God’s Festivals

by

 

Marjorie Hartman

 

 

Few people in main stream Christianity have ever heard of God’s festivals which are listed and commanded in the Old Testament.  Splinter groups who do know them and keep them do not entirely understand why they are keeping them or quite when they should be observing them.  Jews who do keep them for the most part are totally unaware of their meaning.  They also don’t quite know when or how to observe them.

 

God’s five festivals are listed in Lev. 23.  They are the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Firstfruits, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.  God said in essence that each of these feasts were to be kept in all your generations.  In other words, forever.

 

Those in the Christian world who have read of the feasts usually believe that they are Jewish feasts.  They are also likely to believe that the laws pertaining to keeping the feasts were done away with when Christ was nailed to the cross.  Thus they think that the feasts have nothing to do with them, and therefore there is no reason for them to observe the feasts.  No concept exists in their minds that these feasts, in all likelihood, were kept from the beginning of man’s existence on earth centuries before the Jews were ever born, and that they likely will be kept throughout all eternity.

 

Of those who do keep the feasts, most have believed that they were not commanded until the time of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.  But there is some biblical, archeological, and historical evidence that the feasts were commanded from the beginning.  Indeed, since the time of Adam and Eve.  And there is also biblical evidence which suggests that they will be kept throughout all eternity.

 

Three of the feasts are somewhat similar in nature in that they celebrate the three harvests of mankind into the kingdom of God.  The Feast of Passover celebrates the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of mankind.  Three days after his death, the barley sheaf wave offering from the spring barley harvest is waved before the Lord. (Lev. 23:10, 11).  This ritual celebrates the harvest of Christ into the spiritual kingdom of God. When he was resurrected from his grave, he became the first of the firstfruits from among mankind to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

  Fifty days later, during the summer wheat harvest, the Feast of Firstfruits celebrates the harvest of the saints, the firstfruits,  into the kingdom of God  This is symbolized in the two loaves of wheat bread made from the summer wheat  being waved before the Lord. (Lev.23:16, 17).  The waving of both the barley wave sheaf offering and the two loaves of wheat bread  before the Lord  indicate that both harvests are spiritual in nature.

 

                1 Cor. 15:42 So it will be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown perishable, it is

                raised  imperishable.  44.…..it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

 

After the fall harvest is stored in the barns, the Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated. (Lev. 23:39-41) This feast celebrates the harvests of almost all of the rest of humanity into God’s kingdom. That none of the fall produce is waved before the Lord indicates that this Feast is a not a spiritual harvest of mankind into the kingdom of God, but rather a physical harvest of mankind into His kingdom.  These three feasts are to be commemorated throughout all eternity as a sort of birthday celebrations of these three harvests of mankind into the kingdom of God.

 

That these three feasts were planned before mankind even emerged onto the world scene is made evident by the eternal nature of the symbols that are a part of the celebrations.  The sun and the moon are to eternally mark the time of observing these feasts.

 

  This article will especially focus on how the celebration of the Feast of Passover had been planned and set in motion before mankind inhabited the earth.  Biblical, archeological, and historical evidence will be examined which will show how the Feast of Passover may have been kept since the time of Adam and Eve, how it was kept down through the centuries, and how it will be kept throughout all eternity.   

 

In studying the Bible it is always a good idea to keep the big picture in mind along with a good strong dose of plain old common sense.  Then we are less likely to be led astray.  Let’s try to see that big picture as we review the evidence concerning the feasts.

 

 The Heavenly Decree

 

 The first  evidence that the feasts were to be observed is inferred in the first chapter of Genesis.  God issues

a decree that in essence commands that the sun and the moon were to mark the time of keeping the festivals.  This

is not immediately obvious without a deeper understanding of all that is involved.

 

Gen: 1:14-16 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark the seasons (MOED) festivals) and days and years.…  God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.

 

The Hebrew word MOED is defined in Strong’s Concordance in part as: an appointment i.e. a fixed time or season;

spec. a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically

the congregation; by extension; the place of meeting.…

 

It would appear on a surface reading of the above scripture that the sun and moon were to mark the seasons in terms of the way we think of seasons.  New spring growth, the heat of summer, the falling leaves of autumn, and the ice and snow of winter.  But when we look at the contexts in which MOED is used, we find that is not quite the case.  To be sure, these three feasts are indeed held during seasonal changes.  The Passover Feast is held during the spring barley harvest.  The Feast of Firstfruits is held during the summer wheat harvest, and the Feast of Tabernacles is held in the fall after the fall produce is harvested.

 

But when we look more closely at the definition and the contexts in which MOED is used, we see that the congregation is to assemble at a particular time in celebration of the spiritual and physical harvests symbolized by these events.  Look at how MOED is used in the following biblical contexts.

 

Lev. 23:4 “These are the Lord’s appointed feasts (MOED);

Num. 9:2 “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed (MOED) time.

 

As can be seen in the definition and the context of the Hebrew word MOED, the word does not really mark the seasons as might be assumed on a surface reading of the original decree, but instead marks the time the congregation must assemble to celebrate God’s commanded festivals.  By commanding that such eternal bodies as the sun and moon were to mark the time of observing the festivals, God makes clear that this was to be an eternal commandment.  The sun and the moon were to forever mark the time of the observance of the festivals.  Since God ordered such eternal bodies as the sun and the moon to mark the festivals forever, this strongly infers that mankind were also to keep the festivals forever in accordance with the sun and the moon.  He certainly does not mean them to be observed according to the variety of  paper calendars contrived by men.

 

 There seem to be no written record of God issuing commands to observe the festivals until the time of the Exodus which was approximately 2500 years after his creation of mankind.  Therefore most of the Christian world assumed that the observation of the festivals did not begin until that time.  But why on earth would God command the sun and moon to mark the festivals and not have any observance of them until after another few thousand years had passed?  As is often the case, God does not always show himself giving any decrees from the beginning.  But that does not mean that the laws were not in force.  It just means that he issued no written record at the beginning.  Nevertheless, events suggest that the laws were indeed in force from the outset.  Such seems to be the case with the festivals beginning with Genesis.

 

 

 

Abel and Cain

 

In this first scene, Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, is shown bringing fat portions of his firstlings as offerings to the Lord.  But where on earth did he get the idea that he should do so?  There was no written commandment at that time for such an offering until the time of the Exodus that the firstborn belonged to God.  Yet here was Abel offering fat portions of his first born animals.

 

Gen. 4:2-5 …Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought

 some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.  But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.

 

Ex. 13:1, 2 The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.  The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.”

 

But not only was Abel sacrificing offerings of his firstborn, he was also giving fat portions of his animals.  This commandment does not begin to show up until Leviticus.  The first chapter of Leviticus commands that a burnt offering be skinned, and its pieces plus the head and the fat be placed on burning wood on the altar and burned up.  Thus in a burnt offering the flesh, fat and head are to be consumed by fire.  But in the case of fellowship, sin and guilt offerings, only the fat portions of the animals were to be offered and burnt on the altar. 

 

Lev. 3:3 From the fellowship offering he is to bring a sacrifice made to the Lord by fire: all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat around them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys.  Then Aaron’s sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is on the burning wood,….

 

Thus God shows Abel offering fat portions of his firstborn in Genesis even though these specific commandments were not recorded until Exodus and Leviticus.  But was this offering made at a feast?  During his reign, King Josiah of Judah discovered the Book of the Law, and he and his people pledged themselves to worship and obey God.  And they kept the Passover feast during which they sacrificed burnt offerings and fat portions.

 

2 Chron. 35:1, 14 Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month.  (14) ...the priests, the descendants of

Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions until nightfall.

 

Josiah’s priests offered fat portions during the Passover feast.  Was it at a Passover feast that Abel, the son of Adam

and Eve, offered his fat portions?  God only says that he was pleased with Abel’s offering.  But he was not pleased with Cain’s offering of the fruits of the soil

 

Many theologians conjecture that Cain’s fruit of the soil offering which was so displeasing to God was rotten fruit that had fallen from the trees.  But it may well indeed have been that he had stingily failed to offer the firstfruits of his animals which was the real reason that God was displeased with him.  God classifies Cain as a tiller of the soil.  But even farmers probably kept a few animals for meat, eggs, milk, and also skins for blankets, capes, vests, cloaks and shoes.  It was not, after all, quite as though they could jump in their cars and dash down to the neighborhood grocery for a dozen eggs, a gallon of   milk, and a cut of meat in those days.  Had Cain had firstborn animals,  then he would have been required to offer them to God just as Abel did with whose offering God was well pleased

 

Also Abel and Cain’s offerings were brought to the Lord and seemingly at about the same time.  Thus it appears as  though they did not sacrifice their offerings right where they lived, but that they took them some place else.  In the occasions of some other sacrifices, the offerings were made right on the spot.  The fact that Cain and Abel seem to have taken their sacrifices to a different place at about the same time appears to suggest that it could have been a special event.  Could it indeed have been the occasion of a festival?  God does not say that it was, but the evidence  indicates that possibility.  This evidence also seems to infer that God’s festivals were kept from the time of Adam and Eve since it was their sons involved in the offerings.

 

America’s Stonehenge

 

An archeological site has been found near Salem, New Hampshire which is called America’s Stonehenge.  It is one of the largest and possibly oldest megalithic sites in North America. As an accurate astronomically aligned calendar,  it was and still can be used to determine specific solar and lunar events of the year.  Rocks are arranged in such a manner as to reveal the time of the spring equinox and also the summer and winter solstices.  A huge rock table served as an altar.  The site is dated at about 4000 B.C. 

 

Remember that big picture we need to keep in mind.  Let’s take a look at that picture and ask ourselves how it came to be that 4000 years before Christ and perhaps a few thousand years before the exodus that there may have been people in America who may have been using the sun and the moon to mark the time of offering sacrifices.  Else why were there rocks arranged to keep time and a sacrificial table?  Could these people have been descendants of Adam and Eve who had learned the laws concerning how and when to offer sacrifices and who had migrated to America?  Note again that this event seems to have transpired before the Jews ever came into existence as a tribe so this could not have come from the Jews.

 

 This archeological picture suggests that the festival laws were in effect from the very beginning.  Though there was no recorded edict from God that the festivals were to be kept, nevertheless the arrangement of rocks in Salem may have been by descendants of Adam and Eve so that they could keep the festivals at the proper time of the year.

 

This, of course, is all speculation. But the need for these people to sacrifice offerings at certain times of the year in all likelihood did not arise out of nowhere, but were more apt to have been a taught behavior.  This is what the big picture and common sense suggest.

 

Noah’s Burnt Offerings

 

After the flood had subsided, the first thing Noah did after he, his family, and all the animals came out of the ark was to build an altar and sacrifice burnt offerings of some  of the clean animals to God.  How did Noah happen to know what a burnt offering was and that he should sacrifice only clean animals to God?  After all, the Bible (up to this point) does not show God commanding that the people must sacrifice burnt offerings from clean animals to him.  The big picture suggests that at some time in the past, the people were taught sacrificial laws.  Else how did Noah know he should make these offerings?

 

Gen. 8:20, 21 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.

 

The method for sacrificing a burnt offering is commanded in the first chapter of Leviticus.  He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.…; Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar.

 

Apparently Noah knew what a burnt offering was since that is what he offered when he came out of the ark.  Note that he also offered only clean animal sacrifices.  A clean animal is one that feeds on only grasses and grains, but an unclean animal eats the carcasses of diseased and dead creatures.

 

The Druids at Stonehenge

 

An oral history exists of the Druids performing their priestly duties at the archeological site of Stonehenge in Britain much in the same way as the Israeli priesthood would exercise their duties centuries later.  Though there is not much that exists in the way of archeological or written evidence, there is nevertheless a considerable oral history conveyed down through time via the means of poetry and ballads.  It is these that convey a similarity between the Israeli priesthood and the Druids at Stonehenge. 

 

According to E. Raymond Capt who wrote about Stonehenge, the Druid priesthood wore robes with gold breast plates similar to the Hebrews.  They laid hands on the animals’ heads while confessing their sins.  It was believed that the slain animals provided expiation of sin.  Priests were exempted from taxation and military service.  They believed in the Mosaic account of creation.  And they believed in God and the coming Savior.

 

It is believed that the Druids lived around 1800 B. C.  which would have been about the same time as Abraham.  This would have been centuries before the Exodus when the Bible shows God giving his laws to Moses.  Yet here is a priesthood that wears similar clothing and breast plates, confesses their sins while laying hands on the animals’ heads which are to be sacrificed as burnt offerings.  Etc. Etc.   Etc. 

 

Also Stonehenge is a giant solar calendar.  It times the spring equinox, and also the summer and the winter solstices. Its primitive accuracy is nothing less than phenomenal.  God’s festivals are required to be celebrated at specific times of the year.  With this giant solar calendar, the Druids evidently had the means to know when the feasts should be observed.  Their set of beliefs along with their giant solar calendar strongly suggest that here were a people celebrating God’s feasts years before God gave the laws concerning the feasts  to Moses during the Exodus.

 

Looking at the big picture again, we must ask ourselves if it was possible that these were migratory descendants of Adam and Eve through Noah.  Remember that Adam and Eve’s son, Abel, was offering fat portions from the firstlings of his animals just as king Josiah would several millennium later.  Therefore, it’s very likely that the Druids were very well aware of when and how to keep the feasts what with the Stonehenge clock and their beliefs.

 

That big picture we should keep looking at suggests that God at some previous time had already commanded the sacrificial laws.  Noah must have learned these from his ancestors.  And that in all probability is why Noah sacrificed burnt offerings of the clean animals when he came out of the ark.

 

Isaac’s Aborted Sacrifice

 

In Genesis 22 God commands Abraham to take his only beloved son to a certain place and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.  But just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into his son’s chest and God saw Abraham’s obedience, he stayed his hand and stopped the sacrifice.  The point here is that Abraham knew exactly what a burnt offering consisted of even though the Bible never stated the requirements until the time of the exodus. 

 

Gen. 22:2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about. “

 

Abraham’s son also seemed to be cognizant of what was necessary for a burnt offering.  On the way to the sacrificial site, Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the burnt offering was.  Not only did he not inquire as to what a burnt offering was, he knew that a lamb should be offered.  A lamb is a clean animal according to God’s law.  A clean animal is one that eats grasses and grains whereas an unclean animal feeds on carcasses.  The Bible does not show the laws given concerning the clean and unclean animals until the time of the Exodus.  But note that here again, Abraham and his son already appear to know that only clean animals may be sacrificed to God as is implicit in Isaac’s question to his father regarding the whereabouts of the lamb for the offering.  After the sacrifice of Isaac was aborted, God provided a clean animal, a ram, to be sacrificed in his place

 

Gen. 22.7 “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

 

Abraham lived at about 1800 B.C. which would have been about 400 years before the exodus when God gave his laws to Moses.  Yet events in Abraham’s life suggest that he was already familiar with God’s laws.  Therefore, in that big picture God must have at some previous time, made them known to mankind.

 

The Exodus Sacrifices

 

Finally we arrive at the time of the Exodus when the sacrificial laws were given to Moses, and through him, to the people of Israel.  There are many fascinating points to be made concerning this whole scenario.  Note first the laws that God issues to Moses.  The people were to choose a perfect lamb on the tenth day after the first new moon.  On the fourteenth day, they are to kill it, and sprinkle the blood on the doorframes of their homes.  Then they must roast the lamb, and eat it that night in what is the Passover supper.  This would protect their firstborn from being killed by the death angel.

 

Ex. 12:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,” This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.  Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family….   The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.  Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put some of the blood on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.

 

The more I read and studied this Passover account, the more I began to see and believe that this was very likely not the first Passover held by Israel.  Rather, it was much more as though these people were quite familiar with the Passover festival. Indeed, it seemed as though God was re-stating to them the major points of how to keep the Passover.  Don’t forget that Adam’s son, Abel, sacrificed fat portions of the first-born of his flock.

 

Abraham had been warned by God that his descendants would live as strangers and slaves in a foreign land for four hundred years.  Gen.15:13 …your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.  God told Isaac that his father, “Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws (Torot--pl for Torah)” 

 

What is interesting here is that up to this point in the Bible, God had not shown himself as issuing any decrees or laws to anyone.  But he must have done so since he stated that Abraham had kept them. Therefore, at some point previously, Abraham had to have been taught about God’s laws and decrees for God to have proclaimed that Abraham had obeyed them.  Abraham would have passed on these laws and decrees to his descendants, the very descendants who would later migrate to the foreign land of Egypt.  And as is the practice of most migrants when they enter a foreign land, they would have clustered together and would have continued to practice their ancient traditions.

 

In Egypt, they were pretty much confined to a 30 square mile area of land called Goshen.  The Egyptians believed that the Israelis were socially beneath them and did not bother to associate with them.  To a large degree, this practice insulated the Israelis from adopting the pagan practices of the Egyptians, and it permitted the Israelis the freedom to continue their own traditions that they would have learned from their patriarch, Abraham.

 

  Many reading the account of the exodus Passover may regard it as an interesting story.  But there is much more meaning to the story of the Passover than surface reading would suggest.   Indeed, the overwhelming meaning revealed is how the whole Passover scene symbolizes how God will redeem a first-born people into the kingdom of God.  Let’s take a closer look at this scenario and see how it reflects this future redemption of the elect.

 

One of the first indications of this phenomenon is revealed in God’s instructions to Moses.  He told Moses to tell the people of Israel, “…each man is to take a lamb for his family….”  Then God turns from speaking about how everyone else is to choose a lamb to telling Moses that, “Your lamb is to be a year-old lamb without defect…”KJV

 

Notice what is happening here.  God goes from speaking about the lambs of the rest people of Israel to speaking personally of Moses’ lamb.  He says to Moses “your  lamb.”  The Hebrew word for your is not singular as in the lamb belonging to Moses only, but instead, is plural, meaning that the lamb was to be sacrificed for a group of people, 

 

Remember that God had already commanded that all the rest of the people were to choose a lamb for each pf their   families.  So what group of people was Moses’ lamb to be sacrificed for?  Moses was a priest, and thus was part of the priesthood.  Therefore, it could only have been this group of people for whom this one particular lamb was to be slain.

 

Further proof that a single lamb was to be sacrificed for a particular group of people is in the Hebrew word which stood for the lamb.  It contains three Hebrew letters.  The first letter is aleph meaning first.  The last letter is tav which means last. The aleph and tav, or “the first and the last” is one of the many names of the Savior. 

 

This Hebrew word is not translated as such, nor is it translated that way in the first verse of Genesis.  In fact, it is not translated at all.  But in the Exodus account, translators inserted the word it to stand for the lamb.  Another very important point is that this Hebrew word is singular meaning only one lamb, the lamb that was to be sacrificed on behalf of the priesthood. It was this single lamb that would symbolize how Christ would later be sacrificed for the salvation of mankind.

 

Next God told Moses that the “whole congregation of Israel must kill it.”   This does not mean that each member of the house of Israel must participate in the killing of this single lamb, but rather that the entire congregation must assemble and be present for the slaying of this one lamb. Their assembled presence would symbolize how the sins of this people required this particular sacrifice to be slain.  This also symbolized how the sins of all mankind would require that Jesus Christ, who was without sin, must be sacrificed to pay the death penalty in the place of those who were guilty of sin, thus providing salvation for all mankind so that they might be able to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

After they had eaten the Passover supper that night, like an ancient Hebrew bridegroom who would come like a thief in the night, God would steal them away, and take them to Mount Sinai.  There, he would enter into a sort of marriage covenant with them.  This would symbolize how at the time of the end, Jesus Christ would come for his bride, the saints.   Like a thief in the night, he would steal her away, take her to his Father’s heavenly home, and marry his bride.

 

Hezekiah Celebrates Passover

 

For further proof that a single Passover was slain before the rest of the Passover lambs, the account of Hezekiah re-establishing the Passover rites needs to be studied.  The people were not able to keep the Passover in the first month as commanded by God since they had not finished purifying the temple and re-consecrating the priests in time.  For those not able to celebrate the Passover in the first month, God had made provision for it to be kept in the second month which was the case in this situation.

 

Note in this account that a single Passover lamb was slain first.  Then the priests and Levites took up their positions to slaughter the rest of the lambs probably in somewhat of an assembly line affair.  Note also that they had learned how to perform their tasks from the Law of Moses indicating that that was the ritual he had used.

 

2 Chron. 30:15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month.  16.    Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God.  17.…the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs… ..

 

Josiah Celebrates Passover

 

By the time Josiah became king, Israel had fallen away from the worship of God again.  He purged the land of its idolatrous worship.  When the Book of the Law that God had given to Moses was found in the temple, Josiah required the people to live by it.  He re-established and kept the Passover.

 

Note once again that in this celebration, a single Passover lamb was first killed.  Then the Levites assumed their positions, again no doubt, in assembly line order, to kill the rest of the Passover lambs.

 

                2Chron. 35:1    Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was                            slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month.

 

                5   “Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow                          countrymen, the lay people.  6   Slaughter the Passover lambs, ….”

 

10-14   The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as the king had ordered.  The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests sprinkled the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.  They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the people to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses.  They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, cauldrons, and pans and served them quickly to all the people.  After this, they made preparations for themselves and the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions until nightfall.  So the Levites made preparations for themselves and the Aaronic priests.

 

The Temple Passover

 

Historical records describe how the Passover was observed during temple times, especially at the time of Christ.  The priests would go into the field on the tenth day of the first month of the year after the spring equinox to choose a perfect year-old male lamb, one without defect.  The road on which the lamb was taken to the temple would be strewn with palm branches, and hosannas would be sung.  The lamb would be tied to the altar of the temple until the fourteenth day of the month.   Each day the people could scrutinize the lamb to make sure that it was perfect and without defect.

 

On the fourteenth day of the month, the lamb would be bound on the altar at what would be nine o’clock in the morning.  At three in the afternoon, the priest would slit its throat, and he would then announce, “It is finished.”

 

The Passover of the Lamb of God

 

In much the same way, Jesus, the Lamb of God, would make his triumphal entry into Jerusalem down the same path that the sacrificial lamb, had been led.  Cloaks and branches would be laid on the road, and hosannas would be sung to him.

Mark 11:7   When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields… 

Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

 

             Hosanna!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Blessed is the coming kingdom   Of our father David!”  “Hosanna in the highest!”

 

On the day of his crucifixion, he would be nailed to the cross at nine in the morning, the same time the lamb is bound on the altar.  At the exact same time as the lamb’s throat would be slit and the priest would announce that it was finished was the same exact time that Christ would say, “It is finished.” and would die on the stake.

 

Thus were the prophecies fulfilled that were uttered from the very beginning. God would sacrifice his only beloved Son, the Lamb of God, who was without sin, to redeem mankind from paying the price of their own sins.  By his shed blood, the saints, the first fruits of mankind, would be washed clean, and become as white as snow in their bright linen clothes.  In this sinless state, the heavenly gates would be opened, and they could enter into the Beautiful City.

 

Just as God had stolen Israel out of the land of Egypt like a thief in the night, so Christ will come for his bride, the elect, like a thief in the night.

 

Rev. 16:15 “Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

 

And just as God took Israel to Mount Sinai where he entered into a marriage covenant with them, just so Jesus Christ will take the elect to heavenly Mount Zion, to heavenly Jerusalem where he will marry his bride, whom he had bought with his own flesh and blood.

 

Rev. 21:9 …”Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

 

The Eternal Passover

 

The last eight chapters of the Book of Ezekiel describe what life will be like here on earth throughout all eternity.  Chapters 45 and 46 specifically describe the observance of all the festivals and Sabbaths that had been commanded in the Old Testament. The Passover, which has been  the main focus of this article, will also be kept.

 

Ezek. 45:21 “ ‘In the first month on the fourteenth day you are to observe the  Passover, a feast lasting seven days, during which you shall eat bread made without yeast.

 

Summary

 

Before God created mankind to dwell on the earth, he set in motion his plan to sacrifice his only beloved son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of mankind.  He also set in motion the Passover festival that would celebrate both the sacrifice of Jesus, and his resurrection and harvest as the first born into the kingdom of God.

 

                Rev. 13:8 …all whose names who have not been written in the book of life belonging to the  Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

 

                1 Pet. 1:19 but with the precious blood of the Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world… . 

 

Then next before God created man, he decreed that the sun and moon were to mark the keeping of the festivals that celebrate these great events. Practically the entire world recognized the new year as beginning after the spring equinox, usually April 1st.  That is probably why there are ancient edifices scattered around the world marking the spring equinox.  Europe observed April 1st until 1562 when Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar decreeing that the new year would begin on Jan.1.  England and the colonies did not follow suit until 1752 when Charles IX introduced the Gregorian calendar also causing the new year to begin on Jan. 1.  Those who stuck to Apr. 1 as the beginning of the new year were castigated as April Fools.

 

Just after the spring equinox at the time of the Exodus,  God told Moses, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.”   (Ex. 12:2) Thus does God establish  that the first month after the spring equinox is to head up all the rest of the months of the year. This is additional confirmation that the new year begins at the time of the spring equinox, and that it always had until it was changed by Pope Gregory to January first.

 

When Christ returns to rule over the earth, the spring equinox will once again be reestablished as the beginning of the new year just as it had been at first.  The festivals will again be observed so that God’s requirement that his feasts be kept throughout all our generations, will be obeyed. 

 

More proof that the spring equinox marks the beginning of the new year can be found in a measuring device called the Golden Rectangle rule.  This rule is also known as the Golden Section, Divine Proportion, and Sacred Mean.  Medieval writers called it Divine Proportion in architecture and arts.

 

The use of this rule can be found in God’s creation of the spirals of a nautilus shell, the whorls of a sunflower, the arrangement of leaves on a branch, and the scales on pine cones.  Mankind utilized this rule in the building of the Parthenon in Greece, the Pyramid at Gizeh  in Egypt, and the United Nations Building in New York.

 

What is most fascinating of all is the effect of the Golden Rectangle rule at the time of the spring equinox in Jerusalem. If posts are situated at the the southeast and southwest corner of a building there, as the sun crosses over, a shadow will be cast from each post diagonally across the roof to the opposite corner.  This in effect creates a perfect X on the roof of the building.  The use of this rule causes a  perfect X to mark the spot.  This spot is Jerusalem, the city that God loves, the city where God has chosen to put his Name, the city that God has declared the center of the nations, the city where he would establish his temple, the city where he would sacrifice his only beloved Son, and the city where he would be resurrected from the dead.

 

                Ezek.4:5 …This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, … . 

                2 Chron 6:6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, … .

                Ps. 78:68 … but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved.

                2 Chron. 6:9 …he. (Solomon) is the one who will build the temple for my Name (in Jerusalem).

                Mark 15: 37, 38 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

                Luke 24:5, 6 …”Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he is risen!

                               

From the beginning of man’s creation, biblical, archeological, and historical evidence suggest that the festivals were kept from the time of Adam and Eve.  That they will be kept throughout all eternity is supported biblically in Ezekiel, and in their timing according to the sun and the moon.

 

The theme of Christ as the sacrificial lamb is carried throughout the Bible.  Abel, who offered the firstling from among his lambs.  Isaac, in the aborted sacrifice of his own son.  Moses, offering a specific sacrificial lamb for the priesthood.  Hezekiah, and then Josiah who each offered a single Passover lamb before their priesthoods assumed positions for the slaughter of multitudes of lambs.  The history of the temple priesthood choosing a particular lamb for sacrifice before the massive sacrifice of the rest of the lambs.  Then, at last, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God.  It is why the Passover festival must be and will be observed forever 

 

The eventual perversions of the feasts hid their original meaning and the reason for their celebrations.  But when Christ returns to restore order to the world, these festivals will again be kept and celebrated as God had planned from the beginning, before mankind was created to populate the earth.

 

The absolute awesomeness of God Almighty in the forethought and planning of his entire creation is astounding.  It quite literally takes the breath away.  That he assigned the sun and the moon to mark the festivals he instituted to celebrate the harvests of mankind into the kingdom of God.  That he would require the time of the  spring equinox to begin the new year.  Then that he would cause the spring equinox  to cross Jerusalem with an X to mark the spot where he would place his Name, build his temple, sacrifice and resurrect his only beloved Son.  And finally, that he would cause a Bible to be written that would record and prophesy these events, and that would also celebrate and memorialize them.

 

All of this reveals a God Almighty whose glory and splendor are so great as to be almost beyond our human comprehension.  His mighty glory is deserving of our deepest reverence and our greatest love.  With all our hearts and minds, let us adore him, praise him, and worship him forever and ever and ever.

               

*  GOD’s TEXTBOOK by Marjorie Hartman , a book on end time prophecy, is available online or may be ordered in the local bookstores.