Learning of the forgotten gift the Father gave us, and the connection to the seasons.
You can watch a video of this here:
Autumn is coming.
I can feel it in the air. The mornings are cooler and here and there the leaves have begun to get the slightest tinge of yellows and oranges.
For as long as I can remember, I have felt a sense of anticipation when autumn was on its way. Maybe it was because my birthday is in the autumn. Maybe it was the smells, the flavors or the crisp mornings. The gentle fragrance of smoke from fireplaces long cold, now coming to life. Flannel and denim and warm blankets.
I can’t really pin down a single reason why I felt this way back then, but I can say why it is now. Or at least another reason why my heart swoons that first cool morning.
It is a special time of year.
I have been a bible believer for a very long time. But to be quite honest, the first two thirds of the bible were portions that I didn’t spend a great deal of time studying. Sure, I would skim over them or read a specific scripture that was maybe referenced in the back third. And I had certainly read the whole thing at some point, but I had been taught that it didn’t really apply any more and I had not deeply studied it. At least, not at first.
Autumn has long held a sense of renewal and refreshing for me. It has long felt like when it arrives, the work has ended and it is time to reset and start over.
Because of that, I regularly find myself deep cleaning, organizing and purging my home when the leaves turn. I get rid of the things that are cluttering up my life, much more so than I do in the spring. I reevaluate my work that was accomplished the previous 12 months, and make a plan for the next 12.
Getting to open my windows after a sweltering summer of contained and artificially cool (though comfortable) air is refreshing.
But some time ago, I began spending much more time in the front part of the bible, and I began seeing things I had never seen before. When I did, I started getting a much greater understanding of why autumn brings a sense of expectancy.
Why it feels like a new beginning.
A while back, I did a video about the Hebrew wedding model. It was a brief introduction to the concept and anyone with even a passing understanding of the bible would be blown away by the symbolism all throughout scripture.
The wedding is the story of salvation – from the marriage contract and the bride price to the return of the groom.
The bible is a wedding story. But it is even more than that. There is a whole other layer of meaning that I didn’t even touch on at the time.
When I started reading and truly studying the fullness of the scriptures, and not just skimming over them to check off a box on a reading schedule, I discovered things that left me astounded.
We as believers are generally all familiar with Passover. One of the Father’s feasts – his appointed time.
Jesus is often referred to as our Passover lamb, (1 Cor. 5:7) who’s blood was shed to pay the price for our sins. The price paid so that we could have eternal life with the Father.
And some are familiar with Shavuot – also called Pentecost – when the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out in Jerusalem. (Acts 2)
But those are only two of the several appointed times of the Lord.
These appointments hold even more meaning, and often events of great importance occurred on these same dates later on.
Jesus was crucified and killed on what is called “Preparation Day.” (John 19:14) It is the part of Passover season when the lamb is slaughtered for the Passover feast- which takes place after sundown on that same day. That is why he had to be buried before the sun when down – why the Roman soldier came to strike him and break his legs. But he was already gone and so no bones were broken on him.
He had to be buried before the sun went down, because sundown was the beginning of the sabbath of Passover. (John 19:31-37)
A few days later he was resurrected – also on another appointed time, but one that many western Christians are unfamiliar with. First Fruits. (1 Cor. 15:23)
Fifty days after the appointed time of First Fruits came Shavuot – the day we received our gift from the future groom – his Holy Spirit to teach and guide and comfort us until he returns.
Those are just some nuggets of the spring feasts.
Many people think that the feasts of the bible are specifically “Jewish” feasts, but they belong to the Father. They are His gift to us, and they are important to him.
This gift of his feasts that he gave us is precious and beautiful. When I first began learning of them, I was amazed.
But then I became a little angry. I felt like I had been deprived of a valuable treasure that was rightfully mine, but I had never received.
The Feasts of the Lord – these holy appointments – are for his people.
If you are adopted into a family, don’t you learn from them? Take on the customs of the family? Celebrate the things that they celebrate?
Why would we not want to celebrate and honor the days that are special to our Father?
Our redemption was purchased by the blood of the Passover lamb. And that sequence of events fell directly on the spring feasts – the appointments of the Father.
There are no coincidences with the Lord.
Jesus’s first coming culminated with the spring feasts, but there is a whole ‘nother set of feasts to look forward to. And those feasts are coming in a few weeks.
The more I have learned about the feasts, the more awestruck I am by the Father. I look forward to his feasts every year.
I appreciate the gift he has given to us of them.
And if you think the alignment of Jesus’s first coming with the spring feasts is astonishing, wait until you learn a bit about the fall feasts.
I believe those autumn feasts play a part in my sense of renewal and anticipation every year.
The story of the Hebrew wedding model, and the feasts of the Father are the same story. They are the redemption of his bride.
Every year when I celebrate them, I do them a little better, and I learn more and more about their meaning each time.
I encourage you to dive in and study the biblical feasts. I don’t look at them as something I have to do…I see them as the gift from the Father that they are. I get to do them.
I embrace and cherish this gift we have been given.
If you would like to learn more about the biblical feasts, I recommend the following books:
Messiah in the Feasts of Israel by Sam Nadler
A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays: With Activities for All Ages by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce