Because the Creator is orderly and because He shows us the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), the Jewish holy days are of importance to Christians. In fact, this is probably where we get the term “holidays”. The original seven holy days were given by the Lord in Leviticus 23. They are as follows:
You know that when there is a grouping of seven, there is an excellent opportunity for a Menorah design. And these seven holy days fit the pattern. The Menorah is the seven-branched lampstand designed by the Lord as given in Exodus 25:31. In order to qualify as a Menorah design the fourth item, or the Servant Lamp position, must refer to the Lord or light or fire. Pentecost qualifies easily. You will recall that on the Day of Pentecost, there were “tongues of fire” that came to rest on the Apostles (Acts 2:3).
The seven holy days are divided into Spring and Fall feasts. Nisan corresponds to March or April and Tishri corresponds to September or October. The Spring Feasts pertain to the Church. Passover was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Unleavened Bread reminds us of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus was resurrected on Firstfruits.
Pentecost, in the Servant Lamp position, is the spring, or first, harvest and was fulfilled by the Church fifty days after Jesus was resurrected.
The Fall Feasts pertain to the Jews. Trumpets may represent the announcement of the Day of the Lord, or the Tribulation, as described in the Revelation. Atonement is the Old Covenant method of atoning for the sins of Israel. Christians do not need this feast because of the atoning Blood of Jesus. The Harvest or Ingathering appears to represent the day when the Lord will begin gathering in earnest the Children of Israel from the four corners of the earth. While many Jews have returned to Israel, there are many that remain scattered around the world.
In addition to the seven original holy days prescribed by the Lord, Purim (or lots) was added in the Book of Esther. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, was added about 167 B.C. It occurs in December and is mentioned in the Gospel of John (10:22) as the Feast of Dedication.
Over the years other feasts and days of remembrance have been added. Examples are Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the capture of the Holy City in 1967 or Holocaust Memorial Day. According to Dr. Gary Stearman, they now total twenty-two and follow the Alphabetic design of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. That can be the subject of a later lesson.