Reading Leviticus 21 -23 today.
In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we read about the seven feasts of Israel. There have been some more feasts added to Hebrew living up through today; one of which is the “Feasts of Lights” also known as Hanukkah, and this one seems to be a feast which was celebrated in the time of Jesus Himself.
Let me correct myself on something I stated in a previous post. I wrote that I believed the day of atonement was the final feast of the Jewish year. In that I was wrong. In this list that is given the “Feast of Tabernacles or booths” is the final one.
Something we need to understand in getting started is that Saturday was the Sabbath in any week; however, there were special sabbaths they were to remember, and these fell sometimes in the middle of a week. These sabbaths were to be treated just as the Saturday (seventh day) Sabbath. I mention this because there are a few sabbaths mentioned in chapter 23.
The first is the Passover which was to celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month – Abib or Nisan (Exodus 12:2; 13:4; Deuteronomy16:1). This, of course, was in remembrance of God’s deliverance from Egypt by the blood of the lamb which was slain for every household and the blood placed on the door posts and lintels of every home. This was the redemption for all the first born who was under the blood. This blood is a type, a shadow, or a picture of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Then in verse six on the fifteenth day was the feast of unleavened bread. This bread was made in haste and with great expectation of deliverance. With no yeast it was not necessary for it to rise, to puff up, but was immediately ready following the baking of it to leave. Yeast represents haughtiness, pride, or even the arrogance of believing one has plenty of time. When God delivers; it is on His time, not of our own making. The great picture for us to see is the life of Christ without sin or spot or blemish.
The next feast is the “Firstfruits”. This was in celebration of the harvest. It speaks of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus three days following His death
“Pentecost” was to come on the fiftieth day following the sabbath of firstfruits. We know from the New Testament that on this day the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Christ who were fearful, waiting in the upper room as the Lord had given them commandment (Acts 2). This was the day the Holy Spirit came upon those believers and filled them with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. They had no more fear of what they had previously experienced. They had the power of God within them. They were ready to worship, preach, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ; no matter what would happen to their physical lives. They loved Jesus as they never had before; with their lives.
The next feast was that of the Trumpets. This took place on the first day of the seventh month. The trumpets were often used to gather the people together; and this feast speaks of a great day coming when the Lord Jesus will call “all Israel” unto Himself (Romans 11:26).
The day of atonement is the day of the offering of the “scapegoat” written about in chapter 16. There is much more to it than the goats; one was to die, and the other was to live and be let go in the wilderness. It is a glorious picture, shadow of the substitutionary death of Christ Jesus. He took our place for sin on the cross; becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and making us “Just as just as He is just” [speaking of our justification through Christ Jesus].
The final feast mentioned in this chapter is the “Feast of Tabernacles”; it is also called “Feast of Booths”; it was called the “feast of ingathering (Exodus 23:16. As the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness they would build “booths” and such to be protected from the heat or any cold they might experience at night. This feast was a reminder of the wanderings; to be done for seven days. The first day was one of these sabbath days, and the eighth day the one following the feasts was to be a sabbath day; no work was to be done. This day foreshadows the day when there will be rest and reunion with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be ready for that Great Reunion day when all who love our Lord will be with Him forever and forever. “Whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Read Leviticus 21 – 23
-Tim A. Blankenship