We know the seven Jewish feasts picture important moments in Christ's ministry. Since the first four feasts in the Jewish calendar were fulfilled by Christ on the exact calendar day of the feast, should we expect the final three feasts will be fulfilled on their appointed days too?
This is an intriguing question many Christians have asked, but sadly there is no definitive answer in scripture.
Here are the feasts of the Jewish calendar and their associated prophetic fulfillment:
- Passover – Christ's sacrificial death on the cross
- Unleavened Bread – Christ's blood atonement at the altarRapt
- Firstfruits – Christ's resurrection from the dead
- Pentecost – Writing the Law on the hearts of believers (the Holy Spirit indwelling the Church)
- Feast of Trumpets – The rapture of the Church
- Day of Atonement – The seven-year Tribulation
- Feast of Tabernacles – The arrival of the Kingdom
The first four of these feasts (i.e., Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost) saw their prophetic fulfillment in Christ's first coming. In each case, these feasts were fulfilled on the actual calendar day of the feast, so Jesus died on Passover, He was resurrected on the Firstfruits, the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, etc.
Consequently, some assume that this pattern will continue for the three remaining feast, predicting, for example, that the rapture of the Church will occur on a future Feast of Trumpets. While such speculation may sound sensible, scripture doesn't teach this will be the case. The word of God never promises such a fulfillment of the feasts, and while the pattern of the first four feasts is compelling, nevertheless the Lord could choose to break that pattern in the future.
Arguing against this possibility is the fact that the events pictured by the final two Jewish feasts are not single-day events. The Tribulation will last seven years, while the Kingdom lasts 1,000 years, so it is literally impossible for these events to be fulfilled entirely on their appointed feast day (though they could begin on their respective feast day).
Furthermore, the next feast due to be fulfilled is Trumpets, which pictures the Rapture. Jesus clearly states in Matthew 24:36 that we will not know "the day or hour" of the Rapture, so it seems unlikely that this event will coincide with its feast day. Some suggest that Jesus' "day or hour" limitation could still allow for the Rapture to occur on a future Trumpets feast day since the feast is commonly celebrated over a 2-day period, and therefore we wouldn't know the exact day much less the hour of His return.
Nevertheless, we cannot be dogmatic about this theory. While it's possible that the Rapture could occur on the day of the feast of Trumpets in a year to come, it is equally possible that God could choose to break the pattern for future feasts.
Regarding this topic, you may find our "End Times" seminar helpful.