Text Size: Zoom In

The Mysterious Third Feast of Israel

Moses asked Israel to remember their Exodus Passover on the 14th of the Hebrew month of  Nisan (Lev 23:5).  He said the next day (the 15th) was to begin  seven days of Unleavened Bread and called the first day a no-work/Sabbath (vv 6-7).

Moses went on to say that, once Israel was in their promised land and harvesting their crops, the day after the Sabbath was to be a celebration of Firstfruits (vv 10-11). On this day Israel was to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and bring the first of their barley harvest to the Lord as an expression of thanksgiving for the rest of the harvest that was to follow.

As we read the ancient text of Isaiah now, we might wonder whether the firstfruits of harvest were to be brought after the first or last days of Unleavened Bread, since both days were no-work days/Sabbaths (vv7-8). But as indicated in an earlier post, the Jewish historian Josephus said that first century Israel recognized this as a third feast to be celebrated on the 16th after the  first Sabbath (the first day of Unleavened Bread).

Today we remember that day! Although we do not bring first fruits of barley, we do thank God for the first-fruits of a far greater harvest (1Cor 15:23).

By rising from the dead, Jesus became the first of all who will be one day be resurrected to eternal life.

Almost 2000 years ago today, the resurrected Lord also fulfilled the mysterious words of the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. After describing a Lamb of God who would be sacrificed to bear the sins of his people, Isaiah writes,

10… It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa 53:10-12).

Now the mystery is solved. Now we can see how the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First fruits together were fulfilled by the death, burial, and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah.

Now we can also see how the Apostle Paul could speak of a fulfillment of the Scriptures when he wrote, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (OT); And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1Cor 15:3-4).

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+34 rating, 34 votes)

34 Responses to “The Mysterious Third Feast of Israel”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    All my life, I have known the story of Easter to be true. As I child I simply believed it. As A young adult still the truth of Jesus Christ was cemented in my heart. Through life I have seen the Easter story attacked time and time again by people who needed proof brfore they could believe.

    I thank God that His spirit has always been with me. That that same Spirit bore witness of Himself.

    Every year all my life I have felt expectant as though some great thing is going to happen on Good Friday through Easter morning….Some Great thing did happen…He is Risen…

    Jesus is seen in all of Scripture if we look for Him he will be found. Thank you Mart for showing us where He is found in your Post this morning.


  2. drkennyg says:

    Terrific posting, Mart (and Steve’s response). I’m up very early today – for the 1st time in my life I am excited about Easter Sunday. I’m obviously a late bloomer as a Christian, but it is wonderful to feel the saving grace of our Lord Jesus. The scripture fulfillment of Christ has often puzzled me sometimes (as a mere humanoid knuckle-head). But I love how we can trace it back to Genesis – our current Book of study in our adult Bible study just before services by 30 minutes. What a glorious day it is on earth everywhere in spite of terrible weather in some areas. Will pray today for you folks and many others.

  3. mtman says:

    He is risen indeed! Mere words can not describe what has been done for us. From Good Friday to Easter morning can take a Christian on a journey. It does me every year. That is why I posted yesterday how interesting it was to post the contrast between evil and the ultimate forgivness. The day between Good Friday and Easter is for me the most gloomy of days. I know what is coming but I still feel lost and empty. Then comes this morning when it is dark outside and snowing but it is a glorious day in spite of the weather. The son is shining in my heart, and it just doesn’t get any better. One day of the year brings great sadness to me, and the next an empty feeling and today is what carries me through the rest of the year.
    I love all those who post here and who are so uplifting and supporting to each other. “Been thinking about” is so appropriate for this blog and clearly many of us have been thinking. It also makes me constantly get back into my bible. Thank you all for the support, and to keep my mind focused in the right direction. Easter Sunday has special meaning to that phrase ‘that today is the first day of the rest of your life’. HE is risen!!!!

  4. rokdude5 says:

    Praise God!! He has risen indeed!! Without the resurrection, we are just intellectualizing our ultimate fate of death. With the resurrection, this blog has deep meaning and conviction. May all of us “Thinking Believers” have a joyous Easter!!

  5. poohpity says:

    Happy Resurrection Sunday you all!!

    Watched DOD this morning and really enjoyed having a visual about the grave and resurrection.

  6. daisymarygoldr says:

    Indeed there is every reason for us to celebrate Jesus Christ whose death, burial, and resurrection together fulfilled the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First fruits! …because Jesus the first fruit is alive, we are also alive … because Jesus the first fruit is Holy we are also counted as holy.

    By giving the feasts to Israel, God gave us the promise of a Savior who will save us from our sins. By His death, burial, and resurrection of Israel’s Messiah fulfilled that promise to give us eternal life. God has faithfully kept His promise; we should also be faithful to live no longer a defeated subhuman life in the flesh… but as an over comer with abundant spiritual life… to reflect a Godly character that resembles the character of Jesus Christ— the first fruit of God’s great love… for all!

    Wishing you all and your loved ones, a wonderful Easter blessed with Gods awesome love!

  7. mtman says:

    I have already posted once today but I can’t help myself because I feel the need to share something. As we worshipped on line this morning the pastor said something that struck me. In Matt. 10:38 where our Lord said take up your cross and follow me and if you don’t you are not worthy of me. That means, per the pastor, that we need to take up our cross each day a new. Many of us carry crosses and they remind us of our salvation. Do they also remind us of the cross our Lord told us to pick up and follow him? Our own personal crosses? Something for us to think about..
    Second: We have about 10″ of fresh snow today and it is still coming down. When I let our 2 year old German Shepherd out back to relieve himself he then just rejoices in the fresh snow. He runs around, buries his nose in it, lays in it and in short just has absolute fun in it. My own thoughts run more to ‘Oh Lord, not more snow, I’ve been shoveling snow now since September. I’m getting tired of snow, can’t you make it stop’ – but it just keeps on coming down.
    This is a contrast of how we sometimes view life or at least I do. I would much rather be like our GSD and frolic in the snow. Maybe that is how we are to pick up our cross and go forth into the world rejoicing with happiness on this Easter day and all the days that follow. After all didn’t our Lord set us free with his sacrifice? Tote our burdensome crosses but with joy and happiness.
    Okay, I’m sorry I posted again but I thought this was relevant to Easter even though not the on topic the third feast, but then again, maybe a joyous celebration every day is the third feast.. Rather than be dragged down by the world maybe we should stand a little straighter and if our cross becomes a little too heavy we have an avocate and friend to help us bear it. Something to think about anyway…

  8. Rick123 says:

    The resurrection day, reminds me of Paul’s words(Phl 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;)

    At Christ’s return to our world, when he comes with the glory of his Father’s kingdom to establish it upon the earth, there will be saints in Christ who will not die, but will be transformed in a second, at the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump<<Which is the last Shofar(Which is the “last day”).

    The blowing of the Shofar which is God’s voice in the “last day”(Sabbath day) will be heard by the dead(Asleep) in Jesus, and the living in Christ.

    As Christ resurrected on the Sabbath day by the Glory of his Father, so too will the dead(Asleep) in Jesus resurrect on the “last day”( Sabbath day) by the Glory of their Father through Christ Jesus, for he(Jesus) is the Lord of the Sabbath day and will be glorified through his saints in the “last day”(Sabbath day), from which, will begin the Glorious “seventh day” rest, for a thousand years of peace on earth.

    This insight I just got this morning is a new revelation to me, praise God Almighty and his Son-Jesus who is worthy.

  9. laney says:

    I want to share with every one the words to the song Rise Again. Go ahead,drive the nails in my hands,laugh at me where you stand.Go ahead say it isn’t me.But the day will come when you will see cause I’ll rise again,ain’t no power on earth can tie me down.Yes I’ll rise again, death can’t keep me in the ground.Go ahead mock my name,my love for you is still the same.Go ahead,and bury me but very soonI will be free.Because I’ll rise again.Ain’t no power on earth can tie me down.Yes I’ll rise again.Death can’t keep me in the ground. Go ahead and say I’m dead, and I’am gone.But you will see that you were wrong.Go ahead try to hide the Son,but all will see that I’m the one.Because I’ll come again. Ain’t no power on earth can keep me bound.I’ve come to take my people back.Oh my Jesus died upon the cross that men may live.Come to take my people back.These are the very words he uttered.Our precious Jesus is coming back for us.Happy Easter,and God bless everyone.

  10. Laurielee says:

    Happy Easter, everyone! I got to witness 3 young peoples’ baptism this morning. Wonderful!
    mtman, I love your stories, especially the GSD. It always makes me think of my Nanaimo. (My 12-year old GS who passed.)

    In my reading last night I found something interesting (as always!)…This takes place shortly after the Israelites crossed the Jordan at Jericho…”While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.” Joshua 5:10-12.

  11. sjd says:

    laney,Thanks for reminding me of that song, “Rise again”. I loved hearing that song years ago, and it was great to read the words again today.

    “Ain’t no power on earth can keep me bound!”

    I praise God for the resurrection of Jesus, and because of that I too have been “resurrected”, having been dead in trespasses and sin, I was made alive in Christ, by God’s grace through faith alone!

    Thankful for the LIFE in me today. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world!

  12. mtman says:

    Thank you all for the encouragement. We do have two GSD’s and one mix that is just to old to play anymore. I have done the snow ball game with them and yes it is fun. There will be plenty of fun today as we need to move the 2′ of snow we got yesterday. There is a ton of snowballs out back. Plus lots of ice cycles that they truly love to chomp on.
    Laurielee & Claudia: We lost our GSD Ben two years ago next month. There is just no description of the pain that loss leaves. Years don’t really diminish it but the two rescue GSD’s tend to soften it considerably.
    The third feast triggered some thoughts and it just came to me that we take ourselves far to serious some times. Thats where the pick up our cross and follow Jesus with a light heart, smile came from. Enjoy the snowballs of today because tomorrow they may be slush and it will be to late.

  13. mtman says:

    Cherielyn: Glad to have you back and your earlier post was thought provolking and I have thought about it and I think you are right. Missed you and glad you are back.

  14. laney says:

    Mtman, I’am glad you shared with us your day with your german shepard.I use to have a shepard lab mix.She also loved the snow.In the spring when all the snow was just about gone she would walk around the yard looking for that last patch of snow to lay in.I quess it kept her cool with all her long hair. I also had a silky toy terrier who I played the snow ball game with.I’am glad to know I’m not the only one who played that game.My grand daughter caught me day singing silly little songs to him.She said grandma your singing to the dog.One day I took my grand daughter and the silky over to our land to pick wild strawberries.I went and gave the dog one to eat.After that he started picking his own and eating them.It was so funny.needless to say that was the end of picking berries.I also know how you feel about losing your pet.I had to put the silky to sleep 2 months after the death of my husband.It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.The whole experience was so tramatic for me and the dog that I would never want to go through that again.I still miss my little guy.I cried out to Jesus to heal my broken heart the pain was so diffcult at the time.Thankyou for sharing because the Lord is showing me that he has been healing me.This is the first time I was able to even talk to anyone about this.Hey I have a question where do you live where you have all this snow.I to live in an area where we get alot of snow.We usually start in Oct and can have some in may sometimes.

  15. joel78 says:

    How was it that Jesus said he would be three days in the grave if He were crucified on Friday? Was there a “double Sabbath” that year? That is how a pastor explained it to me several years ago, but I am still confused. Thank you, everyone in this community, if you can explain this problem to me.

  16. mtman says:

    laney: We live in S. Colorado at 9,750′ and our snow lasts a looooong time. Funny about those strawberries because we live on a dirt road and wild strawberries grow all along it. Our dogs will graze on those strawberries when in season and love them. Almost identical to your circumstance. Thank God for your healing and isn’t it interesting how he made us all so wonderfully different but we have shared circumstances in common. I guess God does that on purpose and Praise to him for doing so.

  17. Laurielee says:

    joel, I think you might get an explanation if you go back to one of the last 2 blog topics.

    mtman, I am happy for you that you live in such a beautiful place, sorry ’bout the snow tho. My dad lives in Castlerock.

    There are some things about our faith that can cause a headache trying to figure out exactly what and when it was done. I’ve been through many of these questioning times myself. Sometimes it’s enough and very freeing to understand just why Jesus did what He did for us. Any other questions I have I can ask when I see Him face to face. Have a lovely day, all!
    (A favor, could I ask you all to please pray for us here in Iowa?)

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Laurielee, Found an intersting story about Israeli archeologists discovering huge footprint shaped areas in the Jordan Valley dating back to when the Jews first setteled Israel.
    The areas are signifigant because for the first time the sites are identiified with “gilgal”.

    There is a town there in Iowa named Bayard. The town is named after the same person the town I live in was named after. Back in 93 we had a centenial and I communicated with the then Mayor and we exchanged centenial material.
    So I feel a special connection to Iowa. As I do with you. You and your neighbors have my prayers.


  19. SFDBWV says:

    mtman Bruce, Long ago when I was a young teenager I worked at the Broadmore Hotel in Colorado Springs. I worked with the grounds crew at the golf course.

    One of the periods of my life that taught me a lot about people. This place was full of very rich people, and they tended to be snobs and cheap. I and another kid were living in a car at the time. A “mexican” family took us in so we wouldn’t have to live in a car.
    Pikes Peak was there and though it was on the eastern slopes of the Rockies it was a beautiful place.

    We also get wild strawberries here and are the favorite of mine. But getting harder to find. It is the beginning of “Ramp” season here. A sort of wild leek or onion. Very smelly but very good.

  20. Laurielee says:

    Steve, Thank you! I have a special passion for Israeli archaeology. Funny thing is, what they find keeps proving the Bible rather than disproving it…but we already know the Truth!

    Yes, I’ve heard of Bayard. I’m not quite sure where it’s located. I’m in the north central part of the state in a town of about 27,000. Our claim to “fame” is a huge band festival parade every May.

    Hey, Mtman, You don’t by any chance have a rescue GSD that’s much larger than usual that was named “Bo” or “Champ”, do you? Would have come from Sioux Falls.

  21. mtman says:

    Laurielee: Sorry that we don’t. Bozwell that loves the snow so much came from Columbus, OH where he was left to run for a month or so and then in a kill shelter for another month. He is 30″ at the shoulder and long and lean. He constantly makes us laugh because he is so dis-jointed. God gave him to us to lighten our days. Our other female comes from the Ozarks where the owner wanted to shoot her for herding a calf into a fence. I hope Bo or Champ are in loving homes. Ours get lots and lots of loving and are spoiled rotten.
    Steve: I love your stories too. Some things don’t change much but Colorado Springs is MUCH bigger probably since you were there. Good news brother, I got an e-mail that an environmental group that stopped a mountain top from being removed in your area. God does work in strange ways sometimes. But he does well when he does.

  22. poohpity says:

    It was mentioned about having fun and enjoying life. I have to admit that has been something I chase and never really capture. It seems elusive at times for me. Sometimes it comes easy and lately I am overwhelmed with the burdens of life. I know that we are to cast our cares on the Lord and He will give us rest but I am having trouble giving them up.

    My dog is a Lab Surprise named, you will never guess, Pooh. She is my buddy and pal. Sometimes I would rather be with her than people. Isn’t that sad.

  23. GeeTee says:

    Good afternoon everyone. Truly an “O happy day”, it is. We commemorated the resurrection yesterday, but for those of us born again it’s more than a memorial. It’s our blessed hope. The significance of the three(the 3 most recent) celebrations that the ancient Jews observed are the antitype of Him who was to come, and we can rejoice that the Lord Jesus fulfilled what they represented for us. Like probably most of us here, I’ve heard preachers/teachers give explanations as to the feasts and festivals, and I always(almost?) got a little better understanding of Jewish worship, but I also understand that they didn’t seem to grasp the concept that their rituals were the foreshadow of their Messiah and I believe they cling desperately to those forms of worship. What did the Lord Jesus tell the woman at the well? “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is searching for such to worship Him.” The Lord seems to be telling her that from that point on there will no longer be a particular place or a certain form that the Father requires. And for that I can sing “O happy day!!” Cool post about the dogs romping in the snow. Had me chuckling. It brought back memories of the last snow we had here in central CA, which was a little over 9 years ago. It snowed about 6in one night and when I went out to head for work the across-the-street mutts were out romping and frolicking in it, and I mean to tell you it was the greatest sight. Still brings an LOL. Unfortunately, I’ve never had a dog, and current quarters aren’t conducive to having one, but there’s some cool ones in the neighborhood and I take the liberty to give ’em a bit of a time when they’re out and about. Not a hard time, mind you, just a time. Had a wonderful time these past few days. All my brothers and sisters(3&3) and mother were together in one place for the first time in 16 years, so that’s always a joy…even without Dad. He passed in ’05. I realize that I’m probably the baby brother here at BTA, but that’s okay. I’m the baby boy in my genetic family, as well. The third feast, huh? The old leaven has been removed from the house. The Lamb has been slain. The Firstfruit has been presented to the Father. Now we can nourish ourselves on the sinless One. GT

  24. mtman says:

    Pooh: I just came in from playing snow ball with our two GSD’s and then watched them play tag with each other. The best way to just have fun for a few minutes is just go and do it. When I am totally stressed out – if I can remember to – I just go do it. Spontaneous is the key.
    I don’t think it is sad at all that sometimes we prefer dogs to people. Dogs have all the qualities that we should have and for the large part don’t. They will do what our Lord did for us and that is lay down their life for us. They love us when we are very unlovable. What is not to love about a dog that loves us more than themselves. I like cats too but unfortunately I am major allergic to them. Go out and play for a while….

  25. poohpity says:


    I know isn’t that silly to not give yourself permission to enjoy all that God has given us to enjoy. I enjoy you thank you!!

    I am the oldest but we are all young if we really put ourselves in the position that God wants us in. So you have a leg up. Sometimes the pressures of life cause us to loose that inner child so don’t you go loosing that. Hold on tight and if you see mine running around will you send her back. lol

  26. wretch-like-me says:

    Like me sometimes, you’re a day late… Checkout the previous posts for a day or so to find the answer to your question regarding two Sabbaths the year Christ died.
    You will find that Passover fell on a Wednesday that year causing it to be celebrated as a Sabbath and Christs death and burial to be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He arose Sunday making three days and three nights in the grave.
    I encourage you to read the previous couple of days posts to get the full details and look for Mart DeHaan’s Jewish calendar that illustrates Feasts.

  27. daisymarygoldr says:

    There are no wild strawberries anywhere near where I live, I have no dogs to go snowballing with, have no cats post-marriage because husband is allergic to them, its been 3 years since I’ve been with my parents or siblings and I haven’t seen my only baby brother for the past 8 years. You are all making me feel jealous and it is making me very miserable:( but I am nevertheless enjoying all that you have shared…

    Talking about first fruits… By His death, burial and resurrection Jesus Christ became the first fruit… and when we accepted Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwelt within us and we became a spiritual seed with the potential to germinate into new spiritual life— that resembles the life of Christ.

    However, for the seed to give rise to a new plant first its outer seed-coat must disintegrate or in other words it has to die. Similarly, to live the life of a new creation in Christ, our old self of flesh must first be put to death. The old life in flesh and the new life in spirit cannot coexist because “the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary the one to the other…” (Gal. 5:17).

    So, how is the old self-put to death? Only when we pick up the cross and follow our master…. What does it mean to pick up the cross? It means to deny ourselves to the sinful pleasures of the flesh… to stop living for ourselves and start living for Christ… we no longer live to please the flesh and the world but the very purpose of our lives is to please the Lord. We cannot dilly-dally between serving two masters…. We need to decide and chose only one and once we chose, we cannot live with our feet planted in two different boats. To pick up His cross requires total surrender of self… and the flesh has to be sacrificed in order for our spiritual life to be sanctified.

    God chose His Son, Jesus to become the first fruit… and through Him “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created” (James 1:18). Just my thoughts…

  28. Laurielee says:

    Daisy, Just wanted to remind you that you are loved! You are a very intelligent person with wonderful insights…you make me THINK!!! (and also smile when I picture a person standing with feet planted in different boats!)

    The fertile ground of our hearts enables Jesus to plant a beautiful garden…

  29. Rick123 says:

    Joel78: The Resurrection Late Saturday Evening.

    When does the Bible say that Jesus rose from the dead? The two Mary’s came to the tomb:

    “in the end of the sabbath” (Matthew 28:1).
    The Sabbath always ended at sunset:

    “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32).
    Then they went to the tomb before sunset on Saturday. Jesus had risen from the dead before their arrival Matthew 28:1-8. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ arose before sunset on Saturday. Christ did not rise on Sunday morning, for the two Mary saw Him, heard Him speak, and held His feet just as the Sabbath ended and the first day of the week began.

    “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week . . .” (Matthew 28:1).
    Mark 16:9 tells us Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene early the first day of the week, which was Saturday after sundown. The nearer after sunset this happened, the earlier in the first of the week it was. Mark does not say that she was alone at the time she first saw Jesus, and Matthew tells us that:

    If Jesus were buried at sunset on Wednesday and arose at sunset on Saturday, He fulfilled the sign of Jonah. He would have been in the grave Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night–a full “three days”. All together a full “three days and three nights.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    Laurielee, now that you mention it, I’m also smiling at that picture… wanted to say that we “cannot have it both ways” Agree about Jesus planting a beautiful garden in our hearts. Thank you so much Laurielee… for the love. Your posts have always been a blessing to me and I love you too:)

  31. Rick123 says:

    In the days of his flesh Jesus was the Red Rose, the Beauty of Holiness, he is our life, and this life is in his blood, for we are saved by his life, yes, by the blood of the Beauty of the Red Rose.

    He is the Red and White Rose who entered into the holy place, and the holiest, with his blood, before his God and Father, to apply his blood on the mercy seat, the footstool of his God and Father, the Ark of the Covenant, in heaven, where God the Father is enthroned as the greatest forever.

  32. Laurielee says:

    Rick, that was just beautiful!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.