It is important to observe the sacred days during the time God sets
Holiness in the Bible means to be set apart, or sacred. In Leviticus 23, God gives us a list of days that are holy for us to observe. It is important to observe these sacred days during the times that God sets.
The time itself is holy. Part of our call as believers is to discern between the holy and the common. Just as God’s holy days should not be replaced or renamed with pagan holidays, so God’s holy times should not be replaced with common times.
God gives us the tools we need to discern spiritual time. In Genesis 1, God sets the lights in the sky to be our clock.
The biblical calendar is both lunar and solar. Months begin at the first sighting of the new moon, which is actually the first sliver of the visible crescent, from Jerusalem, the place God sets his Name.
There are either 29 or 30 days in each month, and either 12 or 13 months in each year.
If the calendar were only lunar (like that of Islam), 12 months would fall short of a full year by about 11 days, causing the months to fall in different seasons throughout the years.
In order to keep the months occurring in their proper seasons, a 13th month is added every 2-3 years.
We know when to add the 13th month by observing the ripeness of the barley in and around Jerusalem.
In order to celebrate the festival of First Fruits (the Sunday after Passover, a.k.a. the day of Yeshua’s resurrection), there must be green barley.
If the barley is green, it is called Aviv.
The barley harvest is checked during the twelfth month; if is it green, the new religious year will begin the next month.
If it is not ripe yet, a 13th month is added.
The Karaites, which means scripturalists, are a group of Jews who do not use the rabbinic calendar, which can set holy days during times that are not biblically holy.
They use the biblical method described above and notify others throughout the world of new moon sightings and biblical holiday dates.
It is free to subscribe to their reports: www.karaite-korner.org. Depending on whether or not the barley is found to be Aviv over the next couple of weeks, Passover will begin either April 1 or April 30 this year. (Remember that biblical days begin in the evening.)
If you have never celebrated Passover and would like to learn how to incorporate the richness of this holy day into your family’s traditions, join us at The Living Word, Sunday, March 21, at 4 p.m. for a time of instruction.