Festivals/ Feasts- God’s appointed times
1) Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3)- Day of sacred assembly, day of rest. Jesus is our Sabbath rest (Matthew 11:28)
2) Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread– (Leviticus 23:5, 6) – Jesus Christ is our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood was shed for our sins. As the first passover, delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, Christ our passover lamb delivers us from bondage to sin. Feast of the Unleavened Bread points to the Messiah’s sinless life. Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish religious calender, the month of Aviv/Nisan (March-April). Feast of the Unleavened Bread begins on 15th day of the first month and lasts for 7 days.
3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the first fruits of the righteous. In Canaan, when the Israelites reaped their harvest, they were to bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain they harvested.
Nisan- Spring (latter rains) – Barley and flax harvest. Traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.
4) Weeks or Pentecost (Harvest)(Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and points to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the large harvest of souls in the Church age. This feast was celebrated in the month of Sivan (May-June).
Sivan- Wheat harvest.
5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall/autumn feasts. This points to the Rapture of the Church when Jesus will appear in the clouds. The Rapture is associated in with the blowing of a loud trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52). This feast was celebrated on the first day of the 7th month (Ethanim/Tishri) (September-October).
Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah) is the Jewish civil New Year. 1st day of the 7th month
Ethanim/Tishri- Autumn (Early rains) – plowing
6) Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Sabbath of Sabbaths) (Leviticus 23:27) – This points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant. This was celebrated on the 10th day of the seventh month.
7) Tabernacles or Booths (Ingathering) (Sukkot) (Leviticus 23:34) – This feast points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world. It begins on the 15th day of the 7th month and lasts for 7 days. 1st and 8th days are both Sabbath rests. israelites were to live in temporary shelters made of branches from palms and willow trees for 7 days. This was for their descendants to know that the Israelites lived in temporary shelters when God brought them out of Egypt.
The feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks have already been fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled; they will be fulfilled at the return of Jesus Christ.
Other Jewish feasts/holy days or years
1) Hannukah/Dedication (Festival of Lights) – In the month of Kislev (November-December). It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire [165 B.C.]. Celebrated for 8 days and nights. Mentioned in John 10:22.
Kislev- Winter rains begin
2) Purim– In the month of Adar (February-March)- It commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill Mordecai, Esther and all the Jews.
3) Sabbath year (Leviticus 25:1-7) – 7th year- Year of rest; fallow fields
4) Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55) – 50th year- Debts cancelled, Slaves liberated, Land returned to original family owners.
1. Burnt offering (Leviticus 1) – Bull/ram/dove without blemish offered- Voluntary act of worship, expression of complete surrender to God, also as atonement for unintentional sin. Every part of animal burnt except skin which was given to Levites who could later sell it.
2. Grain offering (Leviticus 2) – Finest flour, olive oil, frankincense, salt, no yeast/honey, (cakes/wafers) offered– Voluntary act of worship, acknowledging God’s goodness and provisions. It was accompanied by a drink offering of about a quart of wine, which was poured into the fire on the altar. The priests were given a portion of this offering, but it had to be eaten within the court of the tabernacle.
3. Peace offering (Fellowship) (Leviticus 3, 7:11-21) – An animal without blemish from herd or flock or a variety of breads offered. Was given as freewill offering to thank God for his goodness or as a part of a fulfillment of a vow (vow offering) or as thanksgiving (thanksgiving offering) for God’s deliverance. Part of it could be eaten by the person who offered. The high priest was given the breast of the animal; the officiating priest was given the right foreleg. These pieces of the offering were called the “wave offering” and the “heave offering” because they were waved or lifted over the altar during the ceremony.
4. Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:1-5, 16:3-22) – Young bull for high priest and congregation, male goat for leader, female goat or lamb for common person, dove or pigeon/finest flour for the poor offered. Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sin. The purpose of the sin offering was to atone for sin and cleanse from defilement.
5. Guilt Offering (Trespass offering) (Leviticus 5, 6, 7) – Ram offered, Mandatory atonement for unintentional sin requiring restitution. Pay 20% fine.