| There are seven feasts; four in the spring and three in the fall. God gave these feasts ("the set feasts or appointed seasons of the Lord...even these are My set feasts" Lev 23:1) to the Israelites to teach them about Messiah Who would come twice; once in the spring and once in the fall (Hosea 6:3 and Joel 2:23). Yeshua (Jesus) fulfilled the four spring festivals when He came the first time.
The first feast is Passover and it is on the 14th of Nisan (also called Aviv) on the Jewish calendar (which is in the spring). Nisan is the first month of the Jewish religious calendar. Rosh HaShanah (literally, "head of the year") on Tishri 1, in the fall, is the first day of the year on the civil calendar; thus, the Jews have two calendars since God never abrogated the old calendar when He gave them the new calendar and this is why Joel says that Messiah will come in the first month both in the spring and in the fall).
Exodus 12-14 tells the story of the first Passover. God instructed the people to purchase an unblemished lamb on Nisan 10 (Yeshua entered Jerusalem as our Lamb on Nisan 10 - Palm Sunday). They were to examine the lamb for four days to make sure it was without blemish (Yeshua was examined for four days, mostly in the Court of the Women in the Temple). On the fourteenth, the lamb was to be slain at 3 p.m. and the blood spread on the lintel (Yeshua was crucified on Passover, Nisan 14, and died at 3 p.m.). The blood of the lamb was the only thing that could save the first born of the children of Israel from the angel of death, just as the blood of THE Lamb, Yeshua HaMoshaich (Jesus Christ) is the only thing that can save us from eternal death. That night (now the 15th of Nisan since the Jewish "day" begins at sunset instead of at midnight), the children of Israel ate the Passover meal.
At the beginning of the meal, three pieces of matzoth (unleavened bread...leaven being a symbol of sin since it causes fermentation, a form of decay) were placed in a bag with three compartments. Then, the piece of matzoth in the middle compartment (God the Son, middle person of the Triune God) is taken out and broken into two pieces, just as Yeshua was "broken" for us, and hidden. Yeshua was buried (hidden) at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins at sundown. It is interesting to note that, during the three day journey to the Red Sea (which parallels the three days between Yeshua's death and burial in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and His resurrection), the children of Israel removed the bones of Joseph from his grave at Ramah (which is Arimathea in Greek) leaving the grave empty.
Pharaoh is a picture of satan (the serpent which Pharaoh wore on his crown is the symbol of satan) and he and his army pursue the children of Israel into the death of the Red Sea. Pharaoh and his army are destroyed (just as Yeshua destroyed the power of death over us) while the Israelites came up alive on the other side (a picture of the Resurrection).
Since Nisan 10 was a Sunday that year, Yeshua was actually crucified on Thursday. As the Church moved away from its Jewish roots and began to develop it's own "Christian" celebrations, the Church fathers of the time looked at the Scriptures and read where Yeshua had to be taken down from the cross before sundown since the following day was a Sabbath. They concluded the following day had to be a Saturday, ergo, Yeshua was crucified on Friday...hence Good Friday. What they failed to realize is that the day after Passover which is Hag HaMatzoth, or the Feast on Unleavened Bread, was declared by God to be a Sabbath (actually a High Sabbath or Shabbaton) regardless of the day of the week it actually fell on. There are several such High Sabbaths that were set by God during the year.
The Sunday following Passover is the Feast of First Fruits. Yeshua was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. This feast, which, interestingly, the Jews today do not observe even thought commanded to by God (the feasts are listed in Leviticus 23), deals with resurrection. The deadness of winter is past and the earth is putting forth once more. Since this was the beginning of the barley season, the Jews were expected to bring some sheaves of the greening barley to the Temple as an offering and in anticipation of a bountiful harvest. Since Yeshua raises people instead of plants, His offering of first fruits to the Father was comprised of a few resurrected saints as seen in Matthew 17:52-53. This offering was the first fruits of the bountiful harvest to come which Christians refer to as the Rapture.
The fourth feast is Pentecost and is about the beginning of the Church. This, of course, only touches on the highlights of the spring feasts and how Yeshua fulfilled them at His First Coming. A study of some depth of these festivals will reveal even more about Messiah.
Just a Yeshua fulfilled the spring feasts, so will He fulfill the fall feasts at His Second Coming. The fall feasts are Rosh HaShanah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Thus, it behooves us to study the three fall feasts in detail.