Biblical Feast Days: Prophetic Rehearsals in the Spring Days?

This is a continuation of the Biblical Feast Day series that began here. So far in the series, we’ve explored answers to several questions relating to the feast days.  You can find those questions as well as links to the conclusions I’ve drawn from scripture by going back to the introduction post linked above.

(Note that Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, is not a feast day given by God, but a remembrance of a historical event mentioned in the New Testament in John 10:22-23.)

Now, I want to turn to the days themselves.  We’ll start with the spring feast days.  What exactly are they? When do they happen? And more, importantly, are there prophetic meanings to these days?

The Savior Himself said that the law and the prophets spoke of Him (Luke 24:27, Luke 24:44-45).  Paul said that the substance of the feast days was Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

So, I want to jump right in and show some of the ways the spring feast days spoke of Him.  We’ll look at parallels between the instructions regarding the spring feast days and the Savior’s first coming.

Please don’t gloss over these parallels.  They are purposeful and exact by God’s design.  Our understanding of the precise fulfillment of these spring days will affect our understanding of the fall feast days when we get there.

Passover
14th day of the first month (Leviticus 23:5)

  • Lamb without blemish was selected on the 10th day (Exodus 12:3).
  • Our Savior, the Passover Lamb, entered Jerusalem on the 10th day. (John 12:1 says six days before the Passover. This would have been the 9th day of the first month. Then John 12:12 says the next day they entered Jerusalem. This would have been the 10th day of the first month.)
  • Lamb was held for 4 days, presumably partly to ensure its perfection (Exodus 12:6).
  • Our Savior endured inspection for the next four days proving His perfection (Matthew 22:15-46, Luke 23:4).
  • A morning sacrifice was commanded (Exodus 29:38-39). It was made at the third hour, or 9am.
  • At the third hour, our Savior was crucified (Mark 15:25).
  • An evening sacrifice was commanded (Exodus 29:38-39). It was made at the ninth hour, or 3pm.
  • Our Savior breathed his last at the ninth hour (Luke 23:44-46).


Unleavened Bread

15th – 21st days of first month (Leviticus 23:6-8)

  • No leaven was to be found in any of the houses (Exodus 12:19).
  • Our Savior helped in cleaning the leaven (sin/incorrect teachings) out of His Father’s house when he cleared the temple (Matthew 21:12).
  • Anyone who ate anything with leaven in it must be cut off (Exodus 12:15,19).
  • Our Savior who was without sin (symbolized by leaven), became sin (became leavened) for us and was cut off on our behalf (Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, God delivered his people out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 26:8, Exodus 13:3).
  • With a strong hand and outstretched arms (literally), our Savior had delivered his people from the present evil age (Galatians 1:3-5)
  • The Egyptians buried their firstborns on the 15th day of the month (Numbers 33:3-4).
  • The Father buried His firstborn the evening of the 14th, when the 15th day officially began (Matthew 27:57-60). [Remember that on God’s calendar, days begin and end at sunset.]


First Fruits

Day after Sabbath during Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:9-14)

  • First fruits of the harvest were to be presented to God on the day after the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:10-11).
  • Our Savior rose from the dead as the first fruit of God’s harvest on the day after the Sabbath (Matthew 28:1).
  • The purpose of presenting the first fruits was so that the people may be accepted (Leviticus 23:10-11).
  • Our Savior’s resurrection from the dead on this day confirmed that His sacrifice was accepted, insured that those in Him also would be accepted, and served as a pledge that the rest of the harvest would be realized and would rise at their appointed time (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).


The Counting of the Omer between Firstfruits and Pentecost

(this is not an actual feast day, but a time to determine when the next feast day will fall)
(Leviticus 23:15-16)

  • Starting on the feast of first fruits, the Israelites were commanded to count 50 days (Leviticus 23:15-16).
  • It was during this counting that our Savior made all of His post-resurrection appearances:
    • to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary on the first day of the count (Matthew 28:9-10)
    • to two disciples as they were on the road to Emmaus also on the first day of the count (Luke 24:13-35)
    • to the 11 disciples in Galilee on the evening of the first day of the count (Matthew 28:16-17, John 20:19)
    • to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-14)
    • to the disciples on the fortieth day of the count (Acts 1:3)
During the last appearance, He instructed them to stay in Jerusalem for a few days longer so that they would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This happened (not coincidentally) on the day of Pentecost, which happened ten days later, on the 50th day of the count.


Pentecost (Feast of Weeks)

50 days after First Fruits
(Leviticus 23:15-21)

  • God began speaking His instructions, the law (Exodus 19). The people couldn’t bear to hear any more, so they asked Moses to be their intermediary (Exodus 20:18-21). Moses received the rest of the instructions by himself and brought them back written on tablets of stone.
  • God gave his spirit, writing his words directly on willing, fleshy hearts (Acts 2:1-5 fulfilling Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 36:27)
  • Three thousand were killed for their disobedience to the word. (Exodus 32:28)
  • Three thousand were saved by their faith in the word. (Acts 2:41)


Conclusion

I find it incredible that God created set-apart days to mark His Son’s death (Passover), burial (Unleavened Bread) and resurrection (Firstfruits) thousands of years before the our Savior was ever born. Believers who had faith in a future Messiah kept the days in hopeful anticipation of their fulfillment. We can celebrate these same God-given days today in joyful remembrance of their fulfillment. What an amazing, precious thing!

Further Study

Here is a great video introducing the spring feast days.  I love the gentleness, grace, and joy conveyed by the speaker, Mark Biltz, in this message. Add on top of that wonderful scriptural connections and this is one great message!

If you don’t feel like you can make it through an hour long video, I encourage you to at least watch some.

In the first eight minutes he covers the major verses where information is given regarding the Lord’s feast days and digs into the original language to offer some great insight to them. I have linked to the Strong’s definitions below if you want to check them out for yourself.

By the conclusion of the 13th minute, he has finished summing up the spring feast days.

He spends the rest of the video revealing Messiah in the spring feast days, showing the prophetic meanings in both the instructions given by God and in the traditions used by God’s people throughout the generations to keep the commandments.


Season/Feast – Moed (Strong’s #4150) = an appointment. Not seasons as we typically think of them (spring, summer, fall, winter), but divine appointments.

Signs – Oth (Strongs #226) = a signal.

Convocation – Miqra (Strong’s #4744) = a rehearsal.  These feast days are dress rehearsals.

In the next post, we’ll look at the prophetic nature of the fall feast days.

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