Old Testament Religious Festivals

Text: Leviticus 23

This lesson takes a brief look at several feasts & observances from the Law of Moses and some of the lessons they provide for us today.

Weekly Sabbath (v. 3)

  • Creation — Sabbath patterned after Creation week (Exodus 20:11); reminds us that He is all-powerful (Romans 1:20) & the only true & living God (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
  • Rest — this was a shadow of the true rest to come (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Feast of First Fruits (v. 9-14)

  • Providence — God sustains us here (Colossians 1:16-17; Acts 14:15,17); but we must work to take advantage of His blessings (Acts 15:17; Proverbs 28:19)
  • Priorities — first fruits; God expects us to place spiritual things as our top priority (Matthew 6:33)

Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread (v. 4-8)

  • Deliverance — the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt just as we are in bondage to sin (John 8:34); in both cases, God provides deliverance for those who meet His conditions (Exodus 12:7,13; Romans 6:17-18)
  • Purity — leaven was not even to be in their houses (Exodus 12:15); in NT leaven symbolizes sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-9); we must work to remove sin from our lives (1 John 3:3)

Day of Atonement (v. 26-32)

  • Forgiveness — sin has been a universal problem since the beginning (Romans 5:12); God provides a way of forgiveness through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7)
  • Wrath — atonement saves from wrath (Romans 5:9), not by eliminating it, but by giving us a second chance (Romans 2:5); even after deliverance, sin still needs to be dealt with (1 John 2:1; 1:9)

Feast of Booths (v. 39-44)

  • Pilgrimage — our homes here are temporary dwellings (2 Peter 3:10); citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20); as pilgrims we must act a certain way (1 Peter 2:11-12), not become attached to the world (1 John 2:15-17)
  • Hope — the Israelites did not leave Egypt to wander in the wilderness, they left for Canaan; we have a specific place we are headed (heaven) & must keep our eyes on the goal (Philippians 3:13-14; Colossians 3:2)

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