As part of the Law, the Israelites were not only instructed to observe a weekly Sabbath rest, but also the sacred holy days associated with the seven Feasts of the Lord outlined in Leviticus 23. These sacred festivals differ from our own secular holy days (holidays) for two reasons. First, they were not placed on the calendar by men, but by God Himself, as they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Second, these Feasts were not designed to commemorate some event from the past, but future events concerning the coming Messiah. God’s Holidays are prophetic shadows of things to come in God’s mystery-plan. They spoke of the Messiah’s mission, ministry, and the chronos of His return. The first four Feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost—were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. The three remaining Feasts—Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles—will be fulfilled when He comes again.
The Chronos Lesson: The integration of the element of prophecy with the concept of holidays was a clear invention of the One who “declares the end from the beginning.” It yielded, in effect, a prophetic calendar available for all of mankind to inspect and consider, particularly as certain “Holy days” began to be fulfilled. Furthermore, these Feasts not only prophetically predicted what would be accomplished, but when things would be fulfilled as well.
It has long been understood that the Sabbaths speak of the redemptive work of Christ in bringing rest to mankind. This rest has nothing to do with being tired, but of a completed work—one that is thoroughly finished and that cannot be improved upon. Thus, we can enter into His rest by partaking of the benefits provided by His finished work on the cross. Truly, He is our Sabbath rest in every sense (1 Thess. 5:23)—spirit, soul, and body!
Concerning the mystery of Christ and His Body, Paul wrote: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Our 3rd Day resurrection will complete our transformation such that we will be fully conformed to Christ’s image—spirit, soul, and body. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).
In general the Church has recognized how the feasts foreshadow Jesus’ ministry and what He would accomplish. Sadly, however, the revelation that the Sabbaths also depict the chronos timing of His return has not been as apparent. The Sabbath not only speaks of rest, but of a designated time for the end as well. It is the seventh and final day in terms of our earthly week. It does not occur until six days of equal duration have transpired first. Therefore the law of the Sabbath prophetically marks the last great Day of God’s Week of Redemption. It points to the coming millennial Sabbath when Jesus Christ will reign over the earth for a thousand years.
Therefore, the prophetic shadows cast by the Sabbath mark His return in terms of the chronos times—that is, on the 7th great Day from Adam. The Sabbaths help us understand what Jesus has done. Yet they also cast a predictive shadow upon our calendars in that they tell us when He will come. For instance, He will return at the sound of the trumpet at the Feast of Trumpets. Stay tuned for more prophetic significance around the Sabbath of all Sabbaths.