Scripture Read: Leviticus 23
Title: The Feasts of the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations (assemblies), they are my appointed feasts." Lev. 23:2
(E) Explain: This chapter accounts for what Jews consider major holidays or Feasts which must be observed. Being that the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian calendar that we use today we may be a little confused as to when these Feasts happen, but interestingly this year many of the Feasts line up with some of the days we celebrate as Christians. Below is a breakdown that I have developed to the best of my ability of the festivals and when they happen...
PASSOVER - This festival is a time where Jewish people remember the Exodus from Egypt and how God passed over the Hebrew inhabitants who had the blood painted on the door posts. This festival happens of the 14th of Nisan. The month of Nisan corresponds with either the Gregorian calendar months March or April. This year Passover begins at sundown March 30th and concludes at sundown April 1st.
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD - Begins on the after Passover and is a seven day holiday where people do no laborious work during these seven days. This year The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins March 30th and ends April 7th.
THE FEAST OF WEEKS - This feast commemorates to giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. It begins seven weeks or fifty days after Passover. The actual dates of this Feast are disputed I have found to be either May 26th or May 19th. Later in the New Testament this observance will be known to Christians as Pentecost.
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS - This Feast is the mark of the Jewish New Year. It is also known as Rosh Hashanah. This is a day of solemn rest and no laborious work shall be done. This year the Feast of Weeks or Rosh Hashanah is observed on Sept. 19th.
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT - This day is considered the most holy day of the year. This is the day in which atonement is made for the sins of the nations of Israel. It is also know as Yom Kippur. This year The Day of Atonement falls on September 19th.
THE FEAST OF BOOTHS - This festival is also known as Sukkoth or the Feast of the Booths. This Feast is considered one of the most joyous Feasts where temporary dwellings are constructed and the people are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering in the wilderness. The Feast of Booths begins this year on Sept. 24th.
(A) Application: So, what does all of this mean for us? How does this apply? I think it simply means that as people of God we are to be constantly reminded of our sinfulness and need of forgiveness. We are reminded that God has and always will provide for his people. It also reminds us that we should celebrate. We should celebrate as families, and in community. We should always celebrate God, because He has provided for our basic needs and our spiritual needs.
(R) Respond: I would like to take time this year and set it aside to celebrate God. I don't necessarily have to celebrate the Festivals of the Torah in the exact way they are set for the people of Israel. But I can observe God's faithfulness, provisions and forgiveness.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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