The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.”
Not long ago, a friend did his best to convince me that these seven feasts of Leviticus 23—the Sabbath, the Passover, the Feast of First Fruits, the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths—provide a prophetic calendar for the end-time events following Christ’s life on earth. If memory serves me right, the Passover, subdivided into a Passover Feast and a Feast of Unleavened Bread, represents Christ’s death and resurrection. The Feast of First Fruits represents Pentecost and the dawning of the New Covenant. The Feast of Weeks represents the Church Age. The Feast of Trumpets represents the Rapture of the Church. The Day of Atonement, specified as a fast of ‘affliction,’ represents the Tribulation period. And the final Feast of Booths represents the Second Coming of our Lord to earth—the end of the old world as we know it.
Now, I find many good reasons to be compelled by this theory, the main reason being that God is always meaning more by His words, always describing more with numeric and ceremonial signs than the temporal and immediate applications we give them. That is, He’s always speaking to His immediate audience, in their unique context, while in the same breath speaking beyond it. However, theorizing doesn’t get us as far in our life of faith as practicing, and I don’t believe that these seven feasts represent a prophetic riddle to solve as much as a principle to apply. To me, the principle here is that we as pilgrims need to partake of the Presence of God as a spiritual discipline, that we should set aside specific times and places, marking them on our calendar, to actively commune with Him. To join Him at the table set for us in today’s valley of shadows, in the presence of our active enemies, drinking afresh new mercies till our cups overflow.
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” wrote the Psalmist in Psalm 118:24. So let’s rejoice in today by consecrating it as a holy convocation to God, shall we?