A Journey Through God's Appointed Times
As we move through the year towards the autumn months, Jewish people will be anticipating the Autumn Feasts. In Israel, the religious feasts and festivals define the annual calendar and they certainly come with a plethora of special foods and celebrations that everyone looks forward to. However, to relegate them to the religious practices of the Jewish community or even archaic Old Testament Feasts that are no longer relevant to us, I believe, robs us of a richness in understanding God’s heart towards us.
In Leviticus 23, God instructs Moses about the specific times and details of these Feasts. The Hebrew word he uses is the plural םידעומ MO’EDIM from the Hebrew word דעומ MO’ED. The word MO’EDIM has a more literal meaning of ‘appointed times’ - it is as if He, the God of the Universe, is sitting down with Moses and marking on the calendar regular times and moments when He is scheduling a special meeting with His people. This should make us want to sit up and take notice! God made appointments to meet with his people for special times.
The New Testament records Jesus participating in these ‘appointed times’ and many see them as signposts directing us towards themes and concepts that Jesus would fulfil through his life. It’s as if the ‘Appointed Times’, the Feasts of the Lord, direct us to participate in and experience the life of our Messiah through the lens of the whole Bible. The life of the Messiah was not an isolated event that took place two thousand years ago. It is the culmination of a chain of events that have been playing out since the beginning - God’s plan to reconcile us to himself.
Check out the articles on Yom Ha T'ruah (Day of Trumpet Blasts), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) coming soon!