Levitical Feasts and Christian Faith
The following is copied from a Facebook post by Energion author Hannah May.
BIG THEOLOGICAL TOPIC. If you’re not interested, scroll on by. . Over the years I have found myself in different situations as a “teacher.” I do know that as a teacher, we need to teach truth, because otherwise we can lead people down the wrong path if we are wrong. I feel a need to make myself understood on the subject of my recognition of things Jewish.
First, I am not Jewish. I’m as Gentile as they come because I was not born into a Jewish home or raised Jewish. I was born and raised Christian, but woke up to the faith of my family as I neared my teenage years. Then, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 13-14. My life was forever changed through this experience as I recognized His living presence inside of me. I will never deny the reality of that moment in my life.
My interest in the “Jewishness” of the Christian faith came simply because I realized that Jesus (Yeshua) was born and raised Jewish. I felt it was worth finding out about, so I made it a special study to learn about Jewish life, culture and customs.
One of my earliest life-verses was written into my first Bible: Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. To the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile). I came to understand that God chose Israel and the Jewish people to present His Son, the Messiah to the world so that whoever believes in Him will be saved.
And that He did it FIRST of all, for those He first chose to be called His people, the Jews. We as Christians are indebted to them for that reason alone, (giving us our Savior) but also to share in His heart for their salvation through faith in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) as well. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation. That’s our job description.
Why did He choose Israel? That’s His business, but I do know that He said it was simply because He loved them as a people. They were called out, starting with Abraham, as a people of faith in one God, and He promised them a “Seed” to come, which is Jesus.
As a Christian, I understand that I am saved by the grace of God through faith in Him who forgave all my sins when He died on the cross. Period. It was not because I ever did anything right or “by the law.” The Bible is clear that we are not justified in God’s sight because we keep the law of Moses. We are justified by faith in Jesus.
However, I do believe that we are to study and learn from ALL of the Bible because we can learn so much about Jesus from it, and about God’s heart and who He is, and how MUCH He loves us!! That includes things like the Feasts of Israel from Leviticus 23. These were special days and appointed times He gave to Israel to follow.
The explanation below comes from a website called “Got Questions.” I think this describes this subject well, and I agree with it.
“Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).
“While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly, it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.”
So, just to be clear. If I mention or show pictures or talk about Jewish feasts like Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Feast of Tabernacles, etc. it is for the purpose of looking at them from the perspective of remembering what God has done in the past and also what He will do in the future as Jesus fulfills them. Jesus is ALWAYS front and center in all my teaching.
Having said this, I may still ruffle some feathers with my position. I have believing friends on all sides of the coin. However, to be true to myself and to anyone who reads my posts, I felt I should make myself clear that this is where I am with this subject. This is my truest belief and I say it before God and everyone.
You are more than welcome to post your comments, even if you disagree with my position, but if you do, please know that I am prepared to discuss back…and I may or may not disagree. But in my way of thinking, discussion is beneficial to grow and learn from each other, as long as it’s done respectfully.
I hope this clears up any confusion I may have caused over the years with some of my posts about where I am on this subject. Thank you if you’ve read this to the end.
(Hannah’s book, Grace Across the River, will be on sale for 30% off ($17.50) until Wednesday, October 19.)