What do the biblical feasts mean to us as Christians? Should we ignore them as people of the new covenant? Not necessarily…
God established the order of the months in Exodus 12 and gave the Israelites feasts to remember three things by:
- God’s protection
- God’s provision
- God’s promise
In addition, the seven feasts are prophetic for the “calendar of divine redemption” (see Leviticus 23). The Gospel is all about redemption! The holidays and Sabbath days are a “shadow of things to come” (Colossians 2:16-17). It is no coincidence that Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension occurred during Passover season. It’s no coincidence that Pentecost took place when the law was given and when there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. In Exodus 32, 3,000 idolaters were stricken dead, and in Acts 2, 3,000 were baptized in the Holy Spirit, all on Pentecost. God foresaw these things and he planned the redemption of mankind! God is a timely God and the richness of his intentionality towards his children is astounding. (Read the Feasts of the Bible pamphlet to learn how to calculate the Jewish calendar.)
What is Rosh HaShanah About?
Also called: Feast of Trumpets, New Year, Yom HaTeruah, Day of Judgment
Takes place: 1 Tishri (September or October)
Scripture Basis: Leviticus 23:23-25
Feast of Trumpets: The Beginning of the Civil New Year
The Tend Days of Repentance with Rosh HaShanah (Rosh Ha-SHA-nah) on the first day and Yom Kippur on the last day make up the High Holy Days, Jewish tradition says that God writes every person’s words, deeds, and thoughts in the Book of Life, which he opens and examines on this day. If good deeds outnumber sinful ones for the year, that person’s name will be inscribed in the book for another year on Yom Kippur. So during Rosh HaShanah and the Ten Days of Repentance, people can repent of their sins and do good deeds to increase their chances of being inscribed in the Book of Life. During Rosh HaShanah synagogue services, the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown 100 times. (From Feasts of the Bible.)
What About Jesus?
The Feast of Trumpets is also called the “Day of Judgment,” a prophetic sign of Jesus holding the authority to judge all, the living and the dead (John 5:24-27, 2 Tim. 4:1). We read in Revelation 21 about God’s book of life (the “Lamb’s book of life”) and the way to have one’s name permanently in the book is through faith in Jesus as Savior from sin (John 10:27-30). Judgment and a sentence to hell is owed to those not found in the book (Rev. 20:15).
Fascinating Facts About Rosh HaShanah
- Traditionally, cards are sent to relatives and friends, wishing a healthy, happy, and fruitful new year.
- The proper greeting “L’shanah tovah tikatevu” translates to “May you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good year.”
- Sliced apples in honey is the festive fare for this feast: the apples represent God’s provision and the honey sweetness for the coming year
- Like Easter or Christmas for Christians, Rosh HaShanah draws many Jewish people to synagogue, even if they haven’t attended services the rest of the year
- The Feast of Trumpets is in Hebrew Scripture, found in Num. 29:1-6
Want to Learn More About the Feasts of the Bible?
Feasts of the Bible Pamphlet explains the Feasts of Israel and Their Significance to Christians Today
Throughout the Old Testament, God commanded the people of Israel to observe feasts and holy days (holidays) to remember the mighty things that He had done in the lives of Israel’s ancestors. The Feasts of the Bible Pamphlet is a full-color booklet that celebrates and explains the meaning behind the biblical feasts and why they are important today. Feasts of the Bible contains an easy-to-read chart that provides each holiday’s name, explanation, date of observance, pronunciation, and symbolic meaning pointing to Jesus as the promised Messiah. 12 panels, fits inside most Bibles, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, unfolds to 33 inches long
3 Facts Christian Should Know about the Hebrew roots of Christianity
- From childhood, Jesus celebrated these feasts and holy days.
- Jesus said he was the fulfillment of the Old Testament
- Jesus mentioned many parallels between the feasts and sacrifices and himself.
10 Feasts of the Bible—The Major Feasts of the Israel
- Passover (Pesach)
- Unleavened Bread (Hag HaMatzot)
- Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim)
- Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Shavuot)
- Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah (New Year)
- Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur
- Tabernacles or Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths)
- Rejoicing in the Law or Torah (Simchat)
- Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah (Chanukah or Feast of Lights)
- Feast of Lots or Purim