Discovering The Jewish Jesus

Fall Feasts of the Lord 2017

We are excited to be entering into the fall season of the LORD’S Appointed Days, also known as the High Holy Days. The Fall Feasts of the LORD, which are prophetic shadows of Yeshua’s return, include:

The Feast of Trumpets
Which is called in Hebrew, Yom T’rooah

The Day of Atonement
Which is called in Hebrew, Yom Kippur

The Feast of Tabernacles
Which is called in Hebrew, Sukkot

The first of the Fall Feasts is called Yom T’rooah—The Day of Trumpets. In modern day Judaism, it is known as Rosh Hashanah, Head of the Year, and is celebrated as the Jewish New Year. A common custom is to say “L’shanah tovah”, which means, “May it be a good year.” Another custom is to eat apples dipped in honey. The apples and honey represent God’s provision and sweetness that He will manifest to us in the coming year. We read about this feast (Yom T’rooah) in Leviticus 23:24—“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, on the first of the month (Tishri), you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of (shofars) trumpets.” But what does the shofar help us to remember? In the Holy Scriptures, there are two passages that speak of the LORD, Himself, blowing the shofar.

The first passage is found in Exodus 19:13 when the children of Israel prepared themselves to go up to Mount Sinai to meet the LORD. The second is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, “For the LORD Himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air…”

In both of these instances, the blowing of the shofar announces God’s manifest presence. In Exodus 19, the sound of a shofar from heaven grew louder and louder so that the people who stood at the base of Mt. Sinai began to tremble. Then God spoke, and more than a million Israelites heard His voice at the same time.

The second of the Fall Feasts is called Yom Kippur—The Day of Atonement. We read about this feast in Leviticus 16 & 17 and in Leviticus 23:27. This is the day that the High Priest would carry the blood of the bull and goat through the veil and into the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle—the Holy of Holies. The High Priest of the Israelites would then pour the blood onto the altar over the Ark of the Covenant and, in doing so, make atonement for the children of Israel (Lev. 17:11).

The book of Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 tell us that the blood of the bulls and goats offered up to the LORD in the ancient Temple, on the Day of Atonement, was a foreshadow of the blood of Jesus. Through the death and shed blood of Jesus, we are forgiven once and for all! Praise God! Hallelujah!

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

For us, Yom Kippur is a time of thanking and worshiping Yeshua for His sacrifice and for forgiving us our sins. There is also another prophetic aspect of this feast that has yet to be fulfilled—the turning of the Jewish people to Messiah Yeshua as according to Zechariah: “…they will look on Me whom they have pierced” (Zech. 12:10).

When He returns, He will lift the veil from their eyes! The book of Revelation foretells this glorious event:
“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen” (Rev. 1:7). Paul foretells of this same event in Romans 11:26, which states that at Messiah’s return “all Israel will be saved.”

The last of the Fall Feasts is called Sukkot—The Feast of Tabernacles. This feast is a joyous and happy time of giving thanks to God for His provision. We read about this feast in Leviticus 23:34–42 “On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD… You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD… It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations… You shall live in booths for seven days.”

Throughout this feast, in many Jewish homes and synagogues, a sukkah will be constructed. A sukkah (meaning tabernacle or booth) is a temporary structure made out of lumber, grass, or any other natural substance, and is decorated with natural materials including tree branches, leaves, flowers, vegetables, and fruit. During the celebration of Sukkot, many people will eat their meals and sleep in the sukkah for the entire seven days of the feast. While in the sukkah, Jewish people remember how they had nothing in the wilderness but God, Who for forty years supplied their every need.

He fed them supernaturally with manna, gave them water out of a rock, and caused their clothes not to wear out. They had nothing but God, yet He was enough! This is another beautiful foreshadow of how we should live our lives today; totally dependent on Him!

Sukkot also involves the tradition of “the waving of the lulav.” The lulav is a gathering of branches made from four species found in Israel: the Palm branch, Myrtle, Willow and the Etrog (Lev. 23:40). We hold the lulav up and wave it before the LORD. By doing this, we are testifying of His beauty and bounty, that He is everywhere, and that every good gift comes from Him! Praise the LORD!

A remarkable tradition that took place during the Feast of Tabernacles in the days of Yeshua is called Hoshana Rabbah. During this ceremony, the priests would march from the pool of Siloam to the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem carrying a pitcher of water. They would then pour the pitcher of water onto the altar. Through this act, the priests were thanking God in advance for the coming winter rains which would produce another bountiful harvest in the spring. This practice also prophetically depicted that God would pour out His Spirit at the coming of Messiah.

It was on the day of Hoshana Rabbah, that Jesus cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37–38). By proclaiming this, Jesus was revealing that He was the Messiah.

Lastly, the Scriptures tell us that the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated in the millennial Kingdom of God. The book of Zechariah tells us “any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem (during Armageddon), will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).

Read more about the Fall Feasts of the LORD and their origin in Leviticus, Chapter 23.

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