The Biblical Feasts
The Focus is Jesus
Some well-intentioned Messianic Jewish leaders, in their apologetic zeal to draw Jewish people to study the New Testament in light of Isaiah 53, have stated that “the focus of the New Testament is still the Jewish people.” I understand the heart’s desire and the apologetic intent in that statement to defend the New Covenant Scriptures to the Jewish people who dismiss them as heresy, out of fear of losing their ethnic identity. However, this statement begs examination of what is actually fact.
The fact is that the focus of the Scriptures, both Older Covenant and New Covenant, is not about the Jewish people. The focus of both the Old Testament Scriptures and the New Testament Scriptures always has been and always will be about the plan of God to demonstrate His sovereignty, to bring redemption to fallen mankind, to declare His Kingdom and to make the creation new and incorruptible through His Anointed One promised in Genesis 3.15. The fact is that the Jewish people were chosen by His grace from all of us in the rebellious human race, from among the Syrian/Chaldean nation, “to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly” before the God who chose them (Micah 6.8); and He chose them by His sovereign grace to declare to all of us fallen nations the truth of the God who is “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster” (Jonah 4.2).
The focus of the New Covenant Scriptures is not the Jewish people; the focus of the New Covenant Scriptures is the Anointed One, Jesus, who was made incarnate as a Jew according to the body and according to the Scriptures: to fulfill the plan of redemption according to the sovereign Law of a holy God, to demonstrate His authority as the Sovereign of the cosmos, to declare the Kingdom of God, and to demonstrate through His resurrection His divine power to make the creation new and incorruptible.
If the Jewish people are ever going to accept the New Testament, they must accept, by the grace of God, the message of both the Old Testament and the New Testament: the Kingdom of God is first. The people of Israel were chosen to come to the knowledge of it first and to be bearers of the truth that the Anointed One, the Redeemer of all who believe, is Yeshua/Jesus.
Jesus began His public ministry among the people of Israel first, declaring to them: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4.17). “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19.29).
Therefore, although the Jewish Apostle Paul wrote that the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to the Jew first (Romans 1.16); and although the Jewish Apostle Paul spent his life preaching first to the Jewish people in all the lands where he ministered; and although God is not finished with the Jewish people in this age and there are promises to be fulfilled for them (Romans 11); and although Christians are called by God to declare the Messiah Jesus to the Jewish people, the Jewish Apostle Paul declared:
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…
Let us not become ensnared with any idea that the Scriptures’ focus is the people of Israel. That simply is not true.
From this page, readers may access the following studies:
- The Spring Holy Days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits and Pentecost. A link to this material will be provided soon.
- The Autumn Feasts of Trumpets, Days of Awe and Atonement, and Tabernacles. A link to this material is available here: The Autumn Holy Days
- The Feast of Esther – Purim. A link to this material is available here: The Feast of Esther – Purim
All of the material featured in these studies is original, developed from my personal research into the Scriptures and the history and traditions of Israel. All the material featured in these studies is adapted for these blog pages from my lesson material published in DISCIPLING THE MESSIANIC BELIEVER: CELEBRATING THE FEASTS; first edition, ©1990, ©1991, ©1992, ©1993; and from all subsequent lesson materials I printed and used for my role as a Shabbat School administrator and children’s teacher at Son of David Congregation in Rockville, MD and at Sar Shalom Fellowship, Leesburg, VA. Second editions of these Biblical Feasts lessons published individually: ©1995, ©2003, ©2020, by Patricia Stachew, Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA. All rights reserved.