The holidays of the fall – the fallidays – are at hand. First out on Tishrei 1st is Rosh haShana, the New Year, biblically known as Yom Trua, the Feast of Trumpets. Ten days later, on Tishrei 10th we observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Just a few days after that, on Tishrei 15th, Sukkot starts – the Feast of Tabernacles. And finally, on Tishrei 22nd, the 8th day after Sukkot, we celebrate Shmini Atzeret, the last falliday.
The term “fallidays” is something that I recently made up, and they are only used by cringey dad-joke enthusiasts like me. Sorry, not sorry.
So what exactly are we celebrating and why? We don’t know for sure. That’s what’s so amazing about them. God just told us, “Hey, these days are holidays, celebrate them like this on these and these dates.” That’s it. But that doesn’t stop us from thinking about them, making sense of them and creating theories about them based on the Bible. In Leviticus 23, God calls them moadim – appointed times. It’s like when you schedule a meeting with someone. These are the days on which we have a scheduled appointment to meet with God.
The spring holidays – Pesach and Shavuot – were fulfilled in the Messiah’s first coming. The Jewish people celebrated them for many centuries, without knowing the full meaning of them until Jesus came along and fulfilled them. I’m pretty sure there’s a similar thing going on with the fallidays. They will be fulfilled in his second coming.
He died and rose again on Pesach, and the Holy Spirit came on Shavuot. That’s why churches still celebrate these spring holidays. They only celebrate them as times in Jesus’ life and have forgotten the Old Testament original. Also, they changed the calendar and added a bunch of pagan influence. Nice. But they haven’t picked up the fallidays at all, because they’ve failed to see their importance.
Can we look at the fallidays together and see a theme connected to the Second Coming? Absolutely. Feast of Trumpets – Day of Atonement – Feast of Tabernacles – Feast of a huge gathering. They connect directly to the Second Coming – the Day of Judgement – the Millenium – the Gathering of the nations.
I think these are the only holidays I know of in the world in which we don’t celebrate past, but future events. Only God could make up holidays like that – and he commanded us to keep them some 3,000 years ago. Isn’t that awesome? Why would anyone willingly give up celebrating these holidays?
Really, I don’t want to be judgmental. But I honestly just don’t get it. Why have the Christian Gentiles dismissed these holidays? I know, the liturgical year starts in September in orthodox churches, and is connected to the creation of the world, which has some similarities to Rosh haShana and the Jewish legends relating to it, but that’s a really small and insignificant little remnant.
The most common excuse is “The Old Testament holidays are just symbols and shadows, Jesus is the real thing.” That sounds like a valid excuse, as long as you do like the puritans and ban all holidays. But if you’re celebrating ANY holidays at all, and you claim to believe the Bible – why would you choose any other holidays than the ones God has told us to keep?
Tonight we will dip apples in honey and wish one another a sweet and happy new year, while remembering the Second Coming which will most probably occur on that day. Next week on Yom Kippur we will take stock and examine ourselves “to see whether you are in the faith” which is a healthy thing to do once a year, even if we know we have eternal atonement through the Messiah. Two weeks from now we will celebrate Sukkot sitting in temporary huts and think of the temporary nature of our time on earth. We will remember Jesus incarnation, how he was temporarily among us, and look forward to the millenial kingdom. Finally, on Shmini Atseret, three weeks from now, we will think of the supernatural eternity beyond the Millennium.
God gave us these holidays, and they all point to Jesus. Why not celebrate them? I really don’t judge you if you’ve grown up in a Gentile environment and don’t have the means or knowledge to celebrate – it’s not your fault. Your society treats it as regular days, your job expects you to show up. I get it. It’s your society that I’m judging a bit harsh, not you. But I’d also encourage you to deepen your knowledge in these holidays. In the Jewish roots of your faith. The holiday season is here right now. The appointment that God has scheduled with us is here. And most people who claim to believe in the Messiah of Israel are tragically unaware.