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.
From Passover to Easter - Ronald L. Dart

From Passover to Easter – Ronald L. Dart

Occasionally, when I have said that “Easter” is nowhere mentioned in Bible, someone reminds me of the incident where Herod has arrested Peter and put him in prison, “intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4). The problem is that the Greek word translated “Easter” is the Greek Pascha which, everywhere else it is used in the New Testament, is translated “Passover.” So why, 1600 years later, did the King James translators use Easter instead of Passover here?
Passover: Yeshua (Jesus) the Lamb of God

Passover: Yeshua (Jesus) the Lamb of God

The second of the Biblical moedim that God prescribes is Pesach, or Passover. It is specified, “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover” (Leviticus 23:5). Of all the Biblical holidays, this is probably the one with which most Christians are familiar. Their familiarity with Passover is no doubt due to the fact that the Exodus of the Ancient Israelites from Egypt is one of the most important themes in the Bible, as it depicts the Holy One of Israel as the God of freedom, able to deliver people from slavery, but also as it depicts our Exodus as born again Believers from death in sin to new life in Yeshua.
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 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).
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).
Pentecost Shavuot and the Feast of Weeks

Pentecost/Shavuot and the Feast of Weeks

Beginning during the season of Passover and Unleavened Bread is a counting of weeks to the Festival of Weeks: “You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths [seven full weeks, RSV, NIV, CJB, ESV, et. al.]. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD…On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations” (Leviticus 23:15-16, 21).
Feast of Pentecost in the Old and New Testament

The Feast of Pentecost in the Old and New Testament

The term “Pentecost” is not found in the Old Testament. The feast was variously called the “Feast of Weeks” (Ex 34:22; Deut 16:9-10), because it was celebrated seven weeks after the offering of the barley sheaf; the “Feast of the Harvest” (Ex 23:16), because it came at the end of the wheat harvest; and the “Feast of the First Fruits” (Ex 34:22; Num 28:26), because it marked the beginning of the time the first fruits of the wheat harvest were offered at the Temple.
Feast of Trumpets and the Resurrection of the Dead

Feast of Trumpets and the Resurrection of the Dead

The end of the first century saw a time of severe persecution of the Jews in and around Rome. It was no wonder that the Roman Christians began to differentiate themselves from the Jews in every way they could. Many practices that were very common in the early church disappeared in the smoke of the persecution of the Jews. But why would the early church have paid any attention to what we know as Jewish holidays in the first place? For one thing, Christians and Jews shared the same God. In its earliest years, Christianity was viewed by the world, not as a separate religion, but as a sect of Judaism. The earliest Christians were Jewish, and they had no consciousness of starting a new religion. Many saw what they were doing as a restoration of a purer faith. Judaism, in their view, had gone astray from the faith of Abraham and Moses.
Yom T’ruah: The Feast of Trumpets

Yom T’ruah: The Feast of Trumpets

We are introduced to the so-called “Feasts of Israel” in Leviticus 23:2. This is really a misnomer, because in Scripture the Holy days are never called the “Feasts of Israel.” It might be more accurate to call them the “Feasts of YHWH,” however, one of the “Feasts” (Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement) is really a day of fasting. The Hebrew term is “Moedei YHWH,” which would be more accurately translated, “appointed times of YHWH.”
The Day of Atonement in the Old and New Testament

The Day of Atonement in the Old and New Testament

The Day of Atonement was the grand climax of the religious year in ancient Israel. The rites performed on that day concluded the atoning process of the sins of the Israelites by removing them permanently from the sanctuary. The record of forgiven sins was kept in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement because such sins were to be reviewed by the heavenly court during the final judgment typified by the Feast of Trumpets. The Day of Atonement was the culmination of the judgment process in which God executed His judgment by giving life to those who had confessed their sins and availed themselves of the divine provision for their atonement. It was also a day of death for impenitent sinners who rejected God’s provision for the cleansing of their sins.
Day of Atonement: A Christian Holy Day

Day of Atonement: A Christian Holy Day

In the Autumn of every year, the Jews celebrate their most solemn festival, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Would it surprise you to learn that Yom Kippur is a Christian holiday as well, that the New Testament church observed the day, only with a different sense of its meaning? Very few Christians take any note of the day at all, and that is surprising, since the day is all about the ministry of Christ. They cheerfully observe Easter which is not in the Bible at all, and ignore the Day of Atonement which is not only biblical, it lies right at the heart of the meaning of the Christian Faith. Maybe it is because observing the Day of Atonement requires a fast, but it is probably because no one ever thinks of it.
Sukkot: The Feast of Tabernacles

Sukkot: The Feast of Tabernacles

One of the more interesting of the Holy Days that we are commanded to observe as "a statute forever in all your generations" is the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). It is observed as a memorial of the times when the Israelites basically "camped out" in the wilderness for forty years. Therefore, booths (sukkas) are constructed with roofs of green, leafy branches that allows the light to go through. Therefore, the instructions, "You shall dwell (teshvu) in booths for seven days..." The shoresh (root word) for "teshvu" is "shev," meaning "sit" or "dwell."
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.