God wants to dwell with us, and that is the main function of the sanctuary, for us to live with God in His house and to worship Him. The feasts are truly an evangelistic tool for reviewing the plan of salvation each year. The Passover was the foundational feast, even marking the beginning of the year (Exod. 12), celebrating the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. The focus was on the lamb, who was to be blameless and perfect, and sufficient for everyone. Jesus is called our Passover Lamb, as the one who died for our sins, who was perfect and blameless, and whose sacrifice was sufficient for the whole world (1 Cor. 5:7, 11:23–26; John 1:29).
The blood of the sacrificed lamb was spread on the doorposts, which is where the names of each household were engraved in Egypt. Thus, the people were covering their names with the blood of the lamb, personally appropriating the deliverance for themselves. The lamb was also slain “at twilight” (Exod. 12:6, literally “between the evenings” in Hebrew), which could be interpreted as the night before or the night of the Passover. Jesus fulfilled both possible interpretations, celebrating the feast with His disciples the night before (Matt. 26:27–28), and dying as the Passover Lamb on the night of (Matt. 27:46).
The Feast of Weeks was another time of extra special rejoicing. Everyone was to be involved, including all family members, ministers, foreigners, the fatherless, and the widows. The purpose was to remember that they had been slaves and that God had rescued them, once again placing themselves into the story even though they had not personally experienced it. The Feast of Weeks first happened at Sinai, where the people covenanted with God; Pentecost in Acts 2 is the fulfillment of the first Pentecost on Sinai, and many of the same things happen in each (fire, wind/noise, God’s law on the hearts, and so on).
The Feast of Tabernacles is called the greatest of all feasts, with the main requirement being: “You [shall] surely rejoice” (v. 15)! Once again, everyone is involved and is remembering God’s blessings in the literal and spiritual harvests. Leviticus 23 describes the building of booths to live in for seven days during this feast, in order to remember how God protected them during their wilderness wandering. This is the feast when Jesus said some of His greatest statements of Messiahship and divinity (John 7–8), as He is the true booth (Amos 9:11) and came to tabernacle among us (John 1:14). Ultimately, we look forward to living with God in His tabernacle the New Jerusalem (the shape of the Most Holy Place) forever!