The Feasts are an essential testimony of our Hebrew heritage that begins in Exodus. When the children of Israel left Egypt and came to Mt. Sinai, God asked the “Israelites” to marry Him so that they would become His “special treasure” (Ex. 19).
“Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Ex. 19:5,6).
After the children of Israel accepted God’s proposal, the “Groom” created a “certificate of marriage” for “His bride/nation” to abide with Him. The Tablets of Testimony were given through Moses as a sign of God’s love and His heart to be one with His people and a witness for the world to see the one true God.
“Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “all that the Lord has said we will do and be obedient” (Ex. 24:7).
The “Feasts” were also a part of that “certificate” that provided a pattern God established to set aside life to honor those “wedding vows.” This pattern would prove to not only benefit and bless God’s people but later in time, would serve as the sign and witness of Jesus, the restorer of this “marriage covenant.”
“For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed” (1Cor. 5:7).
When we honor the Feasts today, we honor the Father who sacrificed His Son for us. And we step into our heritage. The Spring Feasts provide the blueprint (screenplay) on how Jesus would come to be our Savior and serve as our High Priest.
In Ex. 12, God established His Hebrew Covenant Calendar to start on the 1st of Nisan. He then gave Moses instructions to execute Passover on the 14th of Nisan in which Israel was to slay the lambs and put the blood on the lintels and doorposts of their homes. (Ex. 12:6,7). Passover was chosen to be the kick-off as the first Feast of the year.
On the 10th day of Nisan, God instructed the children of Israel to select an unblemished male lamb. This was the same day Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people cried out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:9).
Passover was fulfilled by Jesus in the month of Nisan, according to the pattern described in Ex. 12 and Lev. 23. This is why 1 Corinthians 5:7 says, “Messiah has become our Passover.” John the Baptist also confirms this fulfillment when he points to Jesus and says, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29.)
On the eve of the 14th of Nisan, Jesus was with His disciples at the last Lord’s Supper. It was here that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and broke bread (His body), and drank wine (His Blood) in remembrance of what He must suffer afterward as the Lamb was slain for our sins (Matt. 26:16).
On the morning of the 14th of Nisan, Jesus was sentenced at 9am and crucified. This was the same time the sacrificial lamb was bound according to the law (Mark 15:25).
At noon, three hours of darkness fell on the land supernaturally (Matt. 27:45). According to the law, no one was allowed to kill the sacrificial lamb in darkness. God prevented any lamb to be slain until Jesus cried out at 3:01, “It is finished.” This is the same minute the eclipse is recorded to have happened, and afterward the Passover lambs were then slain.
The blood of the sacrificial lambs was put on the doorposts after the blood of Jesus was spilled out upon His death. (John 19:34) Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus down and placed him in a tomb nearby before sundown since the Passover Dinner would commence that evening (John 19:38-42).
According to Ex.12, the “Passover” followed when they ate the lamb that was roasted by the fire with “unleavened bread.” This they were to do as a memorial and an everlasting ordinance (Ex. 12:14).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was to commence that evening and last seven days. (Lev. 23:6). Because the Israelites left so quickly out of Egypt after the plague of the death of the “firstborn,” they left without any leaven in their bread (Ex. 12:39). God made it easy for them to follow His instructions. Since leaven represents “sin” usually in the Bible, Jesus wiped out the penalty of “sin” through His sacrifice.
The soldiers were ordered to camp out at the tomb to make sure no one stole Jesus’ body.
Jesus rose before daybreak on Sunday morning. When Mary and Mary arrived at the tomb, they found it open and the Roman Soldiers were not there guarding it. They had already left to tell Pilate. Mary ran to go tell others and met Peter and John who were also on their way to the tomb (John 20:2).
When they arrived at the tomb, they all discovered it empty. Peter and John went home (John 20:10). Mary was left alone in the garden. When the sun arose, Mary encountered what she thought was a gardener. When she recognized it was Jesus, she wanted to touch him. But Jesus said to her, “ Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father.”
The ascension Jesus was referring to was not the event that happened 40 days later where He rose from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:3-9). We know this because Jesus allowed the disciples to touch Him later (John 20:19,20). So Jesus must have ascended to the Father sometime AFTER He talked to Mary. Why is this important?
Lev. 23:20 says of the Feast of the First Fruits, “The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord…” In 1 Corinthians 25:20, the scripture says, “Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep.”
In order for Jesus to fulfill the Firstfruits Feast, He had to present Himself to the Father at the same time the priest offered up the Firstfruits. Jesus was actually alive before the priest wave offering in the temple, but He could not present Himself as “legally” alive in heaven until the same time that the priest bore witness on earth. It was the third hour that the priests offered up the firstfruits. It was then Jesus went before the Father!
Between The Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Pentecost is 50 days in which is called Counting of Omer. (Lev. 23:15-17) After these 50 days, the children of Israel were to offer a new grain (wheat) offering. On Pentecost, farmers would bring the firstfruits of their spring harvest to the Lord.
Pentecost would be the exact same time that the Law (marriage contract) was given to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai and when God would manifest Himself as a witness to this union (Ex. 19). This would be the time when all the people heard the voice of God speaking in their own language out of the midst of the fire (Deut. 4:12).
In Acts 2, we read that on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down like tongues of fire upon the heads of the disciples who were waiting in the Upper Room. They became the new grain offering, the “firstfruits” of the indwelling of His glory presented to the Father since they had “accepted Jesus as Savior and Covenant restorer.” Now the Law was written on their hearts and they were one with the Father.
Christians today generally don’t celebrate these Feasts simply because they don’t understand their significance to Jesus. Some have not fully grasped they entered into this Hebrew heritage and Covenant when they accepted Jesus as their Lord. But God wants to open up our eyes to our birthright and our inheritance in His marriage Covenant. And as we abide in His blueprint (screenplay), we begin looking like the “Bride” set apart unto Him.