When God instituted the seven feasts of Israel, He proclaimed prophecy in the ages to come. He signaled the birth of a Son who would be the spotless sacrificial Lamb of God (Feast of Passover), pierced and bruised for our transgressions (Feast of Unleavened Bread) before entering the tomb and rising again on the third day (Feast of First Fruits). Though Jesus the Son left this earth following that resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given and the church was born (Pentecost).
A long pause followed those four feasts. Bible students understand that, though those four feasts were fulfilled, three more feasts are yet to come, and the pause is known as the church age. Jesus came to His own (the Jewish people), but their failure to recognize Him as Messiah opened the door for us Gentiles to be “grafted in” to the tree of life. We continue to live in the church age, where millions of Gentiles throughout the years have come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Meanwhile, Scripture tells us a veil covers the eyes and hearts of the Jewish people even to this day. (1 Corinthians 3:12-18)
But praise God, He is not done with His people! The feasts reveal that. Interestingly, the fifth feast, the Feast of Trumpets, is the most confusing of the seven feasts, and even the rabbis have different opinions of the exact day it is to be commemorated. So it is with the rapture of the church! The Bible tells us clearly that only the Father knows the day and hour of the rapture.
That brings us to the Jewish feast being commemorated today: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. When God instituted this feast, He intended it to be a “reset” button for Israel. At the rapture of the church (prophesied by the Feast of Trumpets), the focus of God’s plan returns squarely to Israel. Historically, Yom Kippur is the one day a year the Jewish people start afresh (press the reset button) through repentance. The scapegoat is released into the desert, carrying away the burden of sin of the people. (What a glorious picture of Jesus’ continual forgiveness of us!)
Thus, at this time of year, the Jewish people who clearly understand the historical context of the feasts, are often more sensitive to matters of sin and forgiveness, making Yom Kippur a potential springboard to faith for those willing to consider Jesus as Messiah.
Believers, this is a fantastic time to pray for unbelieving Jews! God is at work, revealing Himself through feasts in which they are intimately acquainted. Will you make today a day of prayer for Jews? May their unbelieving eyes and hearts be open to the Messiah they once rejected, and may their names be written in the Book of Life!
Then, get ready…for the most joyful feast of Israel is on the horizon!