Last year I taught a class titled Biblical Feasts and Holy Days to a small group of 5th-6th graders at our local homeschool co-op. I used this curriculum from Grapevine Studies.
We began by studying the Sabbath and then moved on to Rosh Hashanah, the first of the fall feasts. I quickly realized that we needed to back up and establish a basis for WHY we were studying this at all. None of us were Jewish.
Why would Christian parents put their kids in a class to study Jewish feasts, festivals, traditions and holy days? My students needed to know why they should care.
Perhaps you’re wondering the same thing. Why should a Christian study Jewish feasts and holy days? What impact will understanding the history and traditions of another culture, another religion, have on your faith? You might be surprised!
Studying Jewish Feasts Will:
1. Reveal the Roots of Your Christian Faith
The Roots of Christianity are found in the original covenant that God made with Abraham, a central figure of Hebrew history. When you understand the history and culture, including the Jewish feasts, of God’s first people, you will gain a clearer picture of the biblical roots of your faith.
Scriptures to consider: Genesis 12:2-3, 15:5-21, 17:4-10, 22:17-18, 26:4-5, Leviticus 26:9-13, Romans 11:15-36, Ephesians 2:12-21, 1 Peter 2:9-10
2. Deepen Your Understanding of Scripture
Much of the Bible is the story of the Hebrew people. Descendants of Abraham wrote the majority of Scripture. These men were Jewish by birth and culture. Their language and their worldview are informed by the beliefs and customs of their heritage. As Westerners of varied heritage, we see and understand things very differently than the Biblical authors did. Studying Jewish feasts and traditions will give you greater insight into what the Biblical authors wrote. Why they chose certain words or phrases. Why particular objects or events are significant. Studying Jewish feasts will increase your understanding of how New Testament events and truths are rooted in Old Testament observances and promises.
3. Increase Your Appreciation for the Person and Work Jesus Christ
Let’s not forget that Jesus himself was Jewish! He thought and taught and lived as every Jewish person did. He attended the Synagogue, worshipped on the Sabbath (Saturday) and kept the feasts. Most importantly, Jesus fulfilled the feasts. Each of the Biblical feasts that the Jewish people observed was a picture of what was to be accomplished by the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christians, Gentiles without Jewish heritage, have been included in the greatest blessing of the Jews through the work of Jesus. Understanding the history and intricacies of the Jewish feasts will infuse the life and sacrifice of Jesus with greater significance and meaning.
Are YOU ready to study the Jewish feasts?
Biblical Feasts and Holy Days from Grapevine Studies is a great place to start.
It covers the 7 yearly feasts commanded by God plus Purim and the Sabbath.
Each lesson contains discussion of both Old and New Testament passages related to the feast. Students (and teachers!) will learn when each feast was begun, as well as how it was observed, and significant related events related to the feast both before and after Christ’s birth.
The study is well-suited for both home and classroom use. You could use it on your own even if you don’t have kids to teach!
Read more about this study and the Grapevine system of “Stick Figuring Through the Bible” by clicking the graphic below.
Note: This study gives a tremendous Biblical foundation for understanding the origin and meaning behind each feast. I did do a fair amount of additional research when I taught the class. This helped me give the students even more fascinating details about the traditions (and their significance) associated with each holiday.