Chapter 10 - Jesus Celebrated the Feasts

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Yeshua the Rabbi certainly celebrated the Feasts. And so do we celebrate these holy days as talmidim. They are called “Mo’edim” in Hebrew – meaning the “Appointed Times”. This is because in Leviticus 23:4 HaShem says “These are the Feasts of Yahweh, holy convocations (assemblies) which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.” The Apostolic Scriptures have many, many references of Him and His talmidim going to Jerusalem for these Biblical Feasts. This is where He performed many miracles, signs and wonders. This is when He spoke powerful words and taught Torah in the Temple. Some examples of this are:

John 2:23 “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Pesach (Passover), during the Feast, many believed in His Name when they saw the signs He did.”

John 5:2 “After this there was a Feast of the Jews, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.” This verse does not mention which Feast He was honoring, but many believe it was the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost in Greek).

John 7:2 “Now the Jews Feast of Tabernacles was at hand.” A few verses later Yeshua goes to this Feast. Verse 10 “But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the Feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”

We are commanded in the Torah (Leviticus 23) to keep the seven Feasts. Actually there are eight, because the first Feast mentioned is the weekly Sabbath. The next seven are:

1. Pesach (Feast of Passover): “On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is Yehovah’s Pesach.” (Verse 4)

2. Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread): “And on the fifteenth day of the same month is Chag HaMatzot to Yehovah; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do customary work on it.” (Verses 6-8) Here we clearly see that you are to have a “convocation” or assembly of believers to celebrate the first and seventh day. These are days you would want to take off from work, shopping, cleaning, etc. Also you must clean your house of any “leaven” products. In Israel they really clean out every corner of every room to make it clean of bread crumbs!

3. Reshit Katzir (Feast of Firstfruits): “When you come into the land which I give you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.” (verse 10) We don’t know much about this Feast, except you are to bring your firstfruits (usually barley) into the Temple (like a tithe). Another important thing about this Feast is that it is a “marker” for the beginning count of the “50 Days of Counting Omer.” It has caused some discussion as to when Rashit Katzir begins, and the Jews have set an annual time – probably to end the debates! So it is celebrated always honor this day on the second day of Unleavened Bread. Again, this initiates the “forty-nine day” countdown to the Feast of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks). The actually day of Shavuot being the fiftieth day!

4. Shavuot (Feast of Weeks): “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath (first day of Chag HaMatzot), from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath (holy day in this case); then you shall over a new grain (wheat) offering to Yahweh.” (verses 15-16). The instructions continue that the Feast of Shavuot will be a “Sabbath” a holy day, in which you will not work and have an assembly. “And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.”

5. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets): “Speak to the children of Israel, ‘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. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.” (Verses 24-25) Again this is a holy day we cannot work, shop, clean, etc.

6. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls (fast), and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.” (verse 27) Again, a holy day – no work, shopping, cleaning etc. The days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are called the “ten days of awe”. It is a time where we are to repent, fast and get ready for the big day of Atonement. During Temple times the annual sacrifice would be made, the Priest could enter the Holy of Holies on this day (only once a year) and make a sacrifice for the sins of the people. But as mentioned earlier, it is repentance that actually removes the sin – asking forgiveness from HaShem and making amends with those we have sinned against. The sacrifice is the “outward” requirement - the “display” of obedience. That is why He can “smell” the sweet fragrance of the offerings.

7. Sukkot (Feast of Booths/Tabernacles): “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to Yahweh. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.” (Verses 34-35) This Feast lasts eight days! You are not to work on the first or the eighth. The eighth day is called “Shemini Atzeret” (the eighth day of assembly).

Later in the chapter – verse 42 – He continues with this instruction “All who are native born Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.’” This is really great when you can build a tent in your backyard and have all your meals there. Or go on a vacation and live in a tent for eight days – we have done that and it is a very spiritual experience. Do a search on the internet and you will see some beautiful sukkahs (booths) that people build, eat or live in!

Comments on the Feasts:

Obviously don’t have a Temple (yet) so we cannot make offerings of fire for HaShem. But, we can still keep the Feasts to the best of our ability. HaShem mentions three times (verses 21, 31, and 41) that Feasts are forever. Yeshua kept them, we are His talmidim – we are to keep them. Forever! Peter tells us to follow and do what He did, “For to this you were called, because Mashiach also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.