Biblical Studies

Jesus’ Fulfillment of OT Feasts and Festivals

In Kostenberger, Kellum, and Quarles’ NT Introduction The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown, (my review), they provide a table (though there will not be a table here) of Jesus’ Fulfillment of OT Festivals in John’s Gospel. They provide clear, short explanations of each feast and its fulfillment as found in Jesus along with the Scripture reference so you can go read each festival in its context and discover it’s full purpose yourself. I found this very helpful given that I don’t know much about many of the OT feasts, and a greater knowledge of the feasts sheds greater light on how Jesus fulfilled them.

Feast of Passover

Scripture: Exod 12.1-4; Lev 23.4-5; John 1.29-36; 2.13; 6.4; 11.55; 12.1

AKA: Pesach;

Description: A lamb was killed in commemoration of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt

Fulfillment: Jesus is the lamb of God whose death causes God to pass over judging those covered by the blood of Jesus

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Scripture: Exod 12.15-20; Lev 23.6-8

AKA: Hag Hamatzot;

Description: Israel must eat unleavened bread for 7 days; leaven often represents sin in Scripture

Fulfillment: Jesus is the bread of life who is free from sin (leaven)

Feast of Firstfruits

Scripture: Lev 23.9-14

AKA: Yom HaBikkurim;

Description: Israel offered first ripe sheaf of barley to the Lord; the sheaf was set aside on Passover and offered on the third day of the Passover feast

Fulfillment: Jesus rose on the third day of the Passover feast as the “firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15.20)

Feast of Pentecost

Scripture: Lev 23.15-22; Acts 2.1-40

AKA: “Feast of Weeks” or Shavnot;

Description: It occurs 50 days after Sabbath of Unleavened Bread; Israel offered new grain of summer harvest

Fulfillment: the Holy Spirit poured out on disciples 49 days after Jesus’ resurrection (50 days after the Sabbath preceding it)

Feast of Trumpets

Scripture: Lev 23.23-35; Num 29.1-11; Matt 24.31; 1 Cor 15.51-52; 1 Thess 4.16-17

AKA: Rosh HaShana;

Description: A trumpet blown to call people into a time of introspection and repentance

Fulfillment: Traditionally associated with judgment and the Book of Life, it represents the second coming of Jesus as judge; Jesus’ coming will be announced by a trumpet blast

Day of Atonement

Scripture: Lev 23.26-32,44-46; Rom 3.21-25; Heb 9.11-28

AKA: Yom Kippur;

Description: The high priest makes atonement for sin in the holy of holies where the ark of the covenant rested; final day of 10 days of repentance of Feast of Trumpets; two goats (atonement sacrifice and scapegoat) represented atonement of Israel’s sin for another year

Fulfillment: Jesus as High Priest entered heaven (he holy of holies) and made eternal atonement for sin with his blood

Festival of Tabernacles

Scripture: Lev 23.34-43; John 1.14; 7.38-39; 8.12; 9.5

AKA: Sukkot

Description: The Jews dwelled in tents for one week; reminder of God’s protection during Israel’s wilderness wanderings; priest would pour out water to symbolize the world knowing God at coming of Messiah

Fulfillment: Jesus made his dwelling among us; Jesus is the source of living water that will flow from believers (Jesus’ address at Festival of Tabernacles)

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