After God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, He gave to Moses a blueprint for passing down their spiritual heritage through annual family traditions. These Feasts of the Lord were much more than just the commemoration of national historic events. They were prophetic pictures that would find their fulfillment in the Messiah, the Promised One God would send to deliver not only Israel, but also the entire world, from the dominion of Satan and sin. Many of our hymns focus on the events of these feasts that were fulfilled in Christ.
This retreat consists of:
- four main sessions
- a Passover Seder meal
- family activities
Introduction: The Feasts of the Lord
God instituted seven different feasts and two more were added to commemorate miraculous events in Israel's history, one before the spring set of feast days and one at the end of the fall set of feast days. This overview gives an understanding of how the Feasts of the Lord fit with the astronomical calendar and what they tell us about God's prophetic plan. The primary events of Christ's first coming fulfilled the prophetic purposes of the spring feasts on their exact days.
1st main session: Purim
In this session Purim is briefly explained with insights from the book of Esther along with descriptions of various Jewish traditions that have arisen around the holiday.
Those who desire can don costumes and put on an impromptu drama while the story of Esther is read aloud. The rest of the audience boos and cheers.
2nd main session: The Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover
Passover is the first day of the eight-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. This session outlines the traditions surrounding Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it also reviews the specifications for the Passover lamb and the events leading up to the Passover in preparation for the evening Seder.
During the day interactive activities take families through the ten plagues and a thorough cleaning out of all leaven. Later in the afternoon, walk through the events of Jesus' Passion week.
The Seder meal is one of the oldest Jewish traditions. It points to Christ in many astounding ways. This is a two-hour presentation of a Messianic Passover Seder, with a complete meal eaten by candlelight while sitting on the floor.
A matching activity helps children review the symbolic meanings of the various Passover objects.
3rd main session: The Feast of Firstfruits
The Feast of Firstfruits falls within the same week as Passover. The details God specified for this feast were accurately fulfilled and have staggering implications for us today.
Young and old can have fun together making a tambourine and then using them in the learning of a Jewish dance.
4th main session: The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost
God gave precise specifications for this feast as He did with all the others, and it was fulfilled precisely. The prophetic pictures are full of wonder and should fill our hearts with worship.
Family Quiet Time 1: Before the Exodus
Selected readings from the opening chapters of Exodus with family discussions questions help each family to put themselves into the story and think through what it must have been like to live through the events before the Exodus.
Family Quiet Time 2: After the Death of Christ
Selected readings from the Passion Week of Christ along with discussion questions help each family to imagine what it would have felt like for the disciples after the death of Christ and before the resurrection.