I like to unwind at the end of the day with computer solitaire. Life rarely falls neatly into place so watching the cards organize into their suits brings a crazy sense of satisfaction. Maybe that’s why seeing how the Old and New Testaments fit perfectly together thrills me.
Leviticus 23 describes seven Jewish holidays. These festivals, related to Old Testament Jewish history, foreshadowed New Testament events. The first four were fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. Do the last three relate to events surrounding His second coming?
You already know that Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on a Jewish holy day—the Passover. He went to the cross at the time the priests were slaughtering the Passover lambs. Christians call this Good Friday.
The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast” (Lev. 23:5-6 NIV).
The feast of Unleavened Bread symbolized Jesus’s sinless life. His body lay buried during the early days of the festival, “like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.”
Easter and the birth of the church occurred on other Jewish holy days. Easter correlates with the Festival of First Fruits—when Christ was “raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20 NIV).
After His resurrection, Jesus spent forty days with His followers, teaching them and showing many proofs that He was alive. Before He ascended to His Father, He told them to wait for the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
Pentecost, another Jewish holy day, occurred the 50th day after the Feast of First Fruits. Faithful Jews gathered on this holy day to celebrate the giving of the Law. The church was born when the promised Holy Spirit came upon Christ’s assembled followers (Acts 2:1-12). Those gathered from other areas heard the believers praising God in their own languages.
Connecting the First and Second Coming
Peter used a passage from Joel to explain what was happening. These Old Testament verses describing the last days predicted the giving of the Holy Spirit with signs that occurred at Pentecost and ones that are yet to occur (Acts 2:14-21). In other words, Joel talked about the beginning of the church age in the same breath as the second coming of Christ. No wonder New Testament writers wrote as if He could appear any moment. The “last days” had officially begun!
Three More Jewish Holidays: The Days of Return
The first four Jewish holidays were fulfilled in Christ’s first coming. The last three holy days on the Jewish Calendar occur at the end of summer and early fall. The remaining three include The Festival of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and The Festival of Tabernacles.
Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn calls these the Days of Teshuvah or the Days of Return. This is the holiest time of the Hebrew year. A time to turn from sin and return to the Lord before He returns for us. The Days of Return occur at the end of the Jewish calendar.
At Pentecost, Peter presented four proofs that Jesus was alive and the promised Messiah. When the Jewish listeners realized they’d crucified their Messiah they asked, “What must we do?
Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:38-41 NIV).
The exciting days of the birth of the church included great testing. But Jesus’s followers rejoiced to be a part of God’s work. We too live in exciting times. May we share their attitudes and heed their warnings.
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31 NIV).
Leviticus 23 describes seven Jewish holidays. The first four foreshadowed Christ's first coming. Do the last ones relate to His 2nd coming? #Refreshing Faith, #ChristsReturn Click To Tweet
Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” (Acts 2:40 NIV).
Click here to comment.
In this time of heightened stress and anxiety most of us could use help in learning how to Subdue Stress and Anxiety. Tina Yeager has put together a course with fifteen presenters sharing their expert tips. The course includes a wonderful workbook. Is your well-being worth an investment of ten minutes a day?
This link takes you to the check out. You can click that icon, and it will take you to a page where you can more about the course.