Five Feasts of Israel
There are five appointed feasts in Israel to commemorate God: the Passover, the Firstfruits, the Pentecost, the Trumpets, and the Tabernacles.
The Passover celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. On the day when God sent plagues to Egypt, the Israelites saved themselves from destruction by putting the blood of a lamb on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses. The Passover makes us look upon the blood of Jesus, who was crucified on our behalf. When we realize, “My sins are cleansed,” we become free from curses and destruction. On the Feast of Firstfruits, the early crops are offered to God. This symbolizes Jesus who is the first fruit of resurrection. After seven weeks (49 days) from the Firstfruits, the 50th day is called the Pentecost. The Pentecost celebrates the Spirit coming down to Jesus’ disciples after His resurrection. The Trumpets represents Jesus coming back to the world with the sounds of trumpets blown by the angels. The Tabernacles symbolizes that we live with Jesus in the everlasting Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit Comes as Promised
Seven weeks and one day after Jesus’ resurrection, the Spirit came down. Since the Spirit is holy, He cannot enter people who have sin in their hearts. That is why the Holy Spirit came into our hearts after Jesus, the Lamb of the Passover, was crucified and resurrected to wash our sins and make us righteous.
In the Book of Acts, chapter 2, after the Holy Spirit had come down to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost, God’s great and amazing work occurred. But these works did not happen because the disciples did something good. Of course, they gathered in Mark’s upper room to pray, but praying did not bring them the Holy Spirit. It was only Jesus’ promise that made it happen. Acts chapter 1 verses 4 and 5 say, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” It is also written in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
When the Day of Pentecost came seven weeks after the Passover and the Firstfruits, the Holy Spirit came as promised. Even today that very same Holy Spirit leads us to preach the gospel and fulfill God’s will. The reason we receive the Spirit and power is not because we have done something good, or prayed a lot, or made many efforts. It was because all of our sins were washed as white as snow by Jesus and we were made righteous without even a bit of sin in us that God sent the Spirit to us.
We Who are in the Works Done by Jesus
It doesn’t matter what works we do, God won’t accept us. It’s only through Jesus’ works that He happily accepts us. So the fact that our sins are washed by Jesus being crucified must enter our hearts first. What I mean is that the Passover must take place in our hearts.
Next, there must be the Firstfruits in our hearts. In Romans chapter 4 verse 25, it is written, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” When the resurrected Jesus comes into our hearts, we realize, “Oh, we are righteous and holy.” This does not happen because we do nice things or good works. Although we did not do any works, Jesus’ resurrection made it happen.
And then, there must be the Pentecost, which means that the Spirit leads our lives. Before we received salvation, Satan dragged us to sin. That is why we have been greedy, lying, and lustful even though we don’t want to. But when Jesus’ righteousness and holiness come into our hearts, the Holy Spirit starts to lead our hearts. This is how we can be guided by the Holy Spirit and live bright and holy lives.
We Must Look to the Words of God, Not Ourselves
There are many works that God has done for us. However, we don’t pay attention to His works, but to ours. “I did many good works… I gave a lot of offerings… I evangelize a lot….” We put our hearts into these things. But no matter how good these things look, God cannot complete His good work through them. That is why He does not put His heart in them.
God sent Jesus to this world. He gave us the Passover by crucifixion of Jesus. By resurrection, God gave us the Firstfruits. Through these procedures, He made us righteous and clean. Now we should not look at ourselves through our eyes, judging whether we are righteous or clean. Instead, we must look to the Words of God. We should not count on whether ‘I did good or evil.’ Those who put their interests in how they live are people who believe in themselves. The Spirit of God will work in those who believe that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus can only wash our sins and make us righteous regardless of our images.