Jo Blower from Agape is doing some project work for us and we want to use her Jewish expertise and writing skills to deepen our knowledge of God’s great plans and purposes. Jo has written us a piece on the feasts –we hope you enjoy Jo’s insights.

 

Something the World Prayer Centre has been hearing from God lately is the word “reset”. So on the yearly Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, that God instituted in His covenant with Israel, we reflected on God’s detailed instructions for that “reset” day, laid out in Leviticus 16.

It’s a day that God created to “reset” his relationship with His people, and wipe the slate clean. In effect, once a year, every year, God pressed the “restore factory settings” button on the Day of Atonement. Like all the Feasts in the Old Testament, these are the Feasts of the Lord. If you love the Bible and Jesus is your Lord, they are relevant to you too! We are not obliged to follow the Law of Moses since we have a new and better covenant in the Messiah, but if God puts something in the Bible, you can be sure it’s worth reading. There are many treasures to be gleaned from studying the Feasts of the Lord.

Apart from being full of details that point to the coming Messiah and his ministry, the biblical calendar has events in order to point prophetically to the first and second coming of Jesus. In essence, the Jewish calendar is God’s timepiece. Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts in His first coming, being the Passover lamb slain to make death “pass over” all who count on his blood, his resurrection fulfilling the festival of Firstfruits, and the Holy Spirit was sent at Pentecost, which is the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. After a long hiatus, the Autumn Feasts speak of Yeshua’s second coming. The Feast of Trumpets focus on the glorious return, the Day of Atonement refers to the Day of Judgement, and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) speaks of the great future we have to look forward to when we will “tabernacle” with God and live together with him for eternity.

Given that Yom Kippur points to the final judgement, the relief felt by all who go to God for forgiveness on this day is magnified a thousandfold. There is no God like the God of Israel, who himself took the initiative to wipe out the sin of the land in a single day! (Zechariah 3:9) The Hebrew Day of Atonement gives a foretaste of what Jesus did on the cross to liberate us from our burden of sin, and clear out all the blockages between us and God. We are forgiven and free! We can come directly into His presence and talk with Him with a clean conscience, knowing we are pure in His sight.

Like Esther risking her life to enter the presence of the King, it was a deadly enterprise to walk into the holy of holies. But thanks to the atonement that Jesus bought for us by his blood, our sin is wiped out and we are beckoned into God’s presence, any time of night or day. Now, like the King who beckoned Esther, God is asking, “What would you like me to do for you?”