A reader once asked, “Exodus 12: 14-15 says that the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread are a memorial for all generations. A memorial is a yearly observance, something done from year to year. Also, Yahshua [Jesus] kept the Feasts all throughout the New Testament, leaving us an example, thus He came to “magnify the law not to destroy it. Should we not then keep the feasts?”
A brilliant question yielded this reply. Yes, the feasts of Yahweh are to be kept by us. No doubt about it. How? is the question. Paul explains how under the new covenant. There is a spiritual truth to be extracted from the feasts.
The Spirit of Christ through Paul said that the feasts are a shadow of the heavenly reality. The priests in the book of Exodus administered the seven feasts of God. But they were only serving a copy and shadow of the heavenly reality. All of those gifts offered by them and the sacrifices and the feasts are but a pattern and not the reality.
Here is the Spirit of God expounding on this: “There are priests that offer gifts according to the law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary,” a “pattern” shown Moses on the mount Sinai (Heb. 8: 5; Col. 2: 16-17). So if the Passover and Unleavened Bread feasts are a copy, shadow, and a pattern, then how do we keep the the real heavenly feasts?
These two feasts are mentioned by Paul. “Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5: 7-8).
We His children are the lump of unleavened dough that goes through the furnace of trials in order to be baked into the bread of life. He in us is the bread of life. To keep this feast, we are to spiritually get rid of any malice and wickedness out of our thinking. Replace it with sincerity and truth. Without this, no amount of eating leavenless earthly flatbread will avail anything with God. He is calling for our hearts to be pure and not puffed up with false knowledge.
In this same passage we see the New Covenant Feast of Passover. Christ, the Lamb of God, takes the place of the literal animal as seen in Exodus. He is, of course, our spiritual Passover Lamb. We keep this feast when we know and believe that all of our evilness and malice, which is our old sin nature, died when He died on the cross. For He as the old scapegoat had our sins transferred upon Himself. We keep the feast when we surrender to this truth and give up our old lives. And when He was raised from the dead, we also are raised to walk in a newness of life (Romans 6: 1-12). This is the Spirit of Christ coming into our hearts and changing us.
And then the feast of unleavened bread in the new covenant is when we get rid of the insincerity and false concepts about Him and walk in truth. The very fact that the Spirit mentioned “the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” and the leaven of “malice and wickedness” should signal to us that the feasts are spiritual [For more on this: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/feasts-new-moons-sabbaths-mere-shadows-of-christ-in-us/ ]
The generation in the wilderness was under the cloud, the aforementioned “shadow.” Christ our Passover had not yet come. So they were to keep the feasts as outlined by Moses. There are millions of people who diligently keep the Passover, for instance, but do not believe in Jesus Christ (Yahshua) of Nazareth. They are not keeping in truth the feast of Passover, for they have rejected Him, the true Passover Lamb.
Yahshua before His crucifixion kept the feasts as authorized by the law of Moses, for that was the age in which He walked upon the earth. That is changed. All of the book of Hebrews explains this conversion from old covenant and testament to new covenant.
God was speaking to the blind and disobedient generation in Ex. 12, not the “chosen generation,” which is the remnant, the elect, those with a new heart. Kenneth Wayne Hancock