Most people have heard how the people of Israel were taken miraculously out of Egypt and away from the oppression of Pharaoh. To remember this event the religious people of Israel celebrate an annual feast called “Passover” (remembering how God’s angel ‘passed over’ the houses of Israel in Egypt and only struck the houses of the Egyptians). In fact, this is just one of seven annual Jewish festivals or feasts mentioned in the Old Testament.
But are these festivals or feasts really important in the 21st century? Are they of interest to Gentile nations?
Why concern ourselves with Old Testament Jewish festivals?
These festivals are important today for two basic reasons:
- 1. They are vitally important to the people of Israel today (today’s ancestral “Jews”) since the God of Israel says so! God told Moses to instruct the people of Israel in the way of seven holy feasts (Lev 23). These are specific times in the Jewish year which are set apart to Elohim (God) in order to read and understand His laws and then apply them in their lives. So today’s Jewish festivals are really feasts of the LORD (Lev 23.2) – God’s feasts. They have a deep spiritual significance, and some are “statutes for ever” and go on into the next age on this earth.
- 2. That leads us to the second reason why the feasts are important today. There is a hidden meaning (a coded message) embedded in the seven feasts conveying a message for all mankind. The feasts are not solely for the Jews. It speaks of how God deals with all mankind throughout this age and into the next (the Millennium). In fact, some of the feasts are mandated for both Jew and Gentile in the Millennial period, as in the Feast of Tabernacles:
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Zechariah 14 verse 16)
So Israel’s festivals (feasts) today are full of deep significance to both Jew and Gentile and should not be ignored.