Messianic Apologetics
10 January, 2020

Biblical Festivals – FAQ

Do you think that Christians should observe the feasts/appointed times, the moedim, of Leviticus 23?

Our ministry encourages all Believers to keep the Biblical holidays that the Lord prescribed for His people in Leviticus 23, including: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost/Shavuot, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. This would include the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, as it is listed as one of the appointed times. We encourage all Believers to keep the Biblical holidays, however, as a genuine outworking of the Holy Spirit in their lives and not as a means to unfairly judge or demean others who do not keep them. Those who embrace the appointed times of Leviticus 23, having once not observed them, need to remember them in a demeanor of fulfilling the Messiah’s love and grace.

We are informed in Scripture that these appointed times of God, are “are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:17, ESV), meaning that we are all to see the Messiah and His salvation work represented by them. There have been many books and resources released in the evangelical world during the past two decades, which to one degree or another addresses the topic of “Jesus in the feasts,” recognizing the significance of Yeshua’s salvation work—both past and future—via the themes of the appointed times. Recognizing the Messianic substance of Yeshua, for example, in something like the Passover, has helped significantly grow the Messianic community as inquiring evangelical Believers have wanted to know more about their faith heritage in Israel’s Scriptures.

It is important to note that common Christian celebrations do not equal the number of holidays that God prescribed. Christmas, Easter, and short Sunday services are less than the six or seven Biblical appointments (the lowest number count of the moedim), the weekly Sabbath (which lasts an entire day), plus additional holidays like Purim and Chanukah. If people want to honor God as much as possible, His way obviously has advantages, as today’s traditional Christian holidays were not celebrated by the early Believers, being instead instituted centuries after the death of the Apostles by the Roman Catholic Church. (In saying this, please understand that we are not saying that the commemoration of Yeshua’s birth and resurrection are unimportant; we are only saying that they should be integrated into our celebration of the Biblical holidays.)

There are a variety of New Testament passages commonly offered to say that the appointed times or moedim should not be observed by non-Jewish Believers (Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:5-6). Each of these verses was delivered within an ancient context, addressing some particular issues for its original audience, which needs to be seriously considered by Bible readers. Consult the editor’s article “Does the New Testament Annul the Biblical Appointments?” for a further examination of Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16-17; and Romans 14:5-6.