Presentation on theme: "We are in the midst of studying the 7 Jewish Feasts instituted by the Lord in Leviticus 23. These feasts reveal God’s prophetic timetable through history."— Presentation transcript:
We are in the midst of studying the 7 Jewish Feasts instituted by the Lord in Leviticus 23. These feasts reveal God’s prophetic timetable through history. Believers are not required to observe the Feasts. Knowledge of them will definitely build your faith as you see God’s plan for redemption through them. Let’s review for a moment.
God dictated the 7 Feasts to Moses on Mt. Sinai. He also set a definite time of the year to celebrate each and gave details on how to observe them. The Hebrew word for feasts literally means appointed times. These were to be special times the people of Israel set aside to meet with the Lord.
Here is a list of the 7 in order that they appear in the year: 1.Passover 2.Unleavened Bread 3.Firstfruits 4.Pentecost (Harvests) 5.Trumpets 6.Atonement 7.Tabernacles
Passover – Spring of the year (Mar/April) and in an 8 day period –Passover –Unleavened Bread –First Fruits Pentecost – 50 days after First Fruits Tabernacles – Occur in the Fall (Sept/Oct) and over a 21 day period –Trumpets –Day of Atonement –Tabernacles
Several important points about the feasts: 1.The 7 feasts correspond with Israel’s agricultural season. 2.The timing of the feasts is based on a Jewish lunar calendar and not the solar calendar we use today. That is why the feasts don’t fall on the same day every year on our calendar. 3.The Jews measure a day from sundown to sundown (approx. 6 pm – 6 pm). 4.The Jewish calendar begins in the Spring (March/April) during the month of Nisan.
For us, there is a fulfillment in the life of Christ for each feast. Colossians 2:16-17 – Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival [feasts] or a new moon or a Sabbath day — 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (NASB) This refers to the Jewish Feasts as a mere shadow of things to come. The feasts were prophetic symbols that pointed to Jesus and would be fulfilled in Him.
1.Passover – the festival year begins in the spring with Passover. 1 Corinthians 5:7 – Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. It was a Passover Lamb whose blood was placed on the door posts, so the death angel would pass over that house and not kill the first born. It is the sinless Lamb of God’s blood that covers our sins, so that we will not experience the 2 nd death! It is no coincidence that Jesus was crucified on Passover.
2.Feast of the Unleavened Bread On the next day, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was to be celebrated for the next 7 days. For those 7 days the Jewish people were not to eat any leaven or even have any in their houses. This feast is a reminder of God’s deliverance from Egypt. They left Israel so quickly that there was no time for the leaven to rise in the bread.
Unleavened Bread represents the body of Jesus. His body was without sin. Jesus was actually buried on the day the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. Passover pictures His substitutionary death. But, Unleavened Bread pictures His burial and that His body would not decay in the grave. The 1 st 3 Feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread & Firstfruits—came to be known as the 8 Days of Passover.
3.Firstfruits The next of the 7 feasts was the Feast of Firstfruits. Leviticus 23:10-11 – Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf. (NLT)
Barley, the first grain planted in the winter, was now becoming ripe and ready for harvest. The best of the early crop would be bundled. It was taken to the Temple and presented to the Lord as a wave offering. The Lord’s acceptance of this would be a pledge or guarantee for the rest of the harvest. Many people do this today when they start a new business or venture. They bring their first profits and give them as a pledge that the Lord will bless their business.
The order of the Passover week is: 1.Thursday – Passover – Death 2.Friday – Unleavened Bread – Grave 3.Sunday – 1 st Fruits – Resurrection
Jesus was actually resurrected on the Feast of Firstfruits. It is very interesting how He fulfilled the Feasts with each step of His redemptive work. Remember we said that the 7 Jewish Feasts are a shadow of the real fulfillment in the work of Jesus.
The conclusion for us is that Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead. He is the 1 st of all who will be resurrected. If you think about it, a 1 st implies that there will be a 2 nd, a 3 rd, a 4 th and so on. Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior can have the assurance that we too will be resurrected to everlasting life. Just as the wave offering of the barley harvest was a pledge that the remaining harvest will come up. Jesus’ rez & defeat of death, sin & hell is our pledge that we too will experience the same victory.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – 54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: "Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because He is risen, we too shall rise to eternal life! The 2 nd death will have no hold over us!
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul dealt with a heresy known as Gnosticism which had crept into the church. Gnosticism believes that all material, physical things are evil. Their line of reasoning is if there is a physical resurrection, then it would result in an evil body. Because of this, some in the church were beginning to deny the concept of a physical resurrection. The soul would live forever but not the body. Paul had to nip this in the bud. This is the backdrop of 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul tells us that Jesus is the Firstfruits.
The Corinthian believers did not have access to the Bible like we do. Had the OT but not the NT & most were illiterate. When people can read and understand the Scriptures for themselves, it is difficult for heresies to take root. That is one reason why the devil fights you reading the Bible. He knows his chances of deceiving you are greatly increased when you quit reading it.
This is why the Reformation made such an impact on Europe and the world. The reformers pushed for 2 things: –Teach the common people to be able to read –The Bible to be translated into the local language When that happened, things began to change. Back to 1 Corinthians 15 and Paul nipping Gnosticism in the bud. Let’s look at his argument against Gnosticism.
1 Corinthians 15:12-13 – But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. To reject the physical resurrection of believers is to reject the physical resurrection of Jesus. You cannot have one without the other.
To deny the physical resurrection of the dead was to call Paul and the other apostles liars. They had clearly taught Jesus had risen bodily from the dead. 15:15 – And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead.
15:3-9 – 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I'm not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God's church.
Clearly Paul is teaching a physical rez of Jesus. The fact that He was seen alive by more than 500 people was proof enough that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. Many of whom were still alive and could verify that they had seen Him alive. They all went to their graves and many to a martyr’s death believing they had seen the resurrected Lord. Liars and martyrs are not made of the same thing.
To deny the physical resurrection of Jesus was to declare that their faith was useless and their sins had not been paid for. 15:14 – And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15:17 – And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. This is why this teaching was so diabolical. If there was not a physical resurrection of Christ, there would be no sacrifice for sins. We would still be lost in our sins.
To deny the physical resurrection of Jesus was to relegate those who have already died in the faith to eternal condemnation. 15:18 – In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! If you deny the physical resurrection of Jesus, then we believers are to be pitied more than all peoples. 15:19 – And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
Using sound logic, Paul picked apart their arguments. Gnostics – No bodily resurrection Conclusion – Jesus is not raised. The tragic conclusion to this is: 1.Paul and all the apostles are liars. 2.Their faith was in vain. 3.They were still held in the grips of sin. 4.Their loved ones who had died in the Lord had perished. 5.They were of all men to be pitied. The end result was hopelessness and despair.
But, praise God their teaching is incorrect! 15:20 – But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (NASB) Paul, no doubt, had in the mind the Feast of Firstfruits when he wrote this. Jesus was the firstfruits of the harvest presented to the Lord. When God accepted the Firstfruits, Jesus became the guarantee that the rest of the crop (you and me) would be harvested.
Throughout the Bible, there are those who were raised from the dead. But, only One who was raised never died again— Jesus, our Firstfruits. Because He is risen, we too shall be raised from the dead victorious over sin and death! Jesus alone is Firstfruits.
The Feast of Passover spoke of His death as the sacrificial Lamb. He is our substitute. The Feast of Unleavened Bread revealed that His body would never decay in the grave. The Feast of Firstfruits proclaims that death could not hold Jesus in the grave!