Category Archives: Holidays and Festivals
God created special celebrations that were object lessons, reminders, and PROPHECIES about the future.
The annual feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23) provide a prophetic panorama of God’s wonderful plan of redemption, beginning with the sacrifice of the Lamb (Passover) and resolving with the final ingathering at the end of the age (Feast of Tabernacles).
In this message, Scott Brown shares how the springs feasts were fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah and why that’s GOOD NEWS for both Jews and Gentiles today.
God knew we all need a scapegoat, someone to take the punishment we deserve. He provided an annual scapegoat for the nation of Israel and a permanent one for all people through the Messiah, Jesus. In this message, Scott Brown explains why this is such an amazing gift!
In this message, Zohar Gonen guides a small group through a Bible study on the significance of the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.
O Hanukkah, O Hanukkah
A festival of joy
A holiday, a jolly day
For every girl and boy
Spin the whirling dreydls
All week long
Eat the sizzling latkes
Sing a happy song
Hanukkah! Even the most sophisticated, secular Jewish person cannot help feeling merry when Hanukkah rolls around. Who wouldn’t? It’s a celebration that combines the unique blend of history and faith that has sustained the Jewish people throughout the centuries. Plus, it’s simply a ripping good story of an underdog standing up to a bully and teaching him a lesson.
On Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, Jewish people remember one of the shining moments in Israel’s history. It is a glorious story of the best kind-a righteous underdog battling against seemingly insurmountable odds and prevailing. The mighty Maccabees rallied a beaten and dispirited people and turned them into winners.
Today, Hanukkah is a festival with special foods and activities for Jewish people everywhere. Jewish children play with the dreydl, a top with Hebrew letters that proclaim “A Great Miracle Happened There.”
Purim! Is there a more festive celebration in the entire Jewish world? No indeed! Purim is a foot-stomping, shouting, eating, singing, joking Jewish carnival for all ages. The Book of Esther provides the background and Jewish tradition has taken it from there. Throughout the world, Purim is celebrated in many ways, as Jewish people from many cultures have infused their festivities with their own particular local customs.
But along with the differences, there is a continuity that is solidly based in the Scripture and the story it tells of God’s deliverance through the bravery and obedience of His chosen servants.
Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks, is one of the three “convocations of the Lord” that, along with Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, constitute the “appointed times” (Leviticus 23:4) for Israel to gather in Jerusalem. It may be thought of as a unit with Passover, as we will soon see, for a number of reasons-including the close connection between the life and ministry of Jesus the Messiah and the gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers the Lord’s people to do His work.
The Jewish context of the life and ministry of Jesus the Messiah is the source of a constantly renewed sense of wonder. We marvel at the mystery of the Incarnation as we contemplate the earthly life of the Lord and the Jewish trappings that accompany it. And we are struck by the part played by the Temple, its services and the other Jewish observances that are so carefully described in the Gospels. This is the world that Jesus entered, we remind ourselves. This is the world that His presence reshaped forever.
Written by Dana N.
As we celebrate Purim, we remember God’s deliverance through yet another attempt to destroy the Jewish people. We recall the heroism and bravery of young Esther and the faithfulness of her uncle Mordecai, who incurred the wrath of Haman after refusing to bow down to him. But I wonder how the story would have ended if Esther or Mordecai had responded differently to their situations?
I think of Esther, who was young and beautiful. When she learned that she was to be taken into the king’s harem, would she have been delighted? Or would she have mourned the loss of a young woman’s hope for love and a family of her own? You see, if Esther had not become queen, she would have remained in the king’s harem, only to be summoned on the occasion of his request. Any expectations of a family and other dreams – not to mention her purity – would have been lost.
Written by Cathy Wilson
Scripture tells us that Esther was “taken” (Esther 2:8). Where? To a place not of her choosing – she was taken to a harem! And, she was told to stifle her identity as a Jewish woman.
At first pass, the book of Esther reads like a modern reality TV series. The setting is the Persian palace of Shushan, the abode of dysfunctional King Ahasuerus. In the midst of a victory celebration gone wild, Queen Vashti rebels and is subsequently decrowned. What’s a king to do? Beautiful virgins are gathered from the 127+ provinces within the kingdom to compete for the Queen’s crown. All receive gift certificates for a year’s worth of beauty treatments. (Who said Day Spas are the latest craze?) Might we see such a script on TV next season under the title of “Persian Idol”? I wouldn’t be shocked!