Apostolic Preterist

7 Feasts Fulfilled

How the Jewish Feasts were Fulfilled


The seven annual feasts were spread over seven months (Deuteronomy 16, Leviticus 23), at set times appointed by God. They foreshadow the set times of God's work of redemption through His Son, Jesus, as affecting both Jesus and believers in him.

The Passover

The term "passover" is to be considered in the sense of "hovering over", i.e. to protect or deliver. God's presence overshadowed His people for their protection. The nation of Israel was transferred from physical slavery leading to death in Egypt, to lifelong service to God. Likewise, the believer in Christ is delivered from spiritual slavery (bondage to sin) leading to death, to a life of service to Christ, leading to eternal life. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is our Passover.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

This was a continuation of the Passover. Yeast (or leaven) promotes fermentation and Scripture uses yeast as a type of sin (1 Corinthians 5:6,7). Forgiveness for our sins can be obtained through the intercession of Christ, our mediator. Entry to this feast is possible only because "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." Both the Passover and the feast without leaven show essentials for the believer. As there were 7 days eating bread without yeast, so for the believer there should be a complete life separate from sin.

The Feast of Firstfruits

This prefigured the resurrection of Jesus. The ceremony took place on the third day from the Passover; Jesus rose the third day (Matthew 16:21). 1 Corinthians 15:20, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." Until the sheaf of the firstfruits had been presented to the Lord, no one was permitted to eat bread, parched corn, or green ears. So, until God had reaped the firstfruits from the tomb in the garden, there could be no gathering of the harvest (1 Corinthians 15:23).

The Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost / Harvest)

This was held at the beginning of wheat harvesting, seven weeks from the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:15-16). In the New Testament it is called Pentecost (Greek 'pente' = fifty). This festival commemorated the giving of the Law which took place 50 days after the Sabbath following the Passover. On the day of Pentecost following Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2), a new revelation was given to the people in the gospel preached by the apostles, with the invitation to all to enter a covenant with God through baptism into Christ.

Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

The Feast of Trumpets

Almost four months after the Pentecost, though not at a precise interval, the feast of Trumpets was a day of rest celebrated with trumpet blasts and sacrifices when the nation was presented before God. This prefigured the time when the Lord came down from heaven with the trumpet call of God. This was fulfilled in 70AD.

1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God..."

1 Corinthians 15:52, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound..."

The Day of Atonement

On this day the priests offered sacrifices of atonement for themselves and the people. The ordinance of the scape-goat was a figure of the death and resurrection of Christ, and the atonement thereby made, which pointed forward to the work of redemption accomplished by Christ.

Hebrews 9:7,11, "But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;"

Hebrews 9:24-26, "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

(A Black Stone and A Scarlet Thread

"And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat" (Lev.16:8 KJV).

There is much debate over exactly what kind of objects the lots were. However, the information found in the Babylonian Talmud and the Mishnah indicates that the lots were two stones—one white and one black. The white stone had the words “For the Lord” written on it, and the black stone had the words “For Azazal” (i.e., the goat that is sent away or banished) written on it.

These two stones were placed into a container and it was shaken; then, without looking into the container, the high priest would put his right hand into the container and draw out one of the lots.

The Babylonian Talmud shows that, for two hundred years before 30 A.D., the first stone to appear in the right hand of the high priest randomly fluctuated each year between the white and black stone. One would expect this type of randomness, because God selected the more perfect goat to be slain for the sins of the people. But, beginning with the Day of Atonement in 30 A.D. (the year of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), the black stone appeared in the right hand of the high priest for the next 39 years.

The chances of the black stone (For Azazal) appearing 40 consecutive times in the right hand of the high priest is over a trillion to one according to Pascal's table of numerical odds.

The continual appearance of the black stone in the right hand of the high priest was surely a sign of God's displeasure with the House of Judah and a warning for them to repent.

The fulfillment of the prophetic black stone came after forty years of continuous warning when the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 70 A. D. by the Roman Empire.

As much as I hate to use The Talmud, The Jews own writings state-

The Red Ribbon on the Head of the Scapegoat Turn White in 30 C.E

the Talmud states that there was a strip of scarlet-dyed wool tied to the head of the scapegoat2 which at times would turn white in the presence of the large crowd gathered at the Temple on the Day of Atonement. When this phenomenon occurred, the Jewish people perceived this miraculous transformation as a heavenly sign that their sins were forgiven. The Talmud relates, however, that 40 years before the destruction of the Second Temple the scarlet colored strip of wool did not turn white. The text of the Talmud which missionaries quote states,

The Rabbis taught that forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple the lot did not come up in the [high priest’s] right hand nor did the tongue of scarlet wool become white…

(Talmud, Tractate Yoma 39b) Words in red added by TG)

The Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths)

The feast of tabernacles commemorated their wandering forty years in the wilderness, but foreshadowed when they were given a judgment period of 40 years to repent before the destruction of Jerusalem. In contrast to the Day of Atonement, during which the Israelites were to afflict themselves, during this festival they are commanded to rejoice. This third great festival held at the end of the harvest prefigured when the redeemed rejoiced before God (Revelation 7:9-17). The harvest of faithful ones represented the final ingathering developed out of the waving of the first single sheaf (typifying the Lord Jesus Christ) on the first day of the week following Passover.

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