What’s today’s date? What do you have going on for the rest of this week? Did you have to think about two different calendars? A family calendar and a work calendar? Does your fiscal year start at a different point than the new year? What’s with all the questions? I wanted to prepare your mind for what comes next; God’s calendar doesn’t look like ours, it has different months, and the months have twenty-nine or thirty days, unlike the calendar we are used to; it also has holidays you may not be familiar with or celebrate.
This is what God’s calendar looks like:
Exodus 12:1-3 LSB “Now Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,2 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.”
God’s calendar begins in our month of March or April, and they celebrate what we call New Year’s in the seventh month, which is September or October. So what’s up with the difference? Why can’t God just operate on our calendar? I’m pretty sure God’s calendar came first. As believers, we want to be in God’s timing; we obviously can’t throw out our calendars; just as you operate on a yearly and fiscal calendar, you can use the natural calendar and God’s.
God’s calendar gets us out of the natural realm and into God’s way of thinking and doing; it gives life a new order and rhythm. In Exodus 34, Leviticus 23, and Deuteronomy 16, God outlines three feasts for Israel to attend. These are the feasts of the Lord, they were given to the Jewish people, but they are God’s feasts; they are His way of operating.
If you’re wondering, do I have to do this, the answer is no. However, I submit that the right question is, as a Christian, can I celebrate the feast of the Lord, and the answer is yes.
The first set of feasts is Passover, Unleavened Bread, FirstFruits, and fifty days later is Pentecost. Jesus died at Passover and rose on FirstFruits, and He sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 LSB “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, also was sacrificed.8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Jesus is the fulfillment of Passover, and therefore as Christians, we can celebrate the feast in its fullness. Just as Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts, He will fulfill the fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles; this is the second coming.
I’m sure you’re thinking, but what about Paul saying, don’t let a man judge you concerning feasts and new moon celebrations? As I said earlier, you don’t have to do this; however, there is a blessing in it. Now, that is not to imply a curse if you don’t. God wants to be close with his people; that’s why He instituted these feasts, to begin with, to call His children to a celebration.
Look at this prophecy concerning the Millenium in Zechariah 14:16-21 LSB “Then it will be that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, there will be no rain on them.18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which Yahweh plagues the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to Yahweh.” And the pots in the house of Yahweh will be like the bowls before the altar.21 And every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to Yahweh of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts in that day.”
Isn’t it interesting that the nations must go to Jerusalem for the feast? What about the end of Isaiah’s prophecy where he speaks of the new heaven and the new earth?
Isaiah 66:20-23 LSB “Then they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as a grain offering to Yahweh, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says Yahweh, “just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of Yahweh.21 I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites,” says Yahweh.22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me,” declares Yahweh, “So your seed and your name will endure.23 And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to worship before Me,” says Yahweh.”
From week to week and from month to month is translated as from one New Moon to another, and from one Shabbat to another…” If these things were done away with when the Church was established, why is God reinstituting them? Could it be they were never meant to go away? Could it be that the rhythm of a weekly sabbath and yearly feasts are a blessing from God that we have missed out on in the Church?
I’m going to make a statement that will be hard to deal with; it was hard for me to grapple with when the Lord first showed it to me through some books I read. The question is, did God change His calendar, or did we? Did God replace Passover with Easter, or did man? Did God change the Sabbath to Sunday, or did man? Was it God’s original intent for the giving of the Spirit to overshadow the giving of the commands? Without Chanukah, there would be no Christmas. Without Purim, there would be no Passover fulfillment. God doesn’t change. Jesus accomplished the purpose of the sacrificial system, yes, but He is also the celebration point for God’s calendar.
God’s calendar isn’t just for the Jews; it’s for those of us who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. These celebrations are a celebration, and they bring a blessing. Each month has specific benefits and warnings, and it is to our advantage to know them. Each month I post about this on Instagram. God has rhythm, and we can enter it when we walk in His time according to His calendar.
Again, this isn’t a legalistic thing or a you have to thing; it’s an opportunity God gives us three times each year to course-correct if we need to (how many times did Israel need to?), and it’s a time to grow in our relationship with the Lord in a unique way. So why pass up such an invitation from the Lord?