This week we Christians will commemorate the prophetic fulfilment of some of the very special seven Biblical appointed days or festivals. We shall here briefly review all those festivals, and what they mean to us. Please keep in mind that all the festivals were rehearsals of what was to be fulfilled in Jesus.

The first festival was Passover, when every household sacrificed a lamb to God just as they did on the night when they were delivered from Pharaoh. For us Christians, Jesus fulfilled the festival of Passover at His crucifixion. He was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed exactly on the day of Passover to take away our sins. That is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

The next festival was the festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival was always celebrated the day after Passover, by eating unleavened bread. Jesus also fulfilled this festival when His sinless body, which could not decay or rot (Acts 13:35), was buried exactly the day after Passover.

The next festival was “first-fruits”. It was always observed on the first day of the week (our Sunday) immediately after Passover. 1 Corinthians 15:20 says: Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Jesus therefore fulfilled the “first-fruits” when He rose from the grave. Those who die in Him will also rise one day as we shall see later.

Next came the Festival of Weeks or Pentecost. It is called Pentecost because it is celebrated 50 days after First Fruits. (‘Penta’ means five. For example, a pentagon is a five-sided polygon). Jesus also fulfilled this festival when He poured out the Holy Spirit on His disciples exactly fifty days after His resurrection.

Then came the Festival of Trumpets. It was to be celebrated by blowing trumpets on the 1st day of the 7th month of the Jewish year. This festival, unlike the first four, has not yet been fulfilled in Jesus. It is the one whose fulfilment we are awaiting. Since Jesus fulfilled the first four festivals on the exact days when they were supposed to be celebrated, we can be sure that He will also fulfill “Trumpets” exactly on the day it is celebrated.This will be the day – which we Christians call the Rapture – when we shall be taken to heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

The second last festival is called The Day of Atonement. To ‘atone’ is to take away sin. The Day of Atonement was the one day in the year when the High Priest would take blood into the holy of holies so that the sins of the entire nation of Israel would be removed. This day was always celebrated nine days after the festival of trumpets.This festival has also not yet been fulfilled in Jesus but it will be fulfilled the day when all Israel will finally acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah. Then their sins will then be forgiven and, they will be saved. You see, after the Rapture, there is going to be a war in Israel called the Battle of Armageddon. Many nations will attack Israel. Just before Israel loses the war, Jesus will descend from heaven as a Warrior-King to fight for Israel. He will be victorious. At that time, Israel, which now does not believe that Jesus is their Messiah, will finally acknowledge that He is indeed their Messiah. Then their sins will be forgiven. The Day of Atonement will then have been fulfilled in Jesus.

The last festival is “Tabernacles”. The word ‘tabernacle’ means to ‘dwell’ or to ‘live with’. Tabernacles was always celebrated five days after the Day of Atonement. The Jews celebrate this day by dwelling in temporary dwellings made of branches of trees just as they did in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Revelation 20:1-4 reads: Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished . ..Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” This means that during the feast of tabernacles which will be for a 1000 years, Jesus will reign here on earth. The righteous saints who will have been raptured, and those who were killed during the great tribulation, will return with Jesus to reign with Him as kings.This will be a reward for their faithful service. During those 1000 years, the Devil will be bound away in the bottomless pit.

In the coming few days, we shall be celebrating Passover (when Jesus died), Unleavened Bread (when He was buried), and First Fruits (when He rose from the dead). However, we need to remember that more festivals are yet to be fulfilled. Of special interest to us should be the fulfilment of “Trumpets” which will be the Rapture.

God saved us so that we might live with Him forever. He also wants to reward us with the privilege of reigning as kings with His son Jesus. Our part is to love God by living according to His commandments, and to serve Him faithfully in whatever He requires of us.

Jesus is returning soon brothers and sisters. Therefore, we must put our lives in order by first and foremost living holy lives. For the Bible says in Hebrews 12:14 that: “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” Being balokole is not enough to take us to heaven; we must also live like balokole if we are to experience the fulfilment of “Trumpets” and “Tabernacles”.

Happy Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First-Fruits.