God's Feasts Answer the Big Questions - Part 1

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God's Feasts Answer the Big Questions - Part 1

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What is man's destiny? How do we reach it? What is the future of our planet?

Like a good teacher, God has a lesson plan to answer these big questions in life. The answers are found in a series of special days that most people have left buried in the pages of the Bible—mistakenly believing them to be no longer relevant to life today. You can get your hands on the great Teacher's lesson plan and be way ahead of the rest of the class. Here's how.

Big questions answered

The answers to these important questions about human life and our future are found in the feast days God laid out in Leviticus 23. Many relegate these festivals of the Old Testament to harvest celebrations and dismiss them as relevant to only agricultural societies of ancient years. Yet the early New Testament Church continued to observe them, and the pages of the New Testament are just the tools needed to unlock the real meaning of the feasts of God.

God's purpose for human beings is to eventually make them part of His family. Notice how it is clearly yet simply put in Hebrews 2:10: "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect [or "complete"] through sufferings" (emphasis added).

Elsewhere in the New Testament, God compares the raising up of children and gathering them into His family to the growing and harvesting of crops (see Matthew 9:37-38; 13:30, 39; James 1:18; 5:7). And indeed, the physical harvests around the times of God's Holy Days parallel God's spiritual harvest of people to be His children. Let's look at each of God's feasts in turn.


The lesson plan begins with the spring harvest cycle in the land of Israel. God begins by addressing the fact that human beings are cut off from Him and the destiny He offers (Isaiah 59:1-2). We are guilty of sin—violating God's law of righteousness (1 John 3:4)—and indeed cannot be righteous on our own (Romans 8:7). Romans 3:10 says that "there is none righteous, no, not one," and verse 23 of the same chapter says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." This has earned for all the penalty of death (Romans 6:23).

Thankfully, God has made a way to satisfy justice and, at the same time, mercifully give people a "pass" on their sins. The festival of Passover explains the process. The slain lamb of this festival foreshadowed Jesus Christ willingly dying in our place. The blood of Jesus "cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7), and through His death He "offered one sacrifice for sins forever" (Hebrews 10:12). The apostle Paul explicitly links Christ's offering of Himself with the feast of Passover, saying, "Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). Indeed, Jesus was executed on the very day of Passover.

Thus Passover teaches us that the only way we can be cleared of guilt and reconciled to God is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—the divine Son of God—the one perfect life given to pay the penalty for all human sins. Of course, each of us must accept this sacrifice upon repentance of sins—as represented in partaking of the Passover symbols of unleavened bread and wine.

Unleavened Bread

Once we're washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, are we free to go on living as we always have—continuing in a life defined by sin? Paul asked that question in Romans 6:1 and answered in the next verse with a resounding no! Indeed, a condition for forgiveness was repentance—committing to turn away from sin. Paul further explains in Romans 6 that baptism pictures death to our old way of life and that being raised up from the waters of baptism pictures new life—as Jesus was resurrected out of His tomb to spirit life.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread—in which we avoid bread containing leavening (an agent such as yeast that causes bread to rise) and instead eat unleavened bread—pictures living a fresh, new way. Paul described keeping this feast in 1 Corinthians 5:8 as leaving behind the old "leaven of malice and wickedness" and living a life of "sincerity and truth." God's lesson plan says that once we're pardoned through the Passover sacrifice of Christ, our response should be to live a new, clean, "unleavened" life as a Christian. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread occur at the start of Israel's spring barley harvest.


The next feast explains that we cannot live that unleavened life on our own strength. We must have the help of God through the power of His Holy Spirit. The physical, fleshly human mind "does not obey God's law. It can't" (Romans 8:7, New International Reader's Version). But when God's Spirit dwells in us, we're not "controlled by [our] sinful nature" (Romans 8:9, New Living Translation).

It was on the day of Pentecost that God chose to give the Holy Spirit to all the followers of Jesus Christ shortly after His resurrection from the grave (Acts 2).

In the Old Testament, Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Harvest and the Feast of Weeks, celebrated the firstfruits of the wheat harvest (Exodus 23:16; 34:22). And it represented the harvesting of people to be spiritual firstfruits of God's family (James 1:18).

Pentecost is the last of the biblical feasts that occur during the spring in the northern hemisphere. In part 2, we'll consider those feasts that come in late summer and autumn. VT

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