God has given us a wonderful cycle of life"designed to release ever-increasing blessing into our lives. The first key appointed time in this yearly cycle is the Feast of Passover. God's appointed times are also called "biblical feasts" or "the festivals of the Lord."
To put these key times in perspective, it's helpful to understand what the Bible means when it talks about a feast or festival. In A Time to Prosper, Robert Heidler and I share about God's heart for the feasts:
In the Old Testament, several Hebrew words are used to designate God's appointed times. One word used is mo'ed, which simply means "an appointed time." It designates an occasion fixed by divine appointment to meet together for fellowship with God and worship. Another Hebrew word used for one of these special days is hag, which is taken from the verb "to dance" and means, "an occasion of joy or gladness." A third Hebrew word used of a God-appointed time is hagag. This word has a variety of meanings:
—To celebrate a special day.
—The festive attitudes and actions of celebrating a feast.
—Wild and unrestrained actions, like the behavior of a drunken person. (It's interesting to note that on Pentecost, the apostles so overflowed with the Spirit that their actions appeared to be those of drunken people.)
—Festive dancing and celebrations, as of a victory over enemies in battle.
From looking at these words, we can begin to get a sense of what holding a festival to the Lord, such as Passover or Tabernacles, was meant to be: a time of rejoicing and celebration with the kind of unrestrained joy you would experience when you were victorious in a battle!
This gives us real insight into the heart of God. God could have designed His appointed times to be times of sorrow. He could have made them times of severe fasting and repentance. That's how some view God. Greek Paganism taught that suffering makes a person holy. This belief, called "asceticism," still affects much of the church today. Many Christians assume God wants them to show their devotion to Him by being miserable. But that's not in the Bible. There are times for fasting and self-denial, but most of God's appointed times are times of feasting! God wants us to know that He desires for His children to enjoy Him and experience His goodness.
Most Christians today know very little about Passover. We don't know what it is or how to celebrate it. If you are not familiar with Passover, here's a one-sentence summary:
Passover is a celebration of redemption and deliverance by the blood of the Lamb.
For the Jews, Passover was a celebration of God's power in setting them free from slavery in Egypt. They had been in bondage, under bitter oppression, but they cried out to God and He delivered them through Passover.
Christians also have a deliverance to celebrate! We have also been in bondage, under the oppression of a cruel enemy: Satan. Passover is a vivid picture of how God delivered us. To understand Passover, it is good to ask, "What was 'passed over' at Passover?" The answer is the Israelites were passed over. The time had come for God's judgment to fall. It would have fallen on everyone, but God gave the Israelites a way of escape. The key to their rescue was not in an army. It was not in some great, heroic deed, but in a pure, spotless lamb. When the blood of a lamb was placed on their doorposts, God accepted the death of that lamb in place of Israel's firstborn. The angel of death passed over them. Many things happened at Passover.
By the blood of that lamb, Israel was redeemed. The judgment of God was turned away from them. The gods of Egypt were judged, their power broken! Israel was released from oppression and bondage. They were set free to enter God's promise.
Derek Prince once said that the most powerful faith declaration for deliverance is this: "I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, out of the hand of the enemy!" He said if you can make that declaration in faith, and keep on making it, something will happen. You will be delivered from the power of the enemy. That's really the message of Passover.
The Feast of Passover is a faith declaration that we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. It does something in us when we celebrate Passover. When we come together to remember God's great works of redemption, and declare the power of redemption in our lives, it initiates the release of blessing in our lives!
This article was excerpted from Chapter 2 of The Passover Prophecies by Chuck Pierce ("First Testing, Then Triumph") (Charisma House, 2020).
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