God gave Israel three vital revelations. The Law, to reveal our rebellious hearts, the Temple to picture the sacrifice that would be paid for our transgressions, and a set of Feast days to point to the fulfillment of God’s redemptive promises.
When Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, He was crucified on the very day the first of the seven feasts, Passover, appeared on the Hebrew calendar. As the Jews celebrated how God’s judgment passed over the Israelites due to the blood of the Passover lamb, Jesus was shedding his blood for us! On that very day! Remember, the Last Supper was a meal in preparation for the Passover.
The pattern continued. His body lay in a tomb as a sinless offering as the Jews observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leaven represents sin and the Israelites were to remove all leaven from their homes during this Feast.
Jesus then rose from the dead on the third day, the very day the Jews were celebrating the Feast of First Fruits. The New Testament tells us that, "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died" (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Jesus then appeared to His disciples for 40 days before His ascension. But just before His departure He instructed them to go to Jerusalem and to wait there for the promise of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Jesus didn’t tell them how long they would have to wait, He just told them to remain there until this event occurred (Acts 1:7-8).
Imagine yourself one of those disciples. Perhaps you would have noticed that Jesus had just fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits on the very day these Feasts appeared on the Hebrew calendar. You might have thought about the fact that the next Feast would be in 10 days, the Feast of Pentecost, which celebrates the beginnings of a new harvest season. You might have even turned to the other disciples and said, “I can’t be sure about this but based on this pattern, I think the Lord will send His Spirit and begin this new thing called the Church in 10 days, on the day of Pentecost." And, of course, you would have been right.
But there are three more Feasts that also speak of God's redemptive plan that have yet to be fulfilled. These Feasts pick up at the end of the growing season in Israel, in the Fall. The first one, and the next in line for fulfillment is the Feast of Trumpets. It is the celebration of the bringing-in of the harvest. The Apostle Paul wrote that it will be “at the last trump” that the Church would be gathered at the end of this age, a reference to the last of a series of trumpet blasts that take place during the Feast of Trumpets in Israel. So we see that the next Feast in the line of succession just happens to correlate perfectly with the next event promised to the Church in the New Testament.
Let me conclude by emphasizing that the New Testament does not reveal when the Lord will return. Like Jesus' disciples who didn’t know when the Holy Spirit would descend, we don't know when Christ will return. But just as they should have had a heightened expectation as Pentecost approached, we should have a heightened sense of anticipation every year as the Feast of Trumpets approaches!
Look up, for our redemption will one day come!
"It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed" (1 Corinthians 15:52, NLT).