Skip to content

Jesus’ Fulfillment of the Biblical Feasts

As fewer and fewer people in the United States, each year celebrate the events of Holy Week, I believe it is imperative to communicate why we can be certain that these events are historically true and are of eternal significance.

As fewer and fewer people in the United States, each year celebrate the events of Holy Week, I believe it is imperative to communicate why we can be certain that these events are historically true and are of eternal significance. The case can be made from a wide range of perspectives, but here I am focusing specifically on how the feasts of the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus, literally on the very days they took place, illustrating that God has a master plan that begins in the pages of Genesis and ends in the Book of Revelation.

Video by Living Strategically

The Jewish calendar begins on the day of their exodus from Egypt. The exodus includes the Passover meal, the Red Sea crossing, and the revelation of the law and the ten commandments on Mt. Horeb. The historical evidence for these events is quite substantial and will be addressed in future posts.

Key elements of the law were the seven feasts: The Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus fulfilled the first four of these and will fulfill the final three at the end of the age when Christ returns.

Christ’s entry into Jerusalem fell on no specific feast day, but there is reason to believe that it occurred on the same day Israelites were to bring “lambs without blemish” into their homes for preparation. And so almost 1,500 years after the first Passover in Egypt, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, a lamb without blemish.

The first Jewish feast is the Passover. The first Passover meal consisted of Lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and almost certainly, wine, although not specifically mentioned. During the Passover meal, Jesus took two elements of the meal and revealed their ultimate fulfillment in him. The three pieces of unleavened bread were placed in the Afikomen (bag with three sections). Jesus took the center piece of unleavened bread and broke it, declaring “This is my body.” It was previously unknown why there were three pieces of bread, but today we realize they represent the Trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There are four cups of wine in the Passover meal. We know that Jesus lifted up the third, the Cup of Redemption, because of the timing, following the meal. The cup represented the blood of Jesus, who would redeem us, and take away our sins.

The crucifixion of Jesus did not take place on a specific holy day, but it represented the fulfillment of the broken bread of the Passover meal. Jesus first declared its meaning and then fulfilled it through His death. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread Christ’s body, the bread of life was broken for us.

It should not come as a surprise that the day of Christ’s resurrection took place on the first day of the Festival of First Fruits. It is not by accident that the Apostle Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” The Israelites celebrated the first fruits of the harvest. Jesus represented the first fruits of those who would be raised to everlasting life.

Later, on Pentecost, when the Jews were celebrating their Feast of Harvests, God poured out His Holy Spirit on those gathered in Jerusalem. While many were celebrating the harvest of crops, Christians were celebrating the harvest of souls, evidenced by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In summary, the Old Testament festivals had an important meaning in and of themselves but were and will be fulfilled in a deeper and eternal sense through Jesus Christ. Jesus, critics argue, planned on the timing of His triumphal entry and Passover Meal, but, from a human perspective, His crucifixion, resurrection, and the outpouring of His Spirit were beyond human control, and demonstrated, through their precise timing that God is real and He has a plan that was, is and will be fulfilled.

In service to Christ,

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *