The three biblical feasts are described in twenty-third chapter of Leviticus. These feasts follow the annual agricultural cycle, they commemorate significant events in Jewish history, and they prophetically represent God’s redemptive plan.
The Feast of Passover remembers the deliverance of the families of Israel from their slavery in Egypt. Agriculturally, it was a time of bringing the sheaves of the first fruits of the grain harvest to the Lord. It was the beginning of the year according to Leviticus 23:5. For Christians, Passover represents the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, which occurred during the Passover, when our sins were forgiven through the shedding of His blood. Through Jesus, our Passover, we are delivered from slavery to the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13). And through the resurrection of Jesus, new life begins!
The Feast of Pentecost remembers God speaking His words to His redeemed people at Sinai. And in the land of Canaan, it was a time of bringing the first fruits of the annual harvests as an offering to the Lord. Pentecost also represents the Lord God giving the promised Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to all who would believe in Jesus. It was the first fruits of the harvest of those who would believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was seen by many in the early church as a second Sinai, where through the Holy Spirit, God’s words would now be taught in every language, and disciples made in all the nations.
The Feast of Tabernacles remembers God’s presence dwelling with Israel in the wilderness as He cared for them, taught them, and led them to the land of Canaan. And in the land of Canaan, it was to be a time of joyfully bringing an offering to the Lord from the ingathering of produce at the end of the harvest season. The Feast of Tabernacles also represents how God dwelt among men and women in Jesus Christ and now dwells within the community of believers. It points to the ingathering of a great end-time harvest, the removal of sin, and the dwelling of God once again in the earth.
The last day of the feast of Tabernacles is a day of rejoicing. The Bible references a celebration called the Water Pouring Ceremony. During this ceremony, the Jews prayed for the former and later rains for the upcoming agricultural season as they trusted in God for a bountiful harvest. They also believed these rains were prophetic of a great outpouring of God’s Spirit and an ingathering of souls in the Messianic Age (Isa 12:2–6; Joel 2:28–29). It was on this day, the last great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37–38).
Life begins at Passover, it is followed by the experiences of Pentecost, with God’s indwelling presence and ingathering of a bountiful harvest in Tabernacles. Set aside time throughout the year, at each feast, to talk with your family and rehearse the mighty works of God—His works through history and within your own lives. Create an expectation for what God will continue to do as we pray for the transforming love of Jesus Christ to reach our communities and all the families of the earth.