Friday, 28 October 2016

Are the Feasts Still Prophetic

I'm not convinced the Jewish Feasts were prophetic of events still to come in future in Israel, without their having been fulfilled already in some way.

Obviously the second coming, resurrection, final judgment and God dwelling with us in new heavens and earth are still future - yet in a sense all of that has already been inaugurated, or made possible, and we've tasted it in advance already, in some new and very real way spiritually already - through the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

The problem with making it future, is it confuses the timeline of redemption, as follows: Seeing the Passover was a shadow of Christ's death on the cross, if the Feast of Tabernacles (which followed the Passover) foreshadowed a still-future event for national-Israel, then it would mean Christ has to be crucified again - because the Feast of Tabernacles involved blood sacrifice too. But Jesus was sacrificed "once for all".

See what I mean? So not all of the details in all of the ancient Feasts can't foreshadow a sequence of events to happen for national-Israel in future.

I think, in their own way, each of the Feasts depicted the overall Gospel message. Perhaps each feast focused on one aspect of the message more than another feast did. And there is a certain amount of historical sequence intended (for example, the outpouring of the Spirit followed the cross, just like the day of Pentecost followed the Passover). But I don't think every detail in each of the Feasts was meant to have a sequential fulfilment in Israel in future.

Take the sacrifices for example. Jesus won't be sacrificed again in future, and neither will animal sacrifices be required again in future again. So the fact that a sacrifice had to be offered during the Feast of Tabernacles was a detail which can't have a sequential fulfilment in future.

So the emphasis in fulfilment isn't in seeing future events for Israel - other than what shall occur for all nations, through the Gospel scheme of things.

Believers of all nations await the consummation of our salvation, but there is a very real sense in which it has already been inaugurated. That's the Gospel!

So the Feasts were fulfilled, in Christ, in sequential historical order - and the whole scheme awaits its consummation at Christ's second coming. I don't think the Feasts are about things still to happen uniquely for national Israel prior to the second coming or during some uniquely Jewish millennium after Christ comes. There's no theological room for that, in the New Testament.

We can't make the ancient Feasts out to be prophetic of anything which the Apostles didn't already teach in their Gospel. And they taught about one sacrifice. One new man. One body. And then the second coming.

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