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.”
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 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).
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).
50 Days to Pentecost by Ronald L. Dart

50 Days to Pentecost

Now when you understand what Pentecost is, it is a wonder it isn't a much bigger thing among Christians. Pentecost was the day, when the Holy Spirit was poured out in power on the early Church. It was the day they baptized 3,000 people in one day (Acts 2:41), I don't think the Church has done that since. It has been called the birthday of the Church and you would think it would be celebrated in fine style. But for most of liberal Protestant Christianity it passes unnoticed.
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.
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).
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.”
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.