I have read the Bible a few times over but it has never really come alive to me quite like it has recently when I began facilitating a small group study of the Feasts of Israel. Likewise, and for the record, I have probably heard an estimated thousands of sermons preached from the Bible on Christian radio stations and, of course, in church over the years but I have never truly experienced a comprehensive, expository preaching series on all seven Feasts of Israel laid out in Leviticus Chapter 23 until now. And if that weren’t enough, my pastor, and his son, recently returned from a life-changing vacation to the Holy Land and couldn’t wait to tell the congregation how the Bible came alive during their trip. Lord willing, one day I hope to do the same and “walk where Jesus walked (http://www.levitt.com/slideshow/)!”
So, I have decided to, sort of, chronicle my own enlightening journey through the Scriptures, one feast at a time, and share what I personally gained from bravely confronting those pesky, difficult-to-understand Old Testament passages that we tend to skip in our daily devotionals. After all, I have always wanted to get to know my Jewish roots of Christianity certainly much better than I had in the past and genuinely understand how Jesus is not only represented in the Feasts of Israel but how He fulfilled them prophetically. In fact, discerning all those dates and times in the Jewish calendar alone can be very intimidating and frustrating, to say the least. Apparently, God had a very good reason for including His Holidays in the Word of God and I am determined to discover why!
Now, the first stop on my journey, and the first in a series of eight articles, is the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3, NKJV) and, by the way, I won’t be sojourning without some assistance from Bible teacher and scholar, Sam Nadler, PhD, author of the book, “Messiah in The Feasts of Israel” published by Word of Messiah Ministries. Dr. Nadler was brought up in a traditional, Jewish home but became a Christian upon knowing Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior (Messiah). After serving in several well-known ministries some 30 years, he currently is president of Word of Messiah Ministries (http://www.wordofmessiah.org/about-sam.html).
Hence, I can’t wait to share with you what I learned about Jesus in the Sabbath (or Shabbat in Hebrew, which means to rest or sit down) in my next article and I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Nadler that Shabbat is foundational to not only God’s creation but His redemptive schedule for mankind and appreciating the Feasts of Israel as well (Nadler, 2010, pp. 9-11)!