Christ in the Biblical Festivals

Christ in the Biblical Festivals

Every year of His life Jesus observed seven festivals. Are they valid today? If so, shouldn’t we observe them?

Every year of His life, Jesus observed seven festivals, and so did His Church that followed.

Have you ever heard of the Feast of Tabernacles? How about the Days of Unleavened Bread? Ever hear of the Day of Atonement?

Perhaps you can’t name these biblical festivals, and maybe you have never heard of them.

But that’s all right.

Because I am going to tell you about each of them in this message. And I will show you how Jesus Christ, your Savior, not only observed these festivals – He is at the center of each of them. By observing these festivals, you are celebrating the very life and work of Jesus Christ. They are a key to developing a closer relationship with Him. You also can learn how God will bring salvation to the entire world.

Jesus Christ is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented figures in all history. He is certainly the most well known, but there is a lot to learn about His life, His teaching and His example.

One truth is essential. It’s that Christ kept the biblical festivals as part of His worship and teaching about the Father. And these festivals show Christ’s central role in the process of salvation. It’s important that we see these biblical Holy Days in their proper New Testament perspective. That perspective points to Jesus Christ. Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, is the main agent of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.

Right at this point now, some of you may be thinking, “but those are Jewish feasts. They have nothing to do with the New Testament or Christianity today.” Unfortunately, that’s a widely held belief – but it’s wrong. These festivals do not belong to the Jews alone. They belong first to God and Jesus Christ. These are God’s festivals. They also belong to Christians who desire to follow Jesus’ example, and they have everything to do with Christ and His Church today.

Let’s step through the biblical festivals and let’s learn how Jesus Christ is represented in each one. These New Testament festivals, they are grouped into three periods of the year, all connected by one feature – Jesus Christ. And they show us how to worship God as our Father, in the same manner that Jesus did.

Passover

The first of the festivals is Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. The Passover began at the story of the Exodus from Egypt but it is more than an Old Testament observance. We see that it is mentioned 28 times in the New Testament.

Now what is the New Testament Passover all about? It is all about the One who is so profound, so holy, so important, that without Him, there is no hope for mankind – Jesus Christ. From the beginning, the Passover pointed directly to Jesus Christ. He is our true Passover Lamb. And as we observe the New Testament Passover in the spring – in the northern hemisphere – we understand that the central role Jesus has is in the removal of our sins. The Scripture says in 1 John: “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John:3:5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.).

Multiple Old Testament scriptures predicted the life and death of a Messiah. Christ’s death by crucifixion fulfilled many of these scriptures in incredible detail. It is one of the great proofs of the validity of the Bible and of who Jesus was. Just before Jesus’ last Passover, the Jewish high priest, Caiaphas predicted that Jesus would “die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John:11:50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.).

Christ’s death fulfilled the ritual of the slaughtered lamb, and it opened a new dimension of understanding to the festivals. Notice how the apostle Paul understood and how he taught this New Testament application to a group of Gentile Christians in the city of Corinth. He wrote: “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians:5:7-8 [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
[8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
).

In this passage that describes the first of the biblical festivals we see the essential role Christ has in properly understanding and observing these days.

Now let’s look at the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Days of Unleavened Bread

The Days of Unleavened Bread is a seven-day festival which begins right after Passover. Just like Passover, Jesus Christ is the central focus of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Christians observe this festival knowing that it’s a time to focus on putting sin out of their lives and overcoming sin. Leavening, for the purpose of the spring festival season, represents sin. Again the apostle Paul refers to it as “the leaven of malice and wickedness” (1 Corinthians:5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.). There are other scriptures that refer to leaven as hypocrisy (Luke:12:1In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.) and false teaching. During this New Testament festival, leavening is portrayed as a type of wickedness that Christians strive in their lives to overcome.

God’s instruction in keeping this festival is to eat unleavened bread for seven days. This is a piece of unleavened bread. It’s typically called a matzo. It’s very flat. It hasn’t risen. There’s nothing to it other than just flour, water and a little salt. The Days of Unleavened Bread and this piece of bread ties deeply into something very significant out of this festival. You see, these days picture the promise of the risen Christ. Jesus promised that He and the Father would make Their home in our hearts (John:14:23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.). In fact, it is Christ in us who is the hope of our glory (Colossians:1:27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:).

And as we eat unleavened bread during this festival, we are reminded that Christ is the ultimate example of sincerity and truth. And a Christian, desires with all their being to have that Holy One living in them. Observing the Days of Unleavened Bread also reminds us that it is not our righteousness that causes us to overcome sins. Rather, it is the righteousness that comes as a result of Jesus living His righteous life in the hearts of His people, empowering us to conquer sin. Again Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians:2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.).

The New Testament observance of the Days of Unleavened Bread teaches us about the resurrected Christ who died for our sins that we may have the hope of eternal life. It explains that by letting Christ live in us, we can be transformed. Only by taking on Jesus’ character can we truly overcome sin.

Now this is a fascinating subject and we’re just getting into it. Do you want to know more about the biblical Holy Days? I can’t tell you everything in this short program. But I can offer you a free study aid that we’ve created called, God’s Holy Day Plan – The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.

Now let’s look at the next festival,

The Feast of Pentecost .

Pentecost was eagerly celebrated in Israel because it signified the completion of the early harvest, the very first harvest from the fields. It was a time of an early harvest of the first grains of the new season – a lot like what I am holding in my hand. A priest would take a sheaf of grain – like this – and in a special ceremony, he would wave it before God as an offering. And Israelites could be assured of food for their families when God’s blessing was on them. Pentecost signaled a good year ahead for an Israelite. It was a great festival of both hope and joy.

In the New Testament, we see a deeper and a more profound parallel to this. When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven following His resurrection, the apostles were perplexed because their risen Lord was being taken from them. But Jesus had already promised them that He would not leave them as orphans (John:14:18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.). He promised that both He and the Father would come to the disciples by and through the power of the Holy Spirit (John:14:16-23 [16] And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
[17] Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
[18] I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
[19] Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
[20] At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
[21] He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
[22] Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
[23] Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
).

Jesus repeated this promise in Luke, where He said: “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but [wait] in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke:24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.).

That power is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on Pentecost as we read in the second chapter of Acts. And suddenly with that event, the disciples became the Church of God.

No longer were they a dazed and bewildered group of men and women – they were now the firstfruits of the people of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, they would now be able to truly overcome sin. And through that same power, God’s Church would take the gospel to the entire world. This all became possible because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He fulfilled His promise by empowering the Church with the Holy Spirit. As Christians today celebrate this festival, we are reminded of the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit. By this power, the life of the risen Christ in us, we have hope and joy to carry out the same work Christ did while on this earth – the work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

We have covered two of the annual biblical festivals: the Days of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Pentecost. We will now briefly cover each of the next four Holy Days, which come in the fall of the year. As we examine them, we will again notice the pivotal role Jesus Christ has in fulfilling each of these days.

Trumpets: Announcing Christ’s return

The next biblical festival uses an interesting symbol – a trumpet, or called as well, a shofar.

Trumpets and the blast of a horn such as this were used in the Bible for several purposes. They were used to call the people of God to assembly (Numbers:10:1-10 [1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[2] Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.
[3] And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
[4] And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.
[5] When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.
[6] When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.
[7] But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.
[8] And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.
[9] And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.
[10] Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.
). They were also used – the blast of a horn – to announce the beginning of this first Fall Holy Day (Leviticus:23:24Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.). Trumpets were also used to announce the coronation of a king (1 Kings:1:39-40 [39] And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.
[40] And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.
). All of these purposes find their ultimate fulfillment in the New Testament teaching that Jesus Christ will return to the earth as King and assemble His people together at the sounding of a great trumpet blast.

Furthermore, the New Testament clearly shows that at what is called the first resurrection, with the blowing of a great trumpet, “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians:4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:). There’s another passage in the book of 1 Corinthians. It says this: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians:15:51-52 [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
[52] In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
).

Perhaps a key scripture is found in the book of Revelation, where it says that: “…the seventh angel sounded.” Again, sounding a trumpet: “And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'” (Revelation:11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.).

The Feast of Trumpets pictures the moment when Jesus Christ steps into our world and imposes His Kingdom in place of every human government. It also pictures the resurrection of what is called in the Bible the “dead in Christ” (1 Thessalonians:4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:) and the change to a glorified spirit life – becoming a spirit being in the family of God. It is pivotal point in God’s purpose for human life on this place called Earth.

The Bible shows us Christ’s return will not be welcomed by the armies and the leaders of this world. In fact, the coming of Christ is accompanied unfortunately, by a time of war. The “kingdoms of this world” will not willingly yield nor submit to Jesus Christ. There is a reason the Lamb of God with a robe dipped in blood and wielding a sword will “strike the nations.” The kingdoms of this world are currently controlled by a powerful spirit being called in the Bible, Satan the Devil. This evil being is the real power behind the scenes of all human folly. Before the righteous reign of Jesus Christ can begin on this earth, Satan – himself must be decisively dealt with. This next step in God’s plan is told through the next festival,

The Day of Atonement.

Atonement: Christ sends Satan away
The Day of Atonement is the most unusual of the Holy Days. It is a day on which God’s people do not eat food or drink any liquids. It’s called a “fast” (Leviticus:23:26-32 [26] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[27] Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
[28] And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
[29] For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
[30] And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
[31] Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
[32] It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
; Acts:27:9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,). In ancient Israel, on this festival, once a year a ceremony took place and an offering with a High Priest and two specially chosen goats.

One goat was killed and its blood was offered within the Holy of Holies – that sacred room within the Temple where only the High Priest could go once a year on this special once-a-year festival.

The second goat was not killed but it was led out into the wilderness and it was released. This goat represents Satan, the one who departed from God and who is responsible for all evil in this world. Satan is the one Jesus called a “liar” and a “murderer from the beginning” (John:8:44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.). His evil presence and influence must be removed from the human family before the peace of God’s Kingdom can begin.

The modern observance of this Day of Atonement – the way that we keep it today, without the goats – today’s observance pictures the time when Christ returns to the earth. He will commission an angel to banish Satan into the bottomless pit (Revelation:20:1-3 [1] And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
[2] And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
[3] And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
). Satan will not be allowed to deceive the nations for a thousand years. This world will not know true peace until Satan, the ultimate deceiver, is put away. With this done, the eyes of mankind will be opened. The light of God’s truth will spread over humanity and a spiritual healing will come upon all peoples from all walks of life.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the One who has crushed the head of the serpent (Genesis:3:15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel., NIRV) is central to the ultimate fulfillment of this day. Now the real work of God’s Kingdom can begin.

The Feast of Tabernacles: Christ’s millennial rule

After Jesus returns, there will be a 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity (Revelation:20:1-6 [1] And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
[2] And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
[3] And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
[4] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
[5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
[6] Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
). The earth will be changed, not through the achievement of mankind, but through the power of God. The biblical festival called “Tabernacles” pictures this time – which many call “The Millennium.”

Jesus is key to understanding the Feast of Tabernacles . He observed this Feast while He was on the earth, and He told His disciples to observe the Feast as well (John:7:2-14 [2] Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.
[3] His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.
[4] For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
[5] For neither did his brethren believe in him.
[6] Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.
[7] The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
[8] Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.
[9] When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
[10] But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
[11] Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
[12] And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
[13] Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
[14] Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
). In Old Testament times, the Israelites would gather in Jerusalem and dwell in small huts or booths made from leafy branches of trees, and they would rejoice in the worship of God (Leviticus:23:40And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.). The Old Testament links the reign of Christ on the earth with the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah:14:16-21 [16] And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[17] And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
[18] And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[19] This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[20] In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
[21] Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.
).

In the book of Revelation, it tells us that Christ will reign on the earth for 1,000 years. Christ’s reign will create what human government has not been able to accomplish for thousands of years – which is a lasting peace, true justice and a chance for godly knowledge to flourish within the human family.

Isaiah the prophet explains this period in many of his exciting prophecies. The period is often called the Millennium. Let’s note two of them.

In Isaiah 2, it says, “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation” ( Isaiah:2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.)

In Isaiah 35, we read: “The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water” (Isaiah:35:5-7 [5] Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
[6] Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
[7] And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
).

These scriptures will be literally fulfilled when the One who sits at the right hand of the Father, Jesus Christ, returns to the earth.

These three festivals, they all occur within a three-week period during the months of September to October every year: the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. But there is one more, and its meaning is the greatest of all hope for mankind.

Have you ever wondered about those who died never having accepted Jesus Christ as Savior? What about them? Is there hope? What does the Bible say about this group of people? The final biblical festival of the year explains.

Following the Feast of Tabernacles is a final feast day (Leviticus:23:36Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.). It is designated as an Eighth Day , distinct from the Feast of Tabernacles. Now this festival has a profound meaning in the plan of God. Many today worry about loved ones who died without receiving salvation through Jesus Christ. They worry about loved ones who died before they repented and were baptized in faith. Their concern is that after, their loved ones are lost, doomed forever in an ever-burning hell fire.

But God is a God of love. He will never allow any human being to be lost without first being given a fair opportunity to hear the gospel. He will even save those who have gone to their graves without the knowledge of God.

In the prophecy of Ezekiel 37, we read of a great resurrection of people who died without having understood God’s great plan. In that prophecy it says: “I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army…” And they say… “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off” (Ezekiel:37:10-11 [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
[11] Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
). The prophet is seeing in vision, a resurrection.

But God’s comforting words to them follow on. God says: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves…then you shall know that I am the LORD… I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it” (Ezekiel:37:12-14 [12] Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
[13] And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
[14] And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
).

These verses, along with other biblical passages, tell us that there is a time coming when those who died without the full knowledge of God will be given their opportunity for salvation. They will finally recognize Christ for who He really is, our Lord and our Savior. Non-Christians who have lived their entire lives without ever hearing His name, they will be given the opportunity to both accept His sacrifice as payment for their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The book of Revelation tells us of a resurrection at the conclusion of the 1,000-year reign of Christ. These are called “the dead, small and great” (Revelation:20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.). They will stand before God and have the books of the Bible opened to their understanding. They will have the opportunity to confess belief in God and Christ and enter eternal life.

The meaning of this final festival is that there is a time yet coming in God’s timetable in which those who have never had the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be raised from their graves and given an opportunity to hear the truth.

Those who have never known the truth will someday come to know God and understand His great plan. The great meaning of this Eighth Day festival is this: Every human who has lived will have a chance to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy:2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.).

The Holy Days of God give us an overview of God’s great plan of salvation. The fulfillment of these days is dependent upon the One who became a man, who died for our sins and who now sits at the right hand of the Father. His name is Jesus Christ.

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