- Day of Atonement = The Gospel / Power of Christ’s Blood
- The Levitical Feasts: Their Spiritual & Symbolic Meanings for Christ & The Church (Exodus 12; Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 16)
The Old Testament feasts, instituted around 1,600 years before Christ was born, have specific fulfillment through Jesus (see Col. 2:15-17).
PASSOVER: fulfilled in Christ’s death on the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7)
How was Passover celebrated?
Israelites sacrificed a lamb and spread the blood along the doorposts to escape death of their firstborns (children and animals), and ultimately leave Egypt (see Exodus 11 and 12).
What were the qualifications for a lamb to be chosen?
The lamb had to be without blemish (Exodus 12:5).
Was Jesus without blemish?
1 Peter 1:19 shows Jesus to be “a lamb without blemish and without spot”
When was the lamb chosen?
The lamb was chosen 5 days before the Passover feast, on the tenth day of Nisan (Exodus 12:3).
When was Jesus physically chosen by the Jews?
John 12:1,12-19 shows that the Jews chose Jesus (accepted him as their true Lord and King) on the tenth day of Nisan (5 days before the Passover celebration) during his “triumphal entry”.
When was the Lamb sacrificed?
The lamb was sacrificed late on the day before Passover was celebrated (remember that a Jewish day begins at sunset), see Ex. 12:6.
When was Jesus sacrificed?
John 19:14,31 show that Jesus was crucified the day before Passover (Preparation Day, which had to be Wednesday that year based on Scripture and scientific discoveries) – the Passover was also considered a high day Sabbath. And Matthew 27:45 shows that He died around 3 p.m. that day, which would be considered evening (late in the day) according to the Jewish day. This means that the very same time the Jews were sacrificing their lambs for the Passover celebration, Jesus was being sacrificed!!!
What were restrictions towards the lamb?
The lamb’s bones could not be broken (Exodus 12:46).
Were Jesus’ bones broken?
John 19:33 shows that Jesus’ bones were not broken.
What was the lamb consumed with?
The lamb had to be eaten with unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8).
Was Jesus taken in with unleavened bread?
Yes, see next section on Feast of Unleavened Bread.
What did Passover allow?
Passover allowed the Israelites to escape Egypt.
Did Jesus’ sacrifice allow escape from Egypt?
Comparing 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 with Revelation 11:8 shows that Egypt symbolizes sin, and Hebrews 7:27 shows that Jesus’ death provided an escape (and sacrifice) from sin.
UNLEAVENED BREAD: fulfilled in the Spiritual Holy walk of believers (1 Cor. 5:6-8)
How was it celebrated
Bread without yeast (or leaven) was consumed for 7 days and no yeast was allowed to be present in any Jewish households for those 7 days (see Exodus 12).
What does leaven/yeast symbolize (Ex. 12:15)?
1 Cor. 5:6-8 shows that leaven symbolizes our sins.
When did it start?
Feast of Unleavened Bread started on day of Passover (Ex. 12:8).
Did the Spiritual Holy walk of believers start during Passover (Christ’s crucifixion)?
Romans 3:23-26 and Hebrews 7:27 show that at the time of Jesus’ death, believers’ sins are done away with (see also 1 John 3:6).
When was it celebrated?
Feast of Unleavened Bread was celebrated on the day the Israelites came out of Egypt (Ex. 12:17).
Does the Christians’ Spiritual Holy walk begin when we leave Egypt?
Yes, see Passover section.
FIRST FRUITS: fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23)
How was it celebrated?
First Fruits was celebrated by the Priests waving the first crop of the harvest (the first of the first fruits) to the Lord, then the other first fruits (or crops of the harvest) were used to worship God for the rest of the days of the feast.
What is the symbolism behind waving the first fruits of the harvest (Lev. 23:10, 11)?
1 Cor. 15:35,36 and John 12:24 show that seeds die when they go into the ground, and the crops produced are the resurrection of the seeds.
When was it celebrated?
First Fruits was celebrated the day after the Jewish weekly Sabbath during the week of Passover (Leviticus 23:11).
Did Christ resurrect the day after the Jewish weekly Sabbath during the week of Passover?
Matthew 28:1 and Luke 24:1 show that Jesus resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the Jewish week, the day after the Jewish weekly Sabbath. The very same day the Jewish priests were waving the first of the first fruits (symbolizing resurrection), Jesus resurrected!!!
Also, as John 12:24 shows that when ONE seed dies MANY will resurrect, Matt. 27:50-53 shows that upon Jesus’ death, and after He resurrected, other saints of old were resurrected too. (Comparing Acts 1:9 with Acts 1:11 and Jude 14-15, and also Hebrews 12:1 may indicate that these resurrected saints ascended with Jesus when He left).
What about the rest of the first fruits?
The rest of the harvest (or first fruits) were used for the next 50 days, and were part of the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost), see Leviticus 23:17,20.
Who were the rest of the first fruits after Jesus resurrected?…James 1:18 shows that believers in Jesus are a “kind of first fruits”, and were indeed used for the Festival of Pentecost (see Pentecost section).
PENTECOST (OR FEAST OF WEEKS): fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5 and Acts 2:4)
When was it celebrated?
It was celebrated 50 days after the Barley Harvest, which was the first day of the First Fruits feast (Lev. 23:15,16).
When did the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happen?
Acts 2:1 along with the rest of Acts 2 shows that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened 50 days after Jesus was resurrected (which happened when the First Fruits feast began).
What was used to celebrate the feast?
First fruits of the harvest, wheat (or grain), and oil were used (among other things), see Leviticus 23:20; Numbers 28:26, 28.
Were first fruits, wheat, and harvest present at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
James 1:18 shows that the early believers were first fruits, Matthew 13:24-30 shows that the wheat (or grain) symbolize believers, and Exodus 30:25 and James 5:14 show that oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
The Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection involved the early believers being immersed with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2).
TABERNACLES: fulfilled in the earthly Holy walk of believers.
Leviticus 23:42,43 shows that the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths) was celebrated by the Jews dwelling in booths/tents for 7 days in remembrance of when they were brought out of the land of Egypt.
2 Cor. 5:1 and 2 Peter 1:13,14 show that while on earth, believers in Jesus live in “flesh tents”.
As tents are temporary dwellings, and Jesus said he has mansions prepared for us in heaven (John 14:2), this analogy makes perfect sense.
The tents the Jews dwelt in for the Feast of Tabernacles represents the bodies (flesh tents) believers dwell in while they are on earth, and believers dwell in these tents because they escaped spiritual Egypt (see Passover section).
During each day of feast, priests brought water (symbolic of water supplied from rock in Exodus 17:1-6) to the temple from pool of Siloam in golden pitcher.
During the procession the people recited Isaiah 12:3.
Water was poured out on altar as offering to God.
At the end of this feast, we see that Jesus cries out that He has rivers of living water to offer (John 7:2, 37-39).
Also, 1 Cor. 10:1-4 shows that Jesus was the Rock that gave the Israelites water in the Old Testament. So we see a perfect fulfillment of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the Rock of the Israelites: When they were thirsty for Water (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) Moses was told to strike the Rock (just like Jesus was struck on the cross to first give the Holy Spirit). Then, when they wanted more water, they were told to ask the Rock (Numbers 20:7-12), just like Jesus tells believers to ask for more of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; John 7:37-39).
Note, Moses does not obey this command, and instead strikes the Rock again. For this, God does not allow him to go into the promised land (Jesus needed to be struck only once, NOT TWICE).