Shemini Atzeret (Convocation of the Eighth Day, Lev. 23:33–36, 39–43), the day following the seven days of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths), and Shavuot (Pentecost) are “buddies.” The symbolism of one is mirrored in the other. What happened on Shavuot throughout the Bible is a “shadow,” a likeness, of what will happen on a Shemini Atzeret during the Day of the LORD.
This is a special time in God’s calendar. We have reached Shavuot, the “Feast of Sevens.” It’s also called Pentecost, which is Greek for 50th. This feast is, in a sense, a continuation of the fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham.
The book of Exodus shows us how God did not forget the covenant He made with Abraham. It was not fulfilled during the lives of Abraham, Yitskhak (Isaac), Ya’akob (Jacob) or Yosef (Joseph). He took more than 400 years to fulfill that promise.
A number of theologians have wondered publicly if the festivals of the LORD are relevant for today or are just historical or intellectual curiosities. Many dismiss Sukkot as either a harvest festival only applicable in the Land of Israel or only relevant with a standing temple. Let’s explore what the Bible says about the past, present and future layers of meaning in these annual appointments and how they teach us about the Messiah and ourselves.
We will look at the different layers of the festivals. The holy festivals do not stand alone. The past, present and future are all apart of the messages of all the feasts.
We will focus on the annual feasts but the Shabbat sets the stage for the feasts. The theme of seven shows up a lot in all the appointed times.
The appointed times of God are multidimensional presentations and memorials of what God is doing. He has the appointed times, prophets and the Messiah to teach us what He is doing. They are waymarkers for where we were, are and will be. They are waymarkers in the history of God’s people and how He is going to recreate the world.
In a sense, they are like a wedding anniversary, on which the couple remembers all the experiences layered on top of one another since the cutting of that first wedding cake.