Why Celebrate the Jewish Holidays?
For most of the last 2,000 years, the Church has not focused much on the biblical Jewish holidays. This historical fact can leave many Gentile followers of Yeshua, wondering, “Why should I celebrate the Jewish holidays?” This question is excellent, and I think it presents an opportunity to grow and learn.
We need to establish that we’re not examining “Jewish” holidays; these are the Lord’s appointed times. They transcend any people group or ethnicity—they are creational. What do I mean by “creational”? I’m suggesting these holy days originate in the creation of the world more than in the Law of Moses.
Consider these words from the very beginning of the Bible: “Then God said, ‘Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years’” (Gen 1:14/TLV). That word “seasons” is moadim [מוּאדם] in Hebrew and is the plural form of the word meaning appointments or appointed times. I don’t think that verse from Genesis is merely referring to the four seasons, but the Lord’s feasts. Let’s allow Scripture to interpret Scripture here. Notice how the opening lines of Leviticus 23 introduced them: “Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying: ‘Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: These are the appointed moadim of Adonai, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations—My moadim’” (Lev 23:1-2/TLV).
Friends—worship is woven into the fabric of creation! The stars and planetary bodies don’t just signify shifts in the physical world but also the spiritual realm. As members of the created world and children of the Creator, we are invited to align ourselves with the spiritual cycles and rhythms of worship governed by His handiwork. Creation is reminding us that our primary calling is to be worshipers.
I love that moadim speaks of an “appointment.” In the book of Exodus, we read about the “Tent of Meeting” where Moses and the Lord would interact. In Hebrew, that tabernacle is called the Ohel Mo’ed. As you’ve probably discerned, this is the same word from Genesis 1 and Leviticus 23. The Lord’s Feasts are not obligations—they’re invitations! Our Maker and our God invites us to an encounter at these “standing appointments.” It’s not a matter of sin or guilt if you ignore these feasts, but it is a missed opportunity.
Celebrating the Lord’s Feasts aligns us and positions us for the blessing and revelation they bring. These “appointed times” are part of your inheritance as a child of God, Jew and Gentile alike. If you are hungry for personal transformation and a more profound sense of connection with God, show up for your “appointment.” If you want to walk in the steps of Yeshua and His disciples, celebrate these holy days (like they did). The Spirit, the Scripture, and creation have invited you to encounter the living God and experience His transforming power by observing His appointed feasts.