Summary: A message from Pastor Pat and Pastor Dana that focuses on the prophetic significance of the Feast of Trumpets
Those of you who have been with us this entire year will remember that we’ve been taking some time out of our continuing sermon series at the appropriate times of the year to examine the Jewish Feasts and how they are fulfilled by Jesus.
We began in the spring and saw how Jesus fulfilled the three spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits at His first coming through his death, burial and resurrection. And then in the late spring we took a look at the Feast of Weeks, or as we best know it by its Greek name, Pentecost. And we saw how that feast was fulfilled by Jesus when He sent the Holy Spirit upon His followers and ushered in the church age.
For the next three weeks, beginning this morning, we’ll focus on the three fall feasts – The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. And again, as we would expect, we’ll see Jesus revealed in each of these three feasts. This is such an appropriate thing for us to be doing right now since the fulfillment of these feasts have to do with the second coming of Jesus and much of what we’ll learn in these next three weeks fits in so well with what we’re discovering in the Old Testament prophets and what we’ll see when we get to the Book of Revelation.
As we’ve done with the other three feasts, Dana is going to give you some historical background on the origins of the feast and how it is celebrated by the Jews today and I will focus on how Jesus will fulfill the feast and its meaning for us as followers of Jesus.
Before we look at the Feast of Trumpets in detail, let’s take a few moments to review and put the feast in its proper context.
There are a total of seven feasts that God gave to His people to observe. The feasts are broken down into three main seasons. The Spring feasts – Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits coincide with the barley harvest and were fulfilled by Jesus at His first coming.
The Feast of Weeks coincided with the completion of the wheat harvest and, as was fulfilled by Jesus by the giving of the Holy Spirit which inaugurated the church age in which we now live.
The final three feasts – the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles - occur in the Fall, and they will be fulfilled in full by Jesus at His second coming.
What is really interesting is that there is a long time gap between the Feast of Weeks and the fall feasts. This corresponds directly to the fact that at the time the church age was ushered on the Day of Pentecost, there began an interlude in God’s dealings with Israel as a nation, a period known as the “Time of the Gentiles.” Paul referred to this interlude in Romans 11:
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Romans 11:25 (ESV)
As Paul explains more fully in that chapter, the purpose of this interlude was to make Israel jealous and lead to their ultimate salvation as they come to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. So we shouldn’t be surprised that this interlude was hinted at right in the middle of God’s instructions for the feasts. We find the basic instructions for all the feasts in Leviticus 23. The instructions for the spring feasts and the Feast of Weeks ends in verse 21 and the instructions for the fall feasts begin in verse 23. And right between those instructions, we find this verse, which at first glance appears to be out of place:
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 23:22 (ESV)
Notice the word “sojourner” in that verse. That is a reference to the Gentiles, and we find that in between the Feast of Weeks and the three fall feasts, God had given instructions to provide for the Gentiles. We see this played out in the Book of Ruth, where Boaz, a Jew, provides for Ruth, a Gentile, by not reaping to the edge of his fields. Even today, the Jews still read the Book of Ruth in connection with the Feast of Weeks, although they obviously miss out on how it sets the stage for the church age in which God provides salvation for all, including the Gentiles.