Christian Holy Days (The Feasts of the LORD)

Dig deeper into the scriptures, and discover the Biblical Christian Holy Days of The Feast of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Tabernacles. 

The Sabbath

Shabbat Sabbath in the Old and New Testament

Shabbat (Sabbath) in the Old and New Testament

Even in traditional Christianity, there are Torah commandments which are honored in the church. Most Christians, for instance, accept the Ten Commandments. Therefore, they don’t murder or steal. They also believe that commandments which were given before the so-called Law of Moses (such as tithing) are valid, as well as any commandments which are repeated in the New Testament. An exception seems to be Shabbat – the Sabbath. Most Christians shun the Sabbath commandment, or else they transfer the holiness of the Sabbath to Sunday.
Shabbat: The First Appointed Time

Shabbat: The First Appointed Time

The first appointed time that the Lord prescribes is the Sabbath or Shabbat, opening the list seen in Leviticus 23: “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings” (Leviticus 23:3). It is the day of the week that God has made a holy convocation—a time for us to be in special fellowship with Him.
Feast Days and the Sabbath in Romans 14:5-6

Feast Days and the Sabbath in Romans 14:5-6

Many of today’s Christian laypersons, reading Romans 14, think that they automatically know what the circumstances being addressed are: the Apostle Paul does not consider matters of sacred days or eating to be that important any more. Romans 14:5-6 are quoted to Messianic Believers as an indication that not only are the days one celebrates as holy inconsequential to God, but so is what one eats likewise inconsequential. Messianic Believers can choose to keep Shabbat and the appointed times, and eat kosher, if they want to—but it is thought that these are no longer definite requirements for His people. These are now only matters of conscience that are to be left up to individual choice. Unfortunately, though, rather than letting Messianic Believers keep Shabbat, the appointed times, and a kosher diet without any interference or harassment, Romans 14:5-6 are verses often used to unfairly judge those of us who keep them—quite contrary to the tenor of what(ever) Paul says.
Are Sabbath and Feast Days separate?

Are Sabbath and Feast Days separate?

The typical nature of the annual feasts is also indicated by their parallel with the Sabbath in Leviticus 23. The chapter begins by introducing the “appointed feasts” (mo‘ed) to be observed. These consisted of the weekly Sabbath and the annual feasts, both of which are ordained as mo‘ed, “appointed feasts.” The term mo‘ed stresses the time set for the Sabbath and the feasts and is thus translated as “appointed feasts,” “set times,” or “set feasts.”

The Feast of Passover

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.
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.
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.
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?

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

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).

The Feast of First Fruits

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).

The Feast of Pentecost

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.
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).
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.
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.

The Feast of Trumpets

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.”
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.
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).
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.
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

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.”
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.
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: 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 Feast of 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."
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: The Last Great Festival

Feast of Tabernacles: The Last Great Festival

Following Yom Kippur is Sukkot or the Feast of Booths, also called the Feast of Tabernacles. Leviticus 23:42-43 instructed how during Sukkot, “You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” This was to be in remembrance of the time when the Lord led the Ancient Israelites out of Egypt and when they would build sukkahs (pl. sukkot) or temporary dwelling places, described by Hertz as being “a hastily-constructed and unsubstantial edifice.”
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.
Share This