The picture of today’s post shows that timeline and the gap we are talking about. Each of the Jewish Feasts (or festivals) had a prophetic significance. We have discussed some of this in previous posts, but I will summarize them here. The first four have been fulfilled and we know that because Scripture tells us so.
Passover: This was on the 14th day of the first month (Lv 23:5). We know that Christ was crucified on Passover (Lk 23:54) and that he was the Passover sacrifice (1Co 5:7) to which this festival points.
Unleavened Bread: This was a feast that started the day after Passover and lasted a week (Lv 23:6). Leaven (yeast) was purged from each and every home (Ex 12:15). Leaven is symbolic of sin (1Co 5:6-8). This represents that the death of the Passover sacrifice (representative of Christ) removes sin from our lives.
Firstfruits: This was on the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, or the third day after Passover. The first gleaning of the barley harvest was brought as a sacrifice (an unleavened barley loaf). This is representative of Christ being the firstfruit of the resurrection (1Co 15:23) and was raised on Firstfruits (Ac 10:40).
Shavuot (Pentecost): This was the 50th day after Firstfruits (Lv 23:15-16) where the first gleaning of the wheat harvest was brought as a sacrifice (two loaves of leavened wheat; Lv 23:17). This is representative of the giving of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:1-4) which then joined both Jew and Gentile (Cl 3:11) – whomever accepted Christ as their Savior. It came to represent the Age of Gentiles (i.e., the Church Age; Ro 11:25).
These four are fulfilled and are now part of our past. The other three cannot be fulfilled until the Age of Gentiles (the Church Age) is completed. The Rapture is the perfect event for this to accomplish this. The Church is removed from the earth and God can then focus his attention back on Israel as a nation.
Rosh Hashanah (Trumpets): Although known as the Jewish New Year, it was on the 1st day of the seventh month in Scripture (Lv 23:23-24). It was known as a feast of memorial or remembrance (Lv 23:24; Nu 10:10). In other words to sound the trumpets to request God to remember his covenant with Israel. There are at least three examples of this (2Ch 5; Er 3; Ne 8). Why? The Day of Atonement where judgment was to be imputed was coming. An individuals could not stand on their own merit, they needed to stand on the covenant God made with Israel in order to stand before a Holy God. This feast will be fulfilled when the Tribulation Period begins as God will deal with Israel as a nation once again and bring both Jew and Israelite back to Israel as a nation (Jr 33:7).
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): This was on the 10th day of the seventh month (Lv 23:27): the day the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to atone from the sins of Israel (Lv 16). The sacrifice again points to Christ as our atoning sacrifice (1Jn 2:2). This will be fulfilled upon Christ’s 2nd coming as all of Israel will then be saved (Zc 13:1; Ro 11:26).
Sukkot (Tabernacles): This was on the 15th day of the seventh month and lasted for a week (Lv 23:34). The people lived in booths (Lv 23:42) and were to rejoice (Lv 23:40; Dt 16:14-15) which demonstrated God’s provision and strength (Ne 8:10) to them during the nation’s journey to their Promised Land (Ps 27:5, 31:20; Is 4:6) and pointed to the time when their coming Messiah would dwell with them (Is 35; Zc 12:10-13:1, 14:16). This will be fulfilled as Christ dwells with his people and rules over the earth for 1,000 years (Rv 20:4).
The gap between these feasts (festivals) of those which have already been fulfilled and those not yet fulfilled has been called the Age of Gentiles or the Church Age (Ro 11:25). From an Israel perspective, the clock stopped when the Church was initiated and the nation of Israel was set aside, for a time, until the Church is removed. The timeline then starts up again because Israel is once again God’s focus.
From this you can see why the Rapture is not part of Jewish prophecy but a key part of Scripture prophecy as it is the turning point of God’s focus on the Church and back to the nation of Israel.
Heaven for the Bride
Fall Jewish Holidays - Part 3: Sukkot