Readers Question / Comment - Should we participate in the feasts of Israel?


Sir

I have been most interested in the articles on your web site - especially those relating to how Jesus fulfilled many OT passages. This has been a subject of great interest to me.

May I ask for your views on one subject? I can see how the holy days of Leviticus 23 relate to parts of God's plan for salvation. Yet, it seems that the church era does not need to observe these days.

Zechariah 14 would seem to suggest that the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed after the return of Christ. If that is the case, should we not keep it now? And it cannot be simply for Israel, as we see a punishment on Egypt for not keeping the feast.

And if the Day of Trumpets pictures that return, the reality has yet to be fulfilled - so shouldn't we observe if as a reminder of a future event.

Of course, I have read Galatians 4 and Colossians 2 which would suggest otherwise, but I am a little confused.

Any thoughts?



JPN Reply:

Hi,

thanks for the email. You seem to have a good grasp on these things even if you think you are confused! : )

You are correct that the church is not asked to observe these feasts. They were never given to the Church but to the nation of Israel. So no gentile is told to keep or celebrate these feasts. Col 2 gives us the why - they were shadows of the real thing that was to come - not the reality themselves. The reality is found in the person of Jesus Christ. So for example, I have never participated in a Jewish Passover meal. I think it would be quite interesting to do so and probably would as a one-off when given the chance. It has lots of symbols and types in it that we can read about in Exodus 12 and other passages. As a one off it may may useful. But understanding the reality of what Jesus did on the cross is the reality. It is far better.

In terms of the feast of tabernacles in the Messianic Kingdom age, you are correct that Zech 14 says it will again be observed. But note where it is observed - in Jerusalem with the King! In other words, the nations will observe the feast of tabernacles, yes. But even more important is that they have to do it in Jerusalem where the King is. They are going to see the reality of what the feast is about - the person of Jesus Christ who came and "tabernacled" amongst us.

I saw that on Dr Brown's website (a Jewish believer) he gives his answer to whether gentiles should participate in these feasts. You can have a look here:
http://askdrbrown.org/ask-dr-brown/35-ask-dr-brown/85-should-christians-observe-the-biblical-jewish-holidays

I agree with what he writes - in that we can learn things from the feasts and use them as a reminder of spiritual truth. BUT from what I have seen from gentile believers starting to regularly participate in these feasts, they start to think that it makes them more 'more spiritual' and often take their eyes of the reality itself - Jesus Christ - and start placing them on these outward Jewish observances. And that is a really bad mistake - hence the warnings in Gal 4 and Col 2. There are traps a plenty in any action that starts to put the focus on something other than Jesus Himself!

All the best,