in repentance (Zech. 12:10): “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” (Zech. 13:1) It will be a national Day of Atonement. Forgiveness will finally come!
The Word is wonderfully clear. First came the Passover (Yeshua’s death), Firstfruits (His resurrection), and Pentecost (the outpouring of the Spirit). Next will be Trumpets (the Second Coming), Atonement (national forgiveness for Israel) and then only one festival will remain: Tabernacles — celebrating the final ingathering of the harvest!
Feast of Tabernacles
After the Lord returns and Israel receives atonement, “the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem [in the final end-time war] will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16) All the nations will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem every year! At that time this Scripture will be fulfilled: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah 8:23)
People from all over the world will come streaming up to the mountain of the Lord. They won’t say, “Let’s go up to Rome or Tulsa or Dallas or Seoul.” No! They’ll say, “Let’s go up to Jerusalem!” They won’t say, “Let’s go up to First Baptist, or Second Presbyterian, or Full Gospel Assembly.” Instead they’ll say, “Let’s go up to the house of the God of Jacob!” For “the Law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Is. 2:1-4)
The Messiah’s First Coming Was Only the Beginning
The wonderful news is that Jesus the Messiah came and died for our sins as the Passover Lamb, delivering us from bondage and bringing us into glorious spiritual liberty. But that was only the beginning. He will return for us one day with the sound of trumpets — literally, with the sound of the blast of the shofar — and we will be with Him forever.
The first part of our redemption has already taken place in accordance with the Israelite calendar. (see Leviticus 23) This means that we can be 100% sure that the second and final part will take place as well!
(Some of the material here was excerpted and adapted from Michael L. Brown, Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: the Tragic Story of the Church and the Jewish People, second edition.)
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.