All of the O.T. Scriptures pointed to Jesus. He was the fulfillment of all things in the OT. The Lord Jesus (The Word of God) declared clearly that he had come to completely fulfill and finalize the Hebrew Scriptures. (Matt.5:17,18) and Luke 21:20-24
One of the most important aspects of Jewish life is often overlooked because it lacks relevance in our world. The 7 Feasts of the Lord (YHWH) were absolutely fundamental to every Jew in Jesus’ day and to the original “Messianic Jews” that would have received His Words. Keeping the feasts had no value after the Cross but, there was still deep truths hidden within them.
These Feasts contain profound keys for understanding the heavily Jewish symbolism in books like Hebrews and Revelation.
The 7 Feasts of the Lord as revealed in Leviticus 23 had a very specific order and purpose. They were like “dress rehearsals” for the coming of their Messiah, Jesus. The Lord spoke this entire book we call Leviticus after Moses set up the First Tabernacle in Exodus 40.” 17Now in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected.” ~ Exodus 40
Most “End Times” teachers keep track of the years according to what they call a “Jewish Calendar” but, they start from Adam. God started his Jewish calendar from the Exodus and Moses. News flash! Adam was not a Jew. Noah was not a Jew. Even Abraham was not born a Jew because he was originally an Ur of Chaldea.
Judaism didn’t start until God said it started. God said it started at the Exodus from Egypt.
In the Second year of Jewish history, after they had obeyed God and erected the Tabernacle and the entire system surrounding it, God gave them “Leviticus” which means “He called”. These 7 Feasts were central to the Tabernacle and the Jewish world. Unfortunately most “End Times” teachers consider Jesus to have only partially fulfilled these feasts and therefore underestimate Jesus’ completed victory!
“And in Him (Christ) everyone believing is justified from all things from which you were not able to be justified in the Law of Moses.” ~ Acts 13:39
The reason freedom and justification from ALL of the Old Covenant rituals (and more importantly sin) is possible is because of what Romans 10:4 says ~
“For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Will Jesus be the fulfillment of the Law in some future generation or was he the fulfillment of the Law first and foremost to that generation? Paul and the N.T. writers all agreed and believed that he was the fulfillment of the Law to that generation! This is the point of most of the NT writings.
Hebrews 10:1 “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves… (Heb.9:11)But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come…”
There were shadows that Jesus had fulfilled (things that had come) and things that He was currently (at that time) fulfilling (things that were coming)! These are divided into the Spring and Fall Feasts.
THE 7 FEASTS OF THE LORD ~
1.) Passover (Fulfilled at the “Last Passover Supper” and the Cross)
2.) Unleavened Bread (Fulfilled at Christ’s burial)
3.) First-fruits (Fulfilled at Christ’s Resurrection)
4.) Feast of Weeks: Pentecost in the Greek (Fulfilled at the pouring out of the Holy Spirit)
These Spring Feasts are practically universally recognized by all of Christianity as having been completely fulfilled by Christ. However, we cannot partake of all of God’s promises until we see that they are fulfilled in him because they were fulfilled by him for us!
You can’t have fulfillment of God’s promises in us without fulfillment of God’s Law in Christ.
5.) Trumpets (Judgement and Kingly Coronation?)
6.) Atonement (Propitiation for sins)
7.) Tabernacles (God Dwells among His people)
Without getting bogged down into too much detail (there is so much gold in this!), I will try to demonstrate how the NT Scripture revealed that these Fall Feasts were about to be completed in that generation!
A DIFFERENT LAMB ~
Both Revelation and Hebrews were among the last books written in the Bible, probably late 60 AD (67-69) within a year or few years of Jerusalem’s final desolation (The Ninth of Av in 70 AD).
Both of these books detail the Priestly service as he fulfilled the ceremonial procedure into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement.
We may not have noticed the difference between the Passover and this Atonement but, they would have seen it as clearly as you and I know the difference between the Eagles and the Cowboys. How do we know this? Many ways but here are just a few differences ~
Rev.1 depicts Jesus as the High Priest trimming the 7-fold Lamp-stand in the Holy Place. He is dressed in all white with a golden sash on his chest. This apparel was literally only worn one day a year! The Day of Atonement because every other day that he performed the “Daily Sacrifice”, the High Priest wore the Ephod with the 12 Stones on his chest. He did not wear it this day for many amazing symbolic reasons but, one was that this was the only day he would be splattering blood 7 times in the Holy of Holies, on the Mercy Seat.
Rev.5 is the first of almost 30 times that Jesus was called the Lamb but, this is no Passover Lamb! The passover Lamb was not taken into the Temple because it was eaten in the home! Revelation clearly depicts the Lamb approaching the Throne/Ark in God’s Most Holy Place, Heaven itself. Jesus was both the Passover Lamb and the Atonement Ram but this Lamb with 7 horns was not eaten outside of the Temple, His blood was offered through the Spirit to God the Father!
This is the picture that Revelation painted because it’s not about “the end of the world” Sadly, many modern “teachers” have missed God’s definition as declared in the first verse.
Revelation 1:1 ~ “This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon…”
This is the unveiling of Jesus Christ! He was unveiled as the High Priest, the Atonement Lamb, the Ark of the New Covenant, the Word of God, The First and the Last (which reveals him as YHWH, the Lord God Almighty) The King of Kings and Lord of Lords! All of these truths were unveiled in Revelation
Revelation and Hebrews 9 & 10 both depict the Holy of Holies finally being entered by the High Priest. Not the symbolic Holy of Holies that the Jews had on earth but the True Holiest place; where the absolute Presence of Almighty God in fullness dwelled. This was only allowed one day of the year, The Day of Atonement. The reason that Hebrews spends so many chapters articulating this is because the writer was making known to them that this Atonement had taken place and the hope that generation was waiting for was on it’s way!
The Book of Revelation is not about what God’s judgements “look like”; it’s about what the Lamb was doing! He entered as the High Priest on the Day of Atonement (Rev.1:13) and returned drenched in the blood of the Lamb (Rev.19:13) having obtained eternal redemption!
These 2 books actually detail the fulfillment of all 3 Fall Feasts (somewhat simultaneously) because on the Hebrew Calendar, they all happened within a 2 week period.
THE TRUE SABBATH REST ~
In Hebrews 10:25 they (not us) were looking for “The Day”. They were promised that the coming one would come and not delay in 10:37! This Coming Day was the Day of Atonement which was also the Promised Rest! When the Lord had revealed the shadow in Leviticus ; he called the Day of Atonement a “Sabbath of Sabbaths” which means it was foreshadowing the Promised Rest that generation was about to receive by faith and not by sight!
That’s what Hebrews 3 & 4 focuses on and God’s Promised Rest and builds up to the “Faith chapter” because only those who received it by faith would enter!
There was no true Sabbath Rest available until after the High Priest returned from fulfilling the entire Atonement rituals. How could our High Priest return from the Heavenly Holy of Holies with the blessing of the New Covenant Rest before he had finished fulfilling his work?
“8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” ~ Hebrews 4
It is because Jesus was in the process of fulfilling His complete work (Even the entire Law and Prophets) that Jesus would enter God’s Rest. We can only Rest to the extent that Jesus has rested because all that we do is through the result of what He has done.
11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” ~ Hebrews 4
Immediately, the Author no longer mentions the Promised Land/Rest but, the idea is meant to be carried into his next analogy. He launches into over 6 chapters of details about how Jesus was the High Priest fulfilling the Day of Atonement and bringing the Promised Rest. Then it capitulates in how we enter His Rest in Hebrews 11, “The Faith Chapter”.
All of these comparisons would have had extremely profound significance to that generation of Jewish believers, who were waiting for a unique manifestation of God’s Kingdom.
28“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” ~ Matthew 16:28
34“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” ~ Matt.24:34
Are we going to believe man, our eyes, our own ideas of what the Kingdom should look like?
Or are we going to believe Jesus?
*Charles Spurgeon message transcript about the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement*