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.
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 Passover in the Old and New Testament

The Feast of Passover in the Old and New Testament

In the Old Testament, Passover evolved from a private family sacrifice of the paschal lamb to an elaborate and solemn sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem. In spite of its evolution, the underlying theme of Passover remained the same: the commemoration of the supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage which brought freedom and new life to the people.
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.
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.
Feast of Trumpets in the Old and New Testament

The Feast of Trumpets in the Old and New Testament

The three Fall Feasts of ancient Israel coincided with the end of the harvest season and were ushered in by the Feast of the Trumpet which fell on the first day of the seventh month. After the return from the Babylonian exile, the name Rosh Hashanah, which means “New Year” (literally, “head of the year”), was attached to the feast. Within the same seventh month, the last two important feasts were observed, namely, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) on the tenth day and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) from the fifteenth to the twenty first day.
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.
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.
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.”
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."