May 16, 2014
Leviticus 23-Part 1
These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. Leviticus 23:4
LET IT GLOW
Here we have seven feasts, which were sacred to the Lord. They were given in order for the religious Jewish calendar, after the Sabbath. Not all of the Israelites were required to attend the seven festivals. The feasts of Unleavened Bread, Weeks, and Tabernacles required that all males gather in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:16-17).
These seven feasts of the Lord were holy convocations, which means a calling (together) in Hebrew. (verse 2) The people worked six days, then on the seventh day, Saturday, the Jews would do no work. This was their Sabbath of rest.
Christ's resurrection changed the day for weekly worship to Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). The difference is, the Jews worked and rested at the end of the week, but Christians rest firsts and then go forth to serve the Lord on the remaining six days. (Falwell)
First came the observance of the Sabbath of solemn rest.
Then came the first four feasts, which took place during the first Jewish month:
- Passover began on the 14th day of the first month (our March/April). Jewish months were determined by the moon, which varied the time of celebration. The Passover lamb was slain and eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread as a memorial of how God passed over the Israelites in Egypt when He saw the blood applied to the doorposts. Christ is our Passover Lamb. (Ex. 12; 1 Cor. 5:7)
- Unleavened Bread lasted seven days, observed the 15th-21st of the month. It was eaten at the first Passover while Israel was awaiting deliverance from Egypt. Since leaven (yeast) in the bread represents sin, eating this feast represents God's people putting away sin out of their lives. We are first saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, then we put away our sinful habits. All Jewish men were required to be present at this feast.
- Firstfruits feast was celebrated on the day after the Passover Sabbath, which was Sunday, the first day of the week. The priest would wave the sheaf of grain before the altar as a token that the whole harvest belonged to the Lord. It pictures our Lord's resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-21 calls Jesus the first fruits). Because Christ, the Firstfruits, is alive, the entire "resurrection harvest" belongs to God. (Wiersbe)
the sixteenth, a Sunday-the day of the Feast of First Fruits. Christ rose as the first fruits of them
that sleep (1 Cor. 15:23). (Falwell)
LET IT GROW
4. Pentecost, which means fifty, was celebrated seven weeks after the Feast of First Fruits, by
counting 50 days beginning with the day of first fruits. The attendance of all Israelite males
was required. A sheaf of the grain was waved on the first fruits, then the grains were united
together into one loaf for this offering.
Fifty days after Christ's resurrection, the Holy Spirit came to believers (Acts 2). For forty days,
Christ had ministered to His disciples (Acts 1:3), and for another ten days they had prayed and
waited for Pentecost to arrive. The new meal offering was composed of two loaves of bread,
symbolizing Jews and Gentiles baptized into one body, the church, by the Holy Spirit
(1 Cor. 12:13). (Wiersbe)
Jesus observed these Jewish feasts.
Do you recognize Him as your Passover Lamb, so God's judgment and sentence of eternal damnation and separation from Him will pass over you?
Is Jesus your first fruit from the dead? So you believe He rose from the dead on the third day?
Does His Holy Spirit dwell within you, believer?
Do we give our first fruits to Jesus?
LET IT GO
Glorify Jesus Christ as my Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Ask Jesus to remove my sins, and forgive me, naming them.
Give my offering and praise to the Risen Savior.
Watch the Holy Spirit working in lives; pray for my loved ones.
Give Jesus my everything.