As the fall feasts are less than a week away, there's no time like the present on starting with an introduction. For those of you that were reading during the spring feasts, you've got a head start so feel free to skip the next paragraph.
God's Biblical Calendar
Did you know that God has a calendar, and it's not the one that has January through December on it? God's calendar is (of course) in His Word; specifically, Leviticus 23. As you read this chapter, you will find that there are four feasts in the spring (Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits and Pentecost - Pesach, Matzah, HaBikkurim and Shavu'ot) and three in the fall (Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles - Yom Teruah or Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot). Additionally, Leviticus 23 discusses one more special day, but this one comes every week. Shabbat, or the Sabbath, is a day of rest that God's people are to observe every seventh day.
God's Calendar = Messianic Prophetic Timeline
The Messiah Yeshua is the living Torah. That means that everything (EVERYTHING) that He said and did was in accordance and in fulfillment of the Torah, including the feasts of the LORD. With the spring feasts it is very evident how Yeshua fulfilled them. He died on Passover and arose on Yom HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits. Fifty days later on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost), the Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) came down and filled the believers. For more on the spring feasts, see here and here.
As for the fall feasts, we know that Messiah Yeshua will be fulfilling them as well. Rosh HaShanah (known Biblically as Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets) will be the day that the great shofar is sounded, and Yeshua will be revealed. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will be a day of judgment. Finally, on Sukkot (a seven day festival), God Himself will dwell with His people. We do not know the day (which year) or the hour (what time on that day), but we do know if Yeshua fulfilled all of the spring feasts on the exact day, then it's pretty clear that if He is who He said He was, then all the fall feasts will be fulfilled as well.
A Quick Note on the Meaning of Fulfillment
When I say that Yeshua "fulfilled" the feasts, please do not read "ended" or "stopped." Just like on my wedding day, my husband "fulfilled" his role as my husband but did not stop being my husband after that day. I am using the word "fulfill" as in "to make complete" or "to bring to fullness", as I believe it was used in Matthew 5.
Fall Feast Schedule for 2008
Days that are a Biblical "day of rest."
Rosh HaShanah - Begins at sundown on Monday, September 29.
Yom Kippur - Begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 8.
First Day of Sukkot - Begins at sundown on Monday, October 13.
Last Day of Sukkot - Begins at sundown on Monday, October 20.
More To Come...
Check back in the next few days for specific posts on how we celebrate each holiday. I'd LOVE to hear how you celebrate the feasts, or if you are new, if you have any questions. Maybe you'd like to share your favorite holiday recipe or another idea?