Yahweh’s Feast Days:
Shadows of the Messiah
by: Christine Egbert
Replacement theology claims that the Christian church has replaced Israel, that Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and that God has no future plans for the nation of Israel. But Scripture teaches exactly the opposite.
Let’s read it: Jerimiah 31:31-36
“Behold, days are coming”—it is a declaration of the LORD (Yahweh)—“when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they broke My covenant, though I was a husband to them… but this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days”—it is a declaration of the LORD (Yahweh)—“I will put My Torah within them. Yes, I will write it on their heart. I will be their God and they will be My people. No longer will each teach his neighbor or each his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD (Yahweh),’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest … For I will forgive their iniquity, their sin I will remember no more. Thus says the LORD (Yahweh), who gives the sun as a light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars as a light by night, who stirs up the sea so its waves roar, the LORD (Yahweh) of Hosts is His Name. Only if this fixed order departs from before Me—it is a declaration of the LORD (Yahweh)—then also might Israel’s offspring cease from being a nation before Me for all time.”
Isaiah: 49:5-6 says, “So now the LORD (Yahweh) says, ‘He formed Me (Jesus/Yeshua) in the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to have Israel gathered to him, so that I will be honored in the sight of the LORD (Yahweh), My God, having become my strength, he has said, “It is not enough that You are merely My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the offspring of Israel. I will also make You a light to the nations, so My salvation can spread to the ends of the earth.”
In Romans 11:17 Paul wrote that we wild olive branches (gentiles) have through faith in Jesus (Yeshua) been grafted in among the natural branches of Israel’s cultivated olive tree. In Ephesians 2:11-12, Paul wrote that we who were once Gentiles, which by definition refers to nations not in covenant with God, are no longer alienated from the commonwealth of Israel nor are we strangers from Israel’s covenants. And the word covenants is plural.
So, now that you know who you are in God’s eyes, citizens of Israel’s commonwealth, I’ll tell you about the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) set-apart times, His feast days. Now, many Christians think Passover (Pesach), Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost (Shavuot), Trumpets (Yom Teruah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Tabernacles (Sukkot), are “Jewish“ feasts, and they are, but they belong to God. The LORD (Yahweh) claims them as His feast days in Leviticus 23:2, which says, “Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD (Yahweh), which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY feasts.”
Zechariah 14:16, which speaks of Messianic times after Jesus (Yeshua) returns, says, “And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. It shall be that those who do not go up from all the families to worship the King, the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts in Jerusalem, shall have no rain.”
In Colossians Paul informs former Gentiles, who are now part of Israel’s covenants, that God’s appointed times are a shadow of the Messiah. When chapter 2:16-17 is read in context—not through the doctrinal lens of replacement theology—this becomes quite clear. “Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat. These are a foreshadowing of things to come, and the reality is Messiah. The Greek word “deh” (Strong’s G1161) is usually translated as “but” but it also means “and” … “These are foreshadowing of things to come AND the reality is Messiah.”
The LORD’s (Yahweh’s) feast days are shadow pictures of our Messiah. The Spring Feasts depict Redemption, the Fall Feasts depict Restoration when Jesus (Yeshua) returns to rule and reign from His throne in Jerusalem. That’s when His Father’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Passover (Pesach) depicts our redemption from bondage through the shed blood of God’s Lamb. Leaven represents sin. The Feast of Unleavened Bread depicts our sinless Messiah who took on the sin of the world. Like unleavened Matza, Jesus (Yeshua) was striped and pierced for us.
First Fruits depicts Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20 says, “But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Pentecost (Shavuot) depicts our (Israel’s) coming into covenant at Mount Sinai where we receive God’s instructions, His Torah. This is God’s pattern: redemption from slavery (to sin) by the shed blood of the Lamb first, then we enter the covenant when we agree to walk in His ways, His Torah. Pentecost (Shavuot) also commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the re(new)ed covenant. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:3-4 “For what was impossible for the Torah, since it was weakened on account of the flesh, God has done. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
We are living in that time some refer to as the church age, the time between the Messiah’s first and second coming. When Jesus (Yeshua) returns, He will fulfill all of the Fall Feasts. The Day of Trumpets (shofars), known in Hebrew as Yom Teruah (and also as Rosh Hashana), is the Day of the LORD (Yahweh), the day on which the last trumpet (shofar) will sound. When Jesus (Yeshua) returns, the dead in Messiah will rise first, then those of us who belong to Jesus (Yeshua) and remain will put on immortality. Thus begins the 10 days of Awe that lead us to the tenth day of Tishri (the seventh month), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). On this High Holy Day the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) books are closed. Then five days later we arrive at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), the Season of our Joy.
John 1:14 says: “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” Tabernacled is the Greek word “skēnoō” (Strong’s G4636), it means to tent, to encamp, or to reside. During the Feast of Tabernacles, we look back and celebrate Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) birth and we look forward eagerly anticipating its future Messianic fulfillment in the final harvest of souls and the wedding feast of God’s Lamb.
It is the grand finale, the holy convocation in the Most High’s two-part plan of redemption and restoration. Our Messiah’s First Coming made a way for us to be redeemed. Restoration will take place when Jesus (Yeshua) returns.
Tabernacles (Sukkot) is a seven-day feast with a special eighth day called Shemini Atzeret. Seven signifies completeness, eight new beginnings. In God’s economy, a day is as a thousand years. Jesus (Yeshua), the Lord of the Sabbath, will reign in Jerusalem for one thousand years, His thousand-year Sabbath day, and on the eighth day, He will create the new Heaven and new Earth.
Leviticus 23:40 instructs us that the first day of the Feast is a Sabbath (a day on which no regular work should be done). We are to take the fruit of good trees, branches of palm trees, twigs of leafy trees, and willows of the stream, and rejoice before the LORD (Yahweh) for seven days.
John 7:37-38 tells us what Jesus (Yeshua) did on the seventh day of this feast. But to understand the significance, we must understand how this feast was observed during Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) time. Shortly after sunset, in the court of the women, the ladies made wicks from the priests’ worn-out undergarments they called swaddling clothes, then the priests used these wicks to light the four gigantic lamps. Once ignited, Jerusalem blazed. Priests gathered large willows and waved them back and forth as they walked in procession toward the temple.
On the seventh day, instead of circling the altar once, the priests rounded it seven times as the other priests proceeded to the Pool of Siloam. There the High Priest drew a flask of living water. It was timed so that the moment the High Priest returned with his flask of water and another priest with a flask filled with wine, the willow-bearing priests would be circling the alter singing Psalms 118:25-26: “Save now . . . O LORD (Yahweh), I beseech thee. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD (Yahweh).”
Together, the High Priest and his helper would pour out the libation—the living water and wine—on the southwest corner of the altar. This was a beautiful shadow picture of the prophesied out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. John 7:37 tells us what Jesus (Yeshua) said on that particular seventh night of the feast. On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus (Yeshua) stood and cried out, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believes on me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Jesus (Yeshua), who so often taught in parables, used the pageantry of the water libation celebration held on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the day known as Hoshana Rabbah—the Great Salvation—to make His decree about living water coming from Him. Why? Because this celebration was about Him.
Each of the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) Sabbaths, His New Moons, His Feasts Days, which are holy convocations, are about the Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua). Over and over in Scripture, the LORD (Yahweh) commands His in-covenant people—which includes us grafted-in, former Gentiles who put our faith in Jesus (Yeshua)—to keep His set-apart times forever.