Some of you know that end times prophecy has been a passion of mine for many years. The Bible teaches that we are not to be ignorant or uninformed about future things, that we are to be watchful and discerning. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope,” (1Thess 4:13).We have heard for years that Jesus is coming back soon. Knowing that with God a day is as a thousand years, it has been difficult to believe it might happen in our lifetime. In this blog series, over several days, I would like to share some thoughts and insights that may be new to you.
First of all, let’s look at the Jewish feast days. Jesus lived in a very Jewish community and it is good to be aware of several of the feast days and how they play into his first and second coming. In particular, we know that there are four spring feasts and three fall feasts. What do we know about His first coming? Interestingly, major events of Jesus first coming fell on feast days. Jesus died on Passover. At a traditional Passover, the lamb was set aside four days before the sacrifice (Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem was four days before the cross). On the day of Passover, the lamb was bound at 9:00 AM (as was Jesus) on the date of Nissan 14. It was slaughtered at 3:00 PM (the time of Jesus death). When the sacrifice was done, the high priest uttered, “Kalah” meaning “It is finished” (the same as Jesus last words).
Jesus was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He rose on First Fruits, and on Pentecost, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our teacher, and the One who will guide us into all truth.
Knowing Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about His first coming on the spring feast days, it seems reasonable that events around His second coming might take place on the fall feast days. Could it be that the Rapture will occur on the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashana)? (1Thess. 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”)
Next, might His second coming (separate from the rapture) and the beginning of the wrath of God commence on the Day of Atonement (also called Yom Kippur)? And could the Millennial kingdom begin on the Feast of Tabernacles (also called Sukkot)?
The Bible says, of course, in Mark 13:32, speaking of the Feast of Trumpets or the possible Rapture, “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
But wait a minute…let’s look at that verse from a Jewish perspective of that day. In speaking of the Feast of Trumpets, (Rosh Hashana), T.W. Tramm, in his book “The Coming Days of Awe,” explains that a Jew at that time understood that the exact day and hour of the Feast of Trumpets which was celebrated each September could not be forecast ahead of time because it depended on the first sighting of the new moon. Today, we are able to forecast the new moon each month. This year it begins the evening of Sept. 13th and ends on the 15th. A common phrase among Jews in biblical times was that they couldn’t know “the day or the hour.” However, they did know the season.
As you will see in my next post, the plot thickens.