Connecting Biblical & Jewish Feasts to the Exodus

One of the most notable Jewish feasts that Christians take note of is Passover. Most of us know how Passover ties into the Exodus and the Plagues, but what happened after Passover? What do these Jewish holidays and feasts teach us about the Bible, God, and our faith?

Feast of Unleavened Bread

This festival was celebrated for seven days following Passover (Lev. 23:4-8). The Lord said that for one week the Israelites must eat unleavened bread (matzah). This bread was made in a hurry out of flour and water without yeast to represent how the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt in haste. Over time, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was incorporated into an eight-day Passover celebration (Luke 22:1-7).

Firstfruits

This holiday was observed three days after Passover (Lev. 23:9-14). On the first day, a marked sheaf of grain was bundled and left standing in the field. The next day it was cut. On the third day, a priest waved the sheaf before the Lord as a firstfruits offering. This third day took on greater significance after the coming of Jesus, as it was the day of his resurrection (Matt. 28:1; 1 Cor. 15:20).

Feast of Weeks

This festival was observed fifty days after Passover (Lev. 23:15-22) and was also known as Pentecost (“fiftieth”). It was a celebration of the barley and wheat harvests. Over time, this holiday became associated with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. It was believed that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on this day. In the New Testament, Pentecost was the day that god gave the Holy Spirit to followers of Jesus (Acts 2:1).

Feast of Tabernacles

Also called the Feast of Booths, this festival commemorated Israel’s forty year wilderness journey (Lev. 23:33-43). It was a week-long joyful celebration of the fall harvest. It was also a time to build booths–temporary shelters made of branches–to recall how the Israelites lived under God’s protection and provision in the wilderness.

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