Festivals of Spring

Paul taught that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…” and truly the festivals of the Mosiac law are rich in symbolism of Jesus Christ, and His infinite atonement. I will discuss four of the spring festivals here.

Three spring festivals are held in Abib (now called Nisan), the first month of the Jewish lunar year.

Feast of the Passover – 14th day of Abib (Friday night)

A few days before the Passover, the family will take an unblemished male lamb and keep him in their homes as a pet. They will grow to love their innocent lamb but, as commanded, the family will sacrifice the lamb and offer it as the Passover burnt offering. The blood of the lamb is “struck” on the lintel of their doorways in memory of the destroying angel that “passed over” them and did not slay them during their Egyptian deliverance. The family will then eat the remainder of the lamb with bitter herbs, keeping their shoes on, as if they are about to flee from Egyptian soldiers.

Feast of the Unleavened Bread – 15th day of Abib (Saturday)

This day the family will celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Egyptians were known as ‘bread-eaters’ and God was taking Israel out of the land of Egypt. It is symbolic of Israel leaving the world behind to follow their God, even Jesus Christ. For the entire Passover week, the people will eat food free of leavening.

Feast of First Fruits – 16th day of Abib (Sunday)

The Passover week is timed to coincide with the spring harvest of Barley. The barley is tied into bundles and allowed to dry in the fields. Each family offers a bundle of barley to the priests who take it for a waive offering. For Christians, this is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ – as he is the is the “first fruits of them that slept”.(1 Cor. 15:20)

Feast of the Weeks – 7 Sabbaths from Passover + 1 day (Sunday)

Called the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, it is a harvest festival celebrated fifty days after the Passover. It foreshadows the forty days Christ spent teaching His disciples after His resurrection, His glorious ascension, and the gifting of the Holy Ghost to His disciples.

These festivals, and indeed the whole law of Moses, celebrate the life and sacrifice of the Son of God. The people of the Book of Mormon understood the festivals and they knew the purpose of the law, “…it pointing {their} souls to him; (Jacob 4:5) The festivals, with their plentiful reminders of the atonement, helped the people build their faith in God and look forward to His coming. They followed the law of Moses, and truly lived “after the manner of happiness.”(2 Ne. 5:27)

2 thoughts on “Festivals of Spring

  1. Jacob 4 is one of my favorite chapters. We also strive to “point our souls toward Him!” So we can live after the manner of happiness! I love how poetic the book of Mormon is.

    “and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken” Jacob 4:6

    These people were striving to live by the spirit and their faith became unshaken. This is my desire too.

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  2. Thank for your reply! The Book of Mormon is a great book and the people were great too! That is one of the reasons I wrote the Mound Builder Series — so I can talk about these wonderful people!

    Like

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