Why do we celebrate at designated times?
Psalm 104:19He made the moon for (moed)*appointed times, the sun knows its going down.God has a calendar, and he invites us to attend His appointed times (moed). The appointed times (Moadim) are listed in Leviticus 23.
Leviticus 23: 1 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies." The chapter goes on to list the feast.
In His wisdom, G-d gave us an annual cycle of events to call us to remember what he has already done and rehearse what is yet to come in our Messiah. Each feast enriches our understanding of G-d’s plan and draws us closer to him.
Isaiah 55:6 is his invitation to the appointed times, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
The first appointed time listed in Leviticus 23 is the weekly Shabbat (Sabbath). This is the seventh day of the week. G-d reserved this day in the creation week as a set aside time of rest, restoration, and worship of G-d.
Here is the list of the other appointed times.
Pesach (Passover) Nisan 15
Chag HaMatzot (Unleavened Bread) Nisan 15-22
Yom HaBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) Nisan 27
Shavuot (Pentecost) Sivan 6-7
Yom Teruah (Day of the Trumpets/judgements) Tishri 1
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Tishri 10
Sukkot (Tabernacles/booths) Tishri 15-21
Jewish Traditional or Customary closing of the season
Hoshana Rabba (seventh day of Sukkot) Tishri 21
Shemini Atzeret (eighth day of assembly following Sukkot) Tishri 22
Other Traditional Celebrations
Hanukkah and Purim are considered minor holidays in the Jewish calendar. Although not biblically commanded to commemorate, we do honor and celebrate them by retelling the story and remembering G-d’s great faithfulness to his children.
Leviticus 23:41 tells us these (moedim) are a “statue forever throughout your generations.”
The moedim have been lost to the non-Jewish faith communities. Many have either never been taught about them or believe that Yeshua annulled the celebration of the feasts. We are the generations Leviticus is speaking to about keeping the moedim.
Yeshua reminds us in John 14:15 “If you love me you will keep my commandments”
Rabbi Shaul (Paul), wrote to the community at Ephesus,
Ephesians 2:18-19, "For through him (Yeshua) we both (Jew and Gentile) have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you (Gentile) are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members (Jews) of the household of God." (Parenthesis have been added)
This household of G-d is a place that does not replace the unique gift of the individual or the culture the individual represents. Rather we all bring our flavor to the Kingdom. We are all privileged to worship in the distinct way G-d has created us and the community He has placed us in. We also get the joy of joining together during certain seasons under the command of the L-rd.
We are blessed to celebrate the Biblical Feasts of the L-rd together with people from all different walks of life. Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated these great times when he walked the earth. The disciples continued to do this after the resurrection and the early messianic community kept the feasts until they were outlawed, however, many Jewish families continued to quietly celebrate the feasts, preserving them for believers today.
Today we can lift up the name of Yeshua and glorify G-d publicly as we gather on His appointed time