Should We Keep The Feasts Of Israel?

 

Question

Should we keep the feasts of Israel in our day?

 

Quick Answer:

No!

The Bible Says Christ Is Our Passover

The Bible says Christ is our Passover. Therefore it is no longer necessary to keep the typical feasts that pointed forward to Christ. Upon Christ's death, the Passover was replaced by the the Lord's Supper as the memorial of Christ's death. This can be shown from the Bible. This is confirmed in the writings of Ellen White. Accordingly, we no longer need to keep the feast days.

It Is Impossible To Properly Keep The Feasts

It is also impossible to properly keep the feast days in our time. To properly keep the feast days during the Jewish dispensation the people were required to celebrate on a specific day, at a certain place, and do certain things. It is impossible to know the precise day that the feast days would have fallen on in our day. It is also impossible for people throughout the globe to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts. It is also impossible for everyone celebrating the feasts to slaughter the proper animals on the same day. I will add more on this later.

Continuing To Keep The Feasts Insults Jehovah

Ellen White writes that continuing to keep the feast days reveals a lack of faith in the sufficiency of Christ's death, and insults God in doing so:

To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.”—Ellen White, Review and Herald, June 14, 1898 par. 16 

 

Some Background

Because the Lord's supper was instituted as the new memorial to the death and resurrection of Christ, replacing the Passover, the question comes regarding the continued necessity of keeping the feasts of Israel. The following information shares why keeping the feast days is neither necessary or possible.

 

Bible Answer:

Christ Is Our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:"

 

Additional Texts Identifying Christ As Our Passover

Isaiah 53:5-7 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

1 Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:"

1 Peter 1:18-20 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"

Revelation 5:6 "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."

 

Texts Indicating The Old Jewish System Had Come To An End

Daniel 927 “In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”

Matthew 27:50-51 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"

Hebrews 10:1-12 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"

 

Additional Answers:

Ellen White said much about the obligations of the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation ending with the death of Christ, the Passover Lamb. In the following quotations you will find many clear statements in this regard.—Dan

The Lord's Supper Discharged His Disciples From The Cares And Burdens  Of The Ancient Jewish Rites And Ceremonies

"In this ordinance [Lord's Supper] Christ discharged His disciples from the cares and burdens of the ancient Jewish obligations in rites and ceremonies. These no longer possessed any virtue, for type was meeting antitype in Himself, the authority and foundation of all the Jewish ordinances that pointed to Him as the great and only efficacious offering for the sins of the world."—Ellen White, Manuscript 19, 1897.18

Freedom Came From The Bondage Of Ceremonies

"The Great Teacher’s wisdom in limiting the measure of their researches in earthly directions called the attention of all to His legislation, from the very foundation of the world, to a code of morals pure, simple, and practical, unencumbered by the long years of types and sacrifices, which passed away when the only true sacrifice, Jesus the only begotten Son of God, was offered for the sins of the world. His lessons to His disciples are received by all who would become His disciples to the end of time. They discharged them from the bondage of ceremonies and left them the ordinance of baptism, to be received by faith in Jesus Christ, as the only One who can take away sin."—Ellen White, Manuscript 19, 1897.22

Continuing To Keep The Feasts Is An Insult To Jehovah

“It was Christ's desire to leave to his disciples an ordinance that would do for them the very thing they needed,--that would serve to disentangle them from the rites and ceremonies which they had hitherto engaged in as essential, and which the reception of the gospel made no longer of any force. To continue these rites would be an insult to Jehovah.”—Ellen White, Review and Herald, June 14, 1898 par. 16 

The National Festival Of The Jews Was To Pass Away Forever

“Christ was standing at the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. He, the spotless Lamb of God, was about to present Himself as a sin offering, that He would thus bring to an end the system of types and ceremonies that for four thousand years had pointed to His death. As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice. The national festival of the Jews was to pass away forever. The service which Christ established was to be observed by His followers in all lands and through all ages.”—Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 652.2

Types And Sacrifices Passed Away When Christ, The True Sacrifice, Died

"The great Teacher’s wisdom in limiting the measure of our researches in earthly directions, called the attention of all to his legislation from the very foundation of our world,—to a code of morals, pure, simple, and practical, unencumbered by the long years of types and sacrifices, which passed away when the only true Sacrifice, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was offered for the sins of the world. His lessons to his disciples are received by all who would become his disciples, to the end of time. These lessons discharge his followers from the bondage of the ceremonial law, and leave them the ordinance of baptism to be received by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the only one who can take away sin." {RH June 21, 1898, Art. A, par. 2}

The Passover Memorial Was To Close Forever

“The symbols of the Lord’s house are simple and plainly understood, and the truths represented by them are of the deepest significance to us. In instituting the sacramental service to take the place of the Passover, Christ left for his church a memorial of his great sacrifice for man. “This do,” he said, “in remembrance of me.” This was the point of transition between two economies and their two great festivals. The one was to close forever; the other, which he had just established, was to take its place, and to continue through all time as the memorial of his death.”—Ellen White, Review and Herald, May 31, 1898, par. 2

Lord's Supper Was Instituted As A Memorial Of Christ's Death

“On the fourteenth day of the month, at even, the Passover was celebrated, its solemn, impressive ceremonies commemorating the deliverance from bondage in Egypt, and pointing forward to the sacrifice that should deliver from the bondage of sin. When the Saviour yielded up His life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type.”—Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 539.5

All The Sacrificial Offerings Were To Cease

"This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Then all the sacrificial offerings were to cease. It is this law that Christ “took ... out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Colossians 2:14. But concerning the law of Ten Commandments the psalmist declares, “Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89. And Christ Himself says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law.... Verily I say unto you”—making the assertion as emphatic as possible—“Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17, 18. Here He teaches, not merely what the claims of God’s law had been, and were then, but that these claims should hold as long as the heavens and the earth remain. The law of God is as immutable as His throne. It will maintain its claims upon mankind in all ages."—Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 365.1

The Rites And Ceremonies Of The Mosaic Dispensation Were No Longer Binding

"The Jews had always prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services, and many of those who had been converted to the faith of Christ still felt that since God had once clearly outlined the Hebrew manner of worship, it was improbable that He would ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They insisted that the Jewish laws and ceremonies should be incorporated into the rites of the Christian religion. They were slow to discern that all the sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type met antitype, and after which the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation were no longer binding."—Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 189.3 

There Was No Longer Any Need For The Passover

"While the institution of the passover was pointing backward to the miraculous deliverance of the Hebrews, it likewise pointed forward, showing the death of the Son of God before it transpired. In the last passover our Lord observed with his disciples, he instituted the Lord’s supper in place of the passover, to be observed in memory of his death. No longer had they need of the passover, for he, the great antitypical Lamb, was ready to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Type met antitype in the death of Christ."—Ellen White, Youth's Instructor, May 1, 1873, par. 12

After Christ's Death, The Ceremonial Law Could Have No Force

"After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering, the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving his life-giving, sanctifying Spirit to all who believe?"—Ellen White, Review and Herald, April 22, 1902, Art. A, par. 9

When Type Met Antitype, The Divinely Appointed Ceremonies And Sacrifices Became Valueless

"The Jews had prided themselves upon their divinely appointed services; and they concluded that as God once specified the Hebrew manner of worship, it was impossible that he should ever authorize a change in any of its specifications. They decided that Christianity must connect itself with the Jewish laws and ceremonies. They were slow to discern to the end of that which had been abolished by the death of Christ, and to perceive that all their sacrificial offerings had but prefigured the death of the Son of God, in which type had met its antitype rendering valueless the divinely appointed ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish religion."—Ellen White, Sketches from the Life of Paul, 64.2

Freedom From Observing The Ancient Rites And Ceremonies Came After The Death Of Christ

"Before his conversion Paul had regarded himself as blameless “touching the righteousness which is in the law.” Philippians 3:6. But since his change of heart he had gained a clear conception of the mission of the Saviour as the Redeemer of the entire race, Gentile as well as Jew, and had learned the difference between a living faith and a dead formalism. In the light of the gospel the ancient rites and ceremonies committed to Israel had gained a new and deeper significance. That which they shadowed forth had come to pass, and those who were living under the gospel dispensation had been freed from their observance. God’s unchangeable law of Ten Commandments, however, Paul still kept in spirit as well as in letter."—Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 190.1

The Ceremonies That Typified Christ Were Of No Value After Christ's Death

"The Judaizing teachers were continually presenting the virtues of the law and the ceremonies, exalting these above the gospel of Christ, and bringing Paul under condemnation because he did not urge upon the people the ceremonies that typified Christ and were therefore of no value since Christ’s death.—Ellen White, Manuscript 58, 1900.10 

 

Final Thoughts:

Some people stumble over the continued keeping of the Passover and other feasts, but the Bible is clear that Christ's death forever ended the feasts and ceremonies of the Jewish dispensation. In addition to what the Bible teaches, there is clear teaching in the writings of Ellen White in this regard. It is also impossible to properly keep the feasts in our day, as was explained above.