The moon plays several important roles in the Feasts of the LORD, one that I almost missed because of its subtleness. I looked to see what the phase of the moon was during the Feasts and found it was somewhere in between Last Quarter and First Quarter, which is partially obscured to full moon, during all but one of the feasts. I did not realize at first what this signified, but it came to me as I examined the portent of the Feasts. Here is a list of the Feasts , when they occur and the phase of the moon during each.
(Apr 3–10) – Nisan 14 – 22
1 Pesah – Passover – Christ Sacrificial Lamb – (Full Moon – Last Quarter)
2 Matzo – Unleavened Bread –Without Sin – (Full Moon) Nisan 15 – 22
3 Bikkurim – First Fruits - Harvest – Christ is the wave offering the First and Best sacrifice – (Full Moon) Nisan 16
4 Shavuoth – Pentecost –Birth of Israel, Holy Spirit – (First Quarter) (May 23) – Sivan 6
5 Rosh Ha-Shanah – Trumpets – Christ’s Triumphant Return – (New Moon) (Sep 22–23) – Elul 29 – Tishri 1
6 Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement – New Year, atonement for sins – (Waxing Gibbous) (Oct 2) – Tishri 10
7 Sukkoth – Tabernacles – Dwelling in temporary dwellings, (Christ’s Birth) (Last Quarter – Full Moon) (Oct 7– 14) Tishri 15– 22
8 Chanukah – Festival of Lights – Purification of the temple, Conception – (Waning Crescent – Waxing Crescent) – (Dec 16– 23) – Kislev 25 – Tivet 2
Each of the Feasts symbolizes an aspect of Salvation through Christ; during Passover, First Fruits and the first day of Unleavened Bread, there is a full moon. This is significant if you look at the relative position of the moon, earth and the sun. The moon is almost directly opposite the sun, with the earth in the middle in a nearly straight line. There is the picture of man, held in the darkness of the world and Christ as the Light of the world is the moon, fully man, yet fully God, coming in the authority of the Father, taking the sins of the world upon Himself once and for all…remember the eclipse?
A lunar eclipse or “new moon” heralds a new beginning at the head of each month. The word moon appears 66 times in the NKJV, of that, 38 times it is the actual Hebrew word for “new moon,” or month, (חֹדֶשׁ, chodesh) the other 28 times, a different Hebrew word, (יָרֵחַ, yareach), or Greek word, (σελήνη, selene), is used for a generic moon. Scripture says there is to be a feast at the new moon; there is a reason for this feast that I had never realized until I started this study of the moon. Passover is started at the point the sun is first obscured which in Hebrew literally means “at the darkening of the sun,” Deuteronomy 16:6 “6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.” (NKJV) The time place and redemptive portrait are an explicative of the Passover of His Christ, from the very mouth of GOD.
Taking again an excerpt from 7700 Illustrations, we see that. “The phases of the Moon are related to (actually, caused by) the relative positions of the Moon and sun in the sky. For example, New Moon occurs when the sun and Moon are quite close together in the sky. Full Moon occurs when the sun and Moon are at nearly opposite positions in the sky - which is why a Full Moon rises about the time of sunset, and sets about the time of sunrise.” At the point where the sun and moon are closest in the sky, the moons surface is darkened; it is at this juncture the feast of the New Moon is to begin. John the Baptist portrays this to his disciples, when he is asked about the Christ, John 3:29-31. “29He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease. 31He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.”
John the Baptist recognized a Spiritual truth about the presence of the LORD, He (Christ) must be all and His light must be the only light. There are times in the early morning when the moon is visible, but as the sun comes into view; it fades and finally disappears. Even though the moon is still present, it cannot be seen because of the brilliance of the sun. Salvation is portrayed in Scriptures by the words of the prophet Isaiah, (Isaiah 30:26), a picture of the moon is painted, receiving the brilliance of the sun: “26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, And the light of the sun will be sevenfold, As the light of seven days, In the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people And heals the stroke of their wound.” When Christ is glorified, He will then glorify His own and we will become as He is, Paul says it will happen instantaneously in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-53. “51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
The New Moon Feast was not part of the Feasts of the LORD, but it was a significant celebration nonetheless. The relative proximity of the moon to the sun is at its closes point during the new moon, it is at time that the LORD tells the priests to sound the shofar and to place the offerings on the fire. This image Isaiah paints above is what Rosh Hashanah will reveal at the last day. God is the sun, Christ is the moon and the ultimate mediator, there He stands, between us and the Glory of the LORD, then when the shofar sounds, God is revealed in all His splendor and Christ’s glory is finally revealed. Paul says it beautifully in Philippians 2:9-11. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NASB95)