What Holidays did Jesus Celebrate in the Spring?
Which holidays did Jesus celebrate in the spring? Where do we find the spring feasts in the Bible? How can we celebrate them this year?
If these are questions you have, you are not alone! More and more Christians are starting to learn about the holidays Jesus celebrated and seeing the faith grow as a result. Join me today as we take a brief look at these holidays and what we as Christians can discover.
What does the word Feast Mean?
For Christians, when we hear the word feasts and our minds imagine large festive dinners. But what did it mean to the people living in biblical times?
The Old Testament word feast in Hebrew can be translated as:
- an appointment, that is
- a fixed time or season; specifically a festival
- an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose)
In the New Testament, the word feast in Greek means
- A festival
- A holy day
Our modern term for feasts does not translate the original meaning well, but upon learning the definition, we can better understand the verses related to the feasts.
Where Do We Find the Spring Feasts in the Bible?
Biblical feasts are first mentioned individually in Leviticus 23. When God gave Moses instructions about the holidays and eight holy days were established. These holidays are celebrated primarily in the spring and fall.
- Purim is celebrated in the early spring. Esther 9:23-28
- Passover – Leviticus 23:4-5
- Unleavened Bread – Leviticus 23:6-8
- First Fruits – Leviticus 23:9-14
In addition to the spring feasts, there are three falls feasts, for a total of eight. God established the feasts for a purpose.
What is the Purpose of the Biblical Feasts?
The biblical feasts and holy days were set aside by God to meet with His people. Each feast had a two-fold purpose.
1. First, to remember the past and how God moved on behalf of His people, this was a great way to teach the next generation the biblical stories.
2. Second, it was a time to grow in the faith, to look at people from history and learn from them.
The feasts were celebrated throughout the Old and New Testaments as a time for God’s people to remember and grow. Every year more and more Christians are adding the biblical feasts to their yearly celebration schedule. So many are asking, “How do we discover when the holidays are to be celebrated?”
When are the Biblical Spring Feasts in 2023?
Today, we follow the Gregorian calendar not the Hebrew calendar found in the Bible. The biblical calendar is a lunar/solar calendar having 360 days, and periodic leap months, so the holidays will be on different dates each year on our modern calendar.When are the fall biblical feasts celebrated in 2022 and what is commemorated for each holy day?
Purim – March 7-8, 2023 – Adar 14-15
Purim is the annual remembrance of the events recorded in the book of Esther. Following God’s deliverance from death, through the courage of Queen Esther, a holiday was set up to remember God’s intervention and salvation. This is a two-day celebration is a time of gift giving and a joyful holiday.
Today many congregations read the book of Esther, complete with cheering when the names of Esther and Mordecai are read, and then hissing and booing when Haman’s name is read. Purim is a great time to remember that God has placed us at this time in history for a purpose.
Passover – April 5, 2023 – Nisan 14
During the time of the Tabernacle and Temple, the children of Israel sacrificed a lamb and then shared a special meal with their family. This was a time to remember how God passed over homes that had the blood on the doors during the first Passover.
Today, we not only remember how delivered the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt but as believers we also remember how the death of Jesus delivered us from sin. A special meal commemorates these events known as the Passover Seder. The Passover Seder uses different foods and readings to explain the story of redemption.
Unleavened Bread – April 6 to 13, 2023 – Nisan 15-22
The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins a seven-day period in which no yeast is eaten. In Bible times, a day of rest began and ended this holiday. This feast was to remember how the children of Israel left Egypt so quickly that they did not have time to let their bread rise and had to make unleavened bread for food.
Today, we are reminded to remove the yeast of sin our of our lives. During this time it is tradition not to eat any foods with leaven in them.
Feast of First Fruits – April 9, 2023 –The first day after the first Sabbath, after Passover
After the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, each year they brought the first fruits of the spring harvest (like barley) to the Lord and offered them along with other offerings at the Temple.
Each year this helped the children of Israel to remember to give thanks to God for the first fruits of the harvest and to show they trusted Him to bring in the rest of the harvest.
Today, there is no special ways to celebrate this feast.
What can Christians Learn from the Feasts?
Today, as Christians we can look at these feasts also as a time to remember God’s might works of the past and to grow in our faith. The study of the biblical feasts and holy days helps us to understand many passages in the Bible and is worth the time invested to study them.
- Be encouraged that God has placed you to live at this time in history and He has something special He wants you to do.
- Be thankful that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. Hebrews 9:11-12
Look forward to the day when we will celebrate Passover with Jesus as He promised at the Last Supper.
If you want to learn more about the holidays Jesus celebrated all year long, I recommend our Biblical Feasts and Holy Days study that will introduce you to each feast. If you would like to discover when these holidays will occur next year, see our Biblical Calendar.
What questions do you have about the feasts? Have you ever celebrated one of the feasts, and if so, what is one thing you discovered?