“MESSIAH AND THE FALL FESTIVALS”
Scripture: Leviticus 23:23-44
Yeshua said in Luke 24:44: “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning ME!”
There are four major celebrations in the spring and three in the fall that speak of our Messiah and His work in bringing salvation and hope to both Jew and Gentile.
These celebrations according to Leviticus 23:2 are called “feasts of the LORD (Yahweh).” And He refers to them as “My feasts.” Without the Lord, these celebrations are stripped of their meaning and impact and become mere tradition without the power. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Messiah, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Hellenist).”
These celebrations are said to be “holy convocations” and are to be honored as the Shabat (Sabbath Day) in that no manual labor is to be done – they are to be set aside for the worship of the Lord, and the celebration of His Messiah!
These fall festivals occur in the 7th month of the Jewish calendar; the Shabat occurs on the 7th day of the week; The sabbatical year is the 7th year, and the Year of Jubilee is celebrated after seven sabbatical years; Shavuot (Pentecost) comes seven weeks after Firstfruits and Sukkot (Tabernacles) continues for seven days as does the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the Spring. Obviously, the number “seven” is highly significant, a religious number, emphasizing the celebration of God’s character and the worship of Him alone!
THREE THINGS ABOUT OUR COMING MESSIAH:
1A. HIS RETURN FROM HEAVEN – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) – the blowing of the Shofar, a carved ram’s horn, not a cow’s horn (avoids any connection with the worship of the golden calf); it must be carved, not painted (inappropriate when calling us to repentance, a major theme of this celebration). It must be bent or curved, a reminder of our need of brokenness, humility, and contrition of heart – Psalm 51:17
The ten days following Rosh Hashanah leading up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are called “high holy days” (Days of Awe) and it is customary for the Jewish people to dress in white as a sign of humility and the need for cleansing – Isaiah 1:18 is read.
THE BLOWING OF THE SHOFAR ANNOUNCES SIX THINGS:
1B. The REMINDER that judgment is coming!
Jeremiah 6:1 – “Blow the trumpet (Shofar)….for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction” – Ezekiel 33:1ff – the “watchman” – “If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet (Shofar) and warn the people” – Amos 3:6 – “Shall a trumpet (Shofar) be blown
in the city, and the people not be afraid?” – Zephaniah 1:14-18 – “The great day of the LORD is near…a day of the trumpet (Shofar)”
2B. The REJOICING of God’s people –Psa. 81:1-4; 89:15-18; 98:1
3B. The RETURN of the Messiah – Zech. 9:14-17
4B. The RESTORATION of worship in Jerusalem
5B. The RESURRECTION of God’s people –I Cor. 15:51-52 – “at the last trump (Shofar);
For the trumpet (Shofar) shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible”
I Thess. 4:16 – “For the Lord Himself shall descend…with the trump (Shofar) of God, and
the dead in Messiah will rise first.”
6B. The REIGN of the Messiah over the whole earth – Rev. 11:15 – “the kingdoms of this
world are become the kingdoms of Our Lord and of His Messiah, and He shall reign for ever
2A. HIS REDEMPTION OF ISRAEL – Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – celebrated on Tishri 10 – details in Lev. 16 – Luke calls it “the fast.”
1B. It PORTRAYS the need of repentance – Lev. 23:27 – “afflict your souls” – Isa. 58
2B. It PICTURES the removal of our sin – azazel (scapegoat) – Psalm 103:12; John 1:29
3B. It PROPITIATES the wrath of God against sin – mercy-seat – I John 2:2
4B. It POINTS to the need of a High Priest – Heb. 2:7; 3:1; 4:14; 7:23-28; 8:1; 9:7, 11-12; 10:11-14, 21
3A. HIS REIGN OVER ALL THE WHOLE EARTH – Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) – Tishri 15-22
Also called “the feast of ingathering” or “the Season of our Rejoicing” – more sacrifices than any
other feast, expressing our thanksgiving to God (70 bulls, 14 rams, 98 lambs = 182 animals)
1B. It is a time to REJOICE – Lev. 23:40 – Neh. 8:10 – “the joy of the Lord is our strength”
There was “very great gladness” – Psa. 27:4-6
2B. It is a time to READ – Neh. 8:18
3B. It is a time to REMEMBER – Lev. 23:43; Deut. 8:18
4B. It is a time to RELY upon the presence and power of the Holy Spirit – John 7:2, 37-39
“great day of the feast” – Hoshana Rabbah – the great Hosanna – they circled the altar
seven times, poured water out of the vessels of the temple, reminding them of the water that
came out of the rock in the wilderness – I Cor.10:4 – “that Rock was Messiah” – the “living
water” represents the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
THREE THINGS WE LEARN ABOUT MESSIAH AND THE FALL FESTIVALS:
1A. HIS RETURN FROM HEAVEN
2A. HIS REDEMPTION OF ISRAEL
3A. HIS REIGN OVER THE WHOLE EARTH