Christian Holy Days – Discover Jesus Christ in the Feasts of the LORD

What are Christian Holy Days? Aren’t they Christmas and Easter? Whether you’re Christian or not, there is a good chance that you’ve at least heard of and/or participated in Christmas and Easter, yet few Christians are familiar with the Feasts of the LORD (sometimes called appointed times, Feast Days, or Holy Days). What are these Feasts of the LORD (Leviticus 23) and why are they largely ignored and/or unknown to most Christians?

In addition to offering several resources on the Christian Holy Days, we also provide a helpful page dealing with common objections to the Christian observance of the Feast Days. You may also want to contact us and share your thoughts and/or questions related to the Feasts of the LORD.

Holy Days of Leviticus 23: The Divine Appointments

Holy Days of Leviticus 23: The Divine Appointments

We have encountered books with such titles as “The Feasts of Israel.” Such books can be enjoyed by Christians because they are designed to teach lessons of the Holy Days, but without actually expecting anyone to observe or celebrate these days. However, Scripturally these days are not called ”the Feasts of Israel.” In the King James Bible, in Leviticus 23:2, they are called “the feasts of the LORD,” not the “feasts of Israel.” In the original Hebrew, they are called “Mo’edei YHWH.” A “mo’ed” is an appointed time.
The Feast of Passover in the Early Church

The Feast of Passover in the Early Church

The New Testament does not offer us a clear picture of how Passover was observed by the apostolic church. The picture becomes clearer when we come to the second century. Several documents inform us regarding the meaning, manner and time of the observance of the Christian Passover. According to these documents, Christians celebrated Passover at the same time as Jewish Passover, beginning at sundown of Nisan 14 and continuing their vigil until the next morning. For this reason, they are called “Quartodecimans,” the Latin for “fourteeners.”
Meaning of Christian Passover Samuel Bacchiocchi

The Meaning of the Christian Passover

At His Last Supper, Jesus instituted a simple but profoundly meaningful ceremony to celebrate His atoning sacrifice for sin. He instructed His disciples to celebrate Passover henceforth by partaking of unleavened bread and wine in remembrance of His body and blood. The four texts that give us the account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:22-25; Matt 26:26-29; Luke 22:15-20, 27-30; 1 Cor 11:23-26) suggest three theological meanings.
Feast of Unleavened Bread in Old and New Testament

Feast of Unleavened Bread in Old and New Testament

The seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread is connected to Passover, since its observance began the day after Passover, Nisan 15th. During the seven days of the feast only unleavened bread could be eaten. While Passover commemorated the night of the deliverance from Egypt, the Feast of Unleavened Bread served to remind devout Jews of the circumstances of the Exodus and symbolized for them God’s call to holy living (Ex 12:39; Deut 16:3; Lev 23:6-8).
The Festival of Unleavened Bread Chag HaMatzah

The Festival of Unleavened Bread/Chag HaMatzah

Concurrent with the remembrance of Passover— and in Jewish tradition witnessed in the New Testament and today often just called by the general season “Passover”—is the Festival of Unleavened Bread: “Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work” (Leviticus 23:6-8).
Feast of First Fruits in Old and New Testament

The Feast of First Fruits in the Old and New Testament

On the day after Passover the first barley sheaf (known as omer) was waved by the priest before the Lord (Lev 23:11). The ceremony marked the countdown of the fifty days to Pentecost. The purpose of the wave-sheaf offering was to consecrate and inaugurate the Spring grain harvest which lasted about seven weeks until Pentecost (Lev 23:9-14). The first sheaf of the barley harvest was waved before the Lord as a pledge of the full harvest that was to follow. Before the wave-sheaf offering, no reaping of the harvest for personal use could be done (Lev 23:14). A portion of the wave-sheaf was placed on the altar and the rest was eaten by the priest. A male lamb was sacrificed as a burnt offering (Lev 23:12).
Feast of First Fruits and the Wave Sheaf

Feast of First Fruits and the Wave Sheaf

An important ceremony, known as the waving of the sheaf of first fruits, was to be observed in conjunction with the Festival of Unleavened Bread: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, “When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it”’” (Leviticus 23:9-11).
Shavuot (Pentecost): The Gifts of Torah & the Holy Spirit

Shavuot (Pentecost): Gifts of Torah & the Holy Spirit

Almost 3500 years ago, our Heavenly Father unveiled the “Eseret D’varim” (the “Ten Commandments,” but more literally, the “Ten Sayings”) to the people of Israel. Passover begins as the 14th of Abib (Nisan) is turning into the 15th of Abib at sunset. Abib (Nisan) is the first month on the sacred calendar of Leviticus 23. “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.” The third month on the sacred calendar is Sivan, roughly equivalent to late May to early June.
Is Pentecost a Christian Holy Day?

Is Pentecost a Christian Holy Day?

Of all of the Christian holidays, the one that surprises me the most, is Pentecost. What surprises me is that every Christian doesn't throw a big celebration on Pentecost. After all it is the birthday of the New Testament church. It is the day that the Holy Spirit fell on the church in power. You would think that if the churches were going to celebrate anything, they would have an important anniversary every year at Pentecost, On the other hand, it is a fact, that more than half of all Christendom does observe Pentecost. You may not know this, but for most people in this country, Pentecost passes without anybody knowing it was there.
Feast of Trumpets: Yeshua as Messiah and Redeemer

Feast of Trumpets: Yeshua as Messiah and Redeemer

The first of the Fall moedim is known as Yom Teruah or the Day of Blowing, also commonly called the Feast of Trumpets. Teruah means “shout or blast of war, alarm, or joy” (BDB). All of these definitions play out on Yom Teruah, as God’s people are commanded to have a holy convocation and enjoin themselves to one another. It is to be a day of rest so that we might be properly called into a time of extreme holiness. In Judaism today, Yom Teruah is called Rosh HaShanah and is celebrated as the Civil New Year. In Jewish tradition it was during this time of year that God created the world, and so it will be this time that He will judge the world (b.Rosh HaShanah 27a).
The Feast of Trumpets and Judgement Day

The Feast of Trumpets and Judgement Day

The first three festivals of the year, Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost, can be seen clearly enough in both Jewish and Christian history. But now the scene begins to change. Of all these appointed festivals of God, the one with the least obvious connection to Christianity is the day the Jews call Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year: "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:23-25).
The Day of Atonement and Yeshua our High Priest

The Day of Atonement and Yeshua our High Priest

Just as many Christians are familiar with the Festival of Trumpets, many of the same are familiar with Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement, if for any other reason that they know that this is the one day of the year when Jews fast. Yom Kippur is to be a day when God’s people are commanded to “afflict” themselves, usually by fasting, and by spending the day before Him. They should be individually confessing their sins of the previous year, making peace with anyone who has been wronged, and meditating on the future.
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): At One With God

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur): At One With God

Those of you who have believed on Yeshua as yom kippur (atonement) have the assurance of salvation that can never be known by those who have not trusted in Yeshua. The word kippur is related to the verb kaphar which means “pardon, cleanse, or forgive,” and to the word kophar which can mean “coating, ransom, or satisfaction.”
Feast of Tabernacles: By Ronald Dart

Feast of Tabernacles: By Ronald Dart

The Apostle Paul wrote out of hard times. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ Jesus,” he said, “we are of all men, most miserable.” He also wrote about Israel of old: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). In other words, all that happened to Israel, all that they did, all the suffering they endured, all the correction and chastisement, all of it had to do with us. It is written in the Word for our admonition.
Feast of Tabernacles in Old and New Testament

The Feast of Tabernacles in Old and New Testament

The Feast of Tabernacles was the most joyous festival celebration in Old Testament times. It was commonly known as “the Feast of Ingathering—asif” (Ex 23:16; 34:22) and “the Feast of Booths—sukkot” (Deut 16:13, 16; Lev 23:34). The Hebrew sukkot, which literally means “booths” or “huts,” is rendered in the Latin Vulgate as tabernacula, from which we derive the English designation of the feast as “Tabernacles.”