Col.2:16,17 read; "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.
Paul, writing many years after Yahweh's Holy Days were supposedly fulfilled and done away with, said those days still existed as shadows of things that would come in his future. These shadows portray the reality of Yahweh's plan of salvation for mankind. In other words, each appointed time or Holy Day depicts an aspect of Yahweh's plan that will be fulfilled in our future. An example of a shadow / reality would be animal sacrifices which were a shadow of the true sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah. Once the reality, Yeshua's death, was accomplished or fulfilled the shadow ceased to continue. Since Paul spoke of the Holy Days as unfulfilled shadows, they will not be totally fulfilled and cease until the reality has come.
Yahweh's three primary holy times (Passover / Feast of Unleavened, Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles) revolve around the agricultural harvest of Israel. We see this in Ex.23:14-16;
"Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened: (thou shalt eat unleavened seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) And the feast of harvest [Pentecost], the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering [Tabernacles], which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field."
They begin in the spring when new life springs from the ground (in particular, the barley crop of Israel) and they end when the final crops of Israel are harvested.
Yeshua gave us a parable that helps us to understand the spiritual aspects of the harvest. The Parable of the Tares in Mt.13:24-30, 36-43 reads;
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
"Then Yeshua sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
We see, by this parable, that the agricultural life of Israel has a spiritual parallel. Keep that in mind as you learn what the reality of each Holy Day shadow is.
Passover - Redemption / Protection
Ex.12:3,6,7,12,13 - "Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: . . .And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it . . . For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am Yahweh. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt."
It was through the shed blood of a lamb being applied to their doorposts that the Israelites received Yahweh's divine protection from the final plague to befall Egypt. It was through this same sacrifice that Israel was redeemed from Egyptian bondage.
The New Testament writings of Paul to the Corinthians teach us that Yeshua the Messiah is our true Passover lamb. 1 Cor.5:7 says;
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us:"
He has totally fulfilled the shadow of that original sacrifice, dying at the exact moment the Passover lambs were being sacrificed by the Jews. Now it is his blood that redeems us from our bondage to sin (a type of Egypt). It is also his blood upon the door posts of our hearts that provides us divine protection from Yahweh's wrath to come. We see this in 1 Th.1:10 and Ro.5:8,9;
"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Yeshua, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
"But Elohim commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
Feast of Unleavened - Sanctification
Ex.12:17 says, "And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever."
Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage came on the first day of this Feast (Abib 15). It is a type of how believers are delivered from this world. Once a person accepts Yeshua as their Savior and receives divine redemption and protection through his shed blood, he must begin his journey to the promised land. He begins his exodus out of this worldly system (sanctification or being set apart) and starts to walk in the newness of life that comes only through a relationship with Yeshua, the Son of Yahweh.
As a requirement for observing this Feast, Ex.12:15 reads;
"Seven days shall ye eat unleavened; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leaven from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel."
Leaven represents sin, false doctrine, and hypocrisy. We are not only to rid our homes of leaven during this appointed time, but we are to rid our hearts of these things as we grow in grace and truth. It is part of our sanctification process or the process of coming out of this world. Since this is an ongoing process that will continue until Messiah returns, we cannot do away with the shadow of the Feast of Unleavened.
Wavesheaf - Firstfruits of the barley harvest
The firstfruits of the barley harvest were offered on Abib 16.
Lev.23:10,11 says, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it."
The fulfillment of this wavesheaf offering is found in the person of Yeshua who was the firstfruit of the spiritual harvest of souls mentioned earlier in this study. We see this in 1 Cor.15:20;
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
Yeshua's resurrection occurred on the exact date and at the exact time the wavesheaf was offered, the early morning of Abib 16. Every believer in Messiah has a hope of a resurrection from the dead, but only at the appointed time. First, the firstfruits of the harvest had to take place (Yeshua's resurrection). Eventually the entire crop of souls will be harvested.
Feast of Weeks - Firstfruits of the wheat harvest
Fifty days after the wave offering brings us to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. This was the day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples in Acts 2. To understand the shadow of this day we must go back to Lev.23:15-17;
"And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto Yahweh. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto Yahweh."
As we saw in Lev.23:10,11, Yeshua represented the firstfruits of the barley harvest. Here, however, we have the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. The Parable of the Tares taught us that wheat is symbolic of true believers and that all believers, the entire harvest, would be reaped or resurrected after the tares or wicked are destroyed. However, before the main harvest is reaped the firstfruits of the harvest must be offered. In Lev.23:17 we see the firstfruits being represented by two loaves of wheat bread. In Rev.14:1-5 we learn the 144,000 are the "firstfruits unto [Yahweh] and to the Lamb."
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his name and his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto [Yahweh] and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of [Yahweh]."
Just as the reaping and waving of the sheaf in Lev.23:10,11 represented the resurrection and ascension of Yeshua, the wave loaves of Lev.23:17 represent the ascension of the firstfruits of Rev.14. Each loaf represents one group of 144,000. The total number of firstfruits of the wheat harvest is 288,000. To understand why this is click here.
In Acts 2, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the "former rain" that allowed the wheat harvest to grow. The "latter rain" is yet to come. The Holy Spirit will be poured out once again to fulfill the two important rains of the agricultural cycle of Israel.
Day of Trumpets - Warning of the coming judgment
Lev.23:24 reads, "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation."
On this day "trumpets" (plural) are blown, not just one trumpet. When Yeshua returns only one trumpet will be blown. Therefore, he will not return on the Day of Trumpets. This day is a shadow of a future time in Yahweh's plan of salvation when He will command the angels to begin blowing the seven trumpets of Revelation 8. These trumpet judgments begin the "Day of Yahweh" or the day of His wrath upon this world.
Day of Atonement - Yeshua's return
The atonement has been totally fulfilled by Yeshua's one time sacrifice for sins, however, there remains one aspect of this day that has not been fulfilled. It was on this day (the tenth day of the seventh month) that the "trumpet of the Jubilee" was blown as we read in Lev.235:8,9;
"And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land."
I believe Yeshua will return at the sound of the seventh trumpet of Rev.11:15, the same trumpet as in 1 Thess.4:16 and 1 Cor.15:52, the trumpet of Jubilee. The Jubilee signaled the time when liberty was proclaimed throughout the land and every man returned to his own family (Lev.25:10). When Yeshua returns at the sound of the Jubilee trumpet on the Day of Atonement, he will set the captives of death free. They will be granted liberty and they will return to their own family. Since Yahweh is their Father, they will return to His family in heaven.
Feast of Tabernacles - Millennium
Lev.23:39 - "Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto Yahweh seven days:"
After the harvest of souls is complete or after the final agricultural harvest is complete and the fruit of the land (true believers) is gathered or resurrected, the millennium will begin which is the reality of the shadow of this Feast.
"Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto Yahweh thy Elohim in the place which Yahweh shall choose: because Yahweh thy Elohim shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice." (Deut.16:13-15).
It is a time of rejoicing for those in Messiah as they see the fruit of their labors over the course of their walk with Yeshua. All the seeds they ever planted, all the toil and hardships they underwent to further the Kingdom of Yahweh is now reaped and brought into Yahweh's barn. They will now live forever in Yahweh's Kingdom.
Last Great Day - The New Earth
We finally come to the culmination of Yahweh's great plan of salvation. The Millennium has ended. The Great White Throne Judgment has been completed. Death and the grave have been thrown into the lake of fire. We come to a time spoken of by Yeshua on the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles in which he said;
"If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Yeshua was not yet glorified.)" (Jn.7:37-39)
This happened in part in Acts 2, but it will happen to all when Yahweh's Last Great Day is literally fulfilled after the Millennium when rivers of living water will flow out to the nations and the earth is restored to its former glory.
"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of [Yahweh] and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of [Yahweh] and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for [Yahweh] Elohim giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev.22:1-5)
Here is a summation up this great plan of salvation Almighty Yahweh offers to everyone through His Son Yeshua the Messiah:
Passover - Redemption and lifelong protection for the new believer.
Unleavened - The sanctification process begins as the new believer comes out of the world and puts away sin, false doctrine, hypocrisy, malice and wickedness.
Wavesheaf - Yeshua's resurrection paves the way for true believers to follow.
Feast of Weeks - The resurrection of the 288,000 firstfruits unto Yahweh.
Day of Trumpets - Warning trumpets. A wake-up call of the impending judgment upon the wicked.
Day of Atonement - Yeshua returns to set the captives of death free at Jubilee.
Feast of Tabernacles - The Millennial rest and rejoicing over the harvest of souls. The Kingdom has come!
Last Great Day - The new earth restored in all its glory.
I hope you will take part in this great plan of salvation by believing on the Master Yeshua the Messiah, being baptized for the remission of your sins, and walking in the newness of life that can only come through the only begotten Son of Yahweh.