GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

02/25/2022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

 

Christian Soldier 50, REASON FOR FEASTS OF PASSOVER & UNLEAVENED BREAD

 

Wednesday evening, we began to look at the subject of the Feasts and the real reason behind each one of them.

 

As I mentioned Wednesday each feast which we have seen had a positive message behind them.

 

They were created by the Lord for the purpose of joy and dancing and happiness.

 

They were never created for feeling guilty or condemned like so many feel when they think of such feasts like the Passover.

 

These seven feasts were only legitimate before the Church-Age and before the Canon of scripture was completed.

 

COL 2:16   Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day‑‑

 

COL 2:17 things which are a {mere} shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

 

  1. The Passover: This speaks of our Lord’s death on the cross where in 1CO 5:7, Christ died on the last legitimate Passover (24 hours), but it was a moment of Joy.

 

  1. Unleavened Bread: Spoke of fellowship with the Lord. One week or seven days in duration.

 

In fact, there is a passage in the New Testament that speaks of both of these feasts in 1CO 5.

 

Speaking of the son who betrayed his father by having sex with his father’s wife who was his step-mother, the apostle Paul says:

 

1CO 5:5 {I have decided} to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 

1CO 5:6 Your boasting is not good

 

They thought they were being gracious to the man by forgiving him and condoning what he did which was to commit fornication.

 

1CO 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump {of dough}?

 

1CO 5:7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

 

 

1CO 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

  1. Firstfruits: Jesus Christ’s resurrection and resurrection of all believers. It was a gift offering, LEV 2:12. Jesus Christ rose on Firstfruits.

Look at LEV 2:12 'As an offering of first fruits, you shall bring them to the Lord, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar.

 

  1. Pentecost: 50 days after the feasts if Firstfruits and it begins the 5th cycle of discipline and dispersion of Israel. Sunday was when it was held.

 

Now, you may be wondering how this feast has a meaning of joy and dancing?

 

The answer to that is because this feast is the one that began the Church-age and the calling out of the bride of Christ

 

  1. Trumpets: Speaks of the 2nd Advent. Israel regathered, end of the 5th cycle of discipline.

 

  1. Atonement: Salvation of Israel, result of the baptism of fire. This is Yom Kippur. It speaks of the four unconditional covenants to Israel at the second advent.

 

  1. Tabernacles: Millennial reign of Christ (7 days). Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights, December 25, 164 BC.

 

Between #4 and #5 is the Church Age.

 

  1. We go from Pentecost when the Church-age began.
  2. To the trumpets: At the Rapture and trumpets will announce the Second Advent when Israel is regathered.

 

This ends the 5th cycle of discipline.

 

There are the seven feasts which all speak of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work upon the altar of the cross.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the different feasts.

 

God has established an infinitely meaningful and profound prophetic system through His choices of seven Holy Feasts to be held each year by the Chosen People of Israel.

 

He dictated the dates and proper observances to Moses on Mount Sinai, and His instructions are recorded in detail for us especially in Leviticus 23.

 

It should be noted that God was very practical in issuing the seven feasts within one brief chapter of instruction as LEV 23.

 

They are mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, but these vital and fundamental requirements of the Old Covenant were gathered together in simplest form lest no one overlook any of them.

 

If there was one chapter of the entire Old Testament that the faithful Jew would want to remember, it is the one in LEV 23.

 

Since their major feature was sacrifice, and since sacrifice is impossible without the proper Temple of God in Jerusalem, the original meaning and efficacy of the feasts has been completely lost.

 

Believers in Christ are not responsible to keep these feasts, of course, but a knowledge of them greatly enhances their faith.

 

The Lord kept every one of them without fail, even celebrating Passover on His last earthly night.

 

We will examine each feast individually, giving the appropriate verse from Leviticus 23.

 

In each case we will see that there is a wonderful fulfillment in the New Testament as indicated by the nature of the feast.

 

Let’s look at them without giving preference to any one of them over another, so here they are,

 

  1. The first one that I gave you was the Feast of Passover which is when the new festival year begins for the Jews because their first month of the New Year is our April.

 

It is called the Passover and it is to be held at the beginning of spring in the month called Nisan.

 

LEV 23:5 'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord's Passover.

 

In our calendar it would be our fourth month of the year, April, but in the Jewish calendar, it is the first month of the year called the month of Nisan.

 

The Lord gives a single verse to the direction for Passover, since the children of Israel and Moses had, in effect, recently celebrated it.

 

Exodus 12 and the ensuing chapters tell the monumental story of the national liberation from Egypt, marked by the terrible night of the tenth plague.

 

For example, EXO 12:1 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,

 

EXO 12:2 "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.

 

 

EXO 12:3 "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household.

 

EXO 12:4 'Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.

 

EXO 12:5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

 

EXO 12:6 'And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.

 

EXO 12:7 'Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.

Then note  EXO 12:11 'Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste‑‑ it is the Lord's Passover.

 

EXO 12:12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first‑born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments‑‑ I am the Lord.

 

EXO 12:13 'And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

 

EXO 12:14 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.

 

 

Then look at EXO 12:21   Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb.

 

EXO 12:22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.

 

EXO 12:23 "For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.

 

EXO 12:24 "And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.

 

EXO 12:25 "And it will come about when you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, that you shall observe this rite.

 

EXO 12:26 "And it will come about when your children will say to you,  'What does this rite mean to you?'

 

EXO 12:27 that you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.' "And the people bowed low and worshiped.

 

EXO 12:28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

 

EXO 12:29   Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the first‑born in the land of Egypt, from the first‑born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first‑born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first‑born of cattle.

 

EXO 12:30 And Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.

 

God merely assigns Passover its date, but thereby hangs a fascinating concept and that is…...

 

God's calendar is a lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon rather than the earth's revolutions around the sun.

 

Each month starts with a new moon, reaching a full moon in the midst of the twenty-eight-day cycle and Passover always falls on a full moon, the first full moon of spring.

 

Passover is surely the feast of salvation.

 

On this day, because of the blood of the lamb being male without blemish, EXO 12:5, the Hebrew nation was delivered from bondage.

 

EXO 12:5 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

 

Clearly, in both Testaments, the blood of the Lamb delivers from slavery— the Jew from Egypt, the Christian from sin and evil.

 

It is no mere coincidence, then, that our Lord Himself was sacrificed on Passover.

 

At the meal He stated plainly in….

 

MAT 26:29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

 

The Christian celebrates Passover by participating in the sacrifice of the Lord.

 

So, back in Egypt the Jew marked his house with the blood of the lamb.

 

Today the Christian marks his house which is His physical body, (1CO 6:19-20), known as the house of the Holy Spirit with the blood of Christ representing His work on the cross.

 

1CO 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

 

1CO 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

 

 

 

 

Today the believer does not have to worry about the Angel of Death because it will pass over each Christian as surely as he passed over each Israelite in Egypt.

 

The remarkable fulfillment of Passover on the exact day illustrates a principle which we will see with each of the feasts and that is…….

 

Our Lord fulfilled each feast on its appropriate day with an appropriate action up to the point we have now reached in His prophetic plan.

 

We will see that all seven of the feasts have either been fulfilled, or are prophesied to be fulfilled, with reference to their exact meanings.

 

Passover then represents our salvation.

 

We do not keep the feast in remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, since that was the mere shadow of the greater redemption to come.

 

COL 2:17 These feasts are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

 

The Lord Himself instructed us to "Do this in remembrance of Me." We do take communion, a part of the original Passover feast, in remembrance of the Lord.

 

The Passover occurred on April 14, 1441 BC. EXO 12:1-14; LEV 23:5. It portrays the work of Jesus Christ on the cross with special emphasis on redemption.

 

It also portrays one other principle.

 

It portrays freedom from slavery, the beginning of a nation.

 

All nations begin at the point they attain their freedom.

 

Therefore, it recognizes the principle of freedom in life.

 

But it also recognizes something else.

 

The Passover is not the only feast but it is a reminder that no one enjoys freedom unless he is in God’s plan of grace.

 

You must have capacity for freedom and this comes from Bible doctrine in the soul.

 

The Passover is the first of the feasts and it has a dual connotation: freedom and the beginning of a nation.

 

It connotes at the same time the beginning of God’s plan. God’s plan begins at the cross. Grace always begins at the point of salvation.

This leads us to where we left off which is….

 

  1. The Feasts of Unleavened Bread which is on the next night: LEV 23:6.

 

LEV 23:6 'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.

 

God told the Jews to eat only the pure unleavened bread during the week following Passover.

 

Leaven in the Bible symbolized sin and evil.

 

The word leaven is never used for good; it is always used for bad, something that is contrary to God’s Word.

 

There are five kinds of leaven found in the New Testament.

  1. The leaven of the Pharisees mentioned as religious legalism.

 

  1. The leaven of the Sadducees is religious rationalism.

 

  1. The leaven of Herod in MAR 8:15 which is the exploitation of others for one’s benefit.

 

  1. There is the leaven of the Corinthians which is carnality mentioned in 1CO 5:6-7.

 

  1. There is the leaven of the Galatians which is legalism.

 

In every case leaven is not simply a system of false doctrine but it is a false criterion which produces false doctrine.

 

False doctrine is really the result of compromising what you believe because of self-interest.

When it comes to leaven, I believe that 1CO 5 is the best New Testament passage that reveals the true meaning of leaven to the Church-age believer.

 

Now, in 1CO 5, the apostle Paul warned the believers at Corinth that they were rejoicing over grace which was given to the young man who committed fornication.

 

He betrayed his father by fornicating with his father’s wife and now the Corinthians were rejoicing over the grace to forgive.

 

However, to forgive does not mean you forget and not separate.

 

It means to avoid that individual and not have fellowship with him because a little leaven will destroy the whole lump meaning here the Corinthian church.

 

In verse 1, we have the case of incest.

 

This man is saved, he can’t lose his salvation, and whatever disposition is made of his case when it is all over, he is still saved.

 

And he hasn’t committed one of the worst sins!

 

He is put under the sin unto death but not because of the nature of the sin, it was because he kept on doing it.

 

And by the way, I understand that the father’s wife was not the little innocent victim but just as

Guilty.

 

In 1CO 5:1  It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife.

 

1CO 5:2 And you have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, in order that the one who had done this deed might be removed from your midst.

 

They had proud of this thing that they are almost bragging about it.

 

They would say such things like….

 

‘We have in our congregation a most unusual thing.”

 

“I don’t believe you could find one of these situations anywhere.”

 

So, in 1CO 5:3-6, we have the mechanics of discipline which are given because of the existence of leaven.

 

 

1CO 5:3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.

 

In verse 3, “absent in the body” means that Paul is not there  “but present in spirit,” he is in fellowship, his human spirit-with the Holy Spirit.

 

In Verse 4, the sentence has been passed, it will be executed at the first time that the church meets after getting this information” “when you are assembled means the church service.

 

In 1CO 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

 

 

 

Then in verse 5, he delivered such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 

Paul is an apostle and he has a right to judge such cases for the sake of getting the entire congregation straightened out on this point.

 

Only the apostles were given this authority in the early church and that continues to this day.

 

1CO 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump {of dough}?

 

1CO 5:7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are {in fact} unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.

 

 

1CO 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

These people are to rebound and “clean out” the old leaven, and that means they are back in fellowship with their Lord and this is also another passage that says to rebound.

 

Remember there are now at least 8 passages that teach the principle of rebound.

 

As a reminder, there is

 

  1. Self-judgment, 1Co 11:30-31.
  2. Lay aside every weight, Heb 12:1. This was Font/Pitch 2,12 - On.
  3. Lift up the hands that hang down, Heb12:12. This was Font/Pitch 2,12 - On.
  4. Be subject to the Father of your human spirits, Heb 12:9.

 

 

  1. Make straight paths, Mat 3:3; Heb 12:13.
  2. Lay aside or put off the old man, Eph 4:22.
  3. This was Font/Pitch 2,12 - On."Arise from the dead,"This was Font/Pitch 2,12 - Off.Note: The change to pitch (12) and font (1) must be converted manually. Eph 5:14.
  4. Clean out the old leaven, 1Co 5:7.

 

When 1CO 5:7 says…..

 

1CO 5:7   “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us therefore, let us keep the feast.”

 

Christ our Passover is a reference to salvation;

 

The next six days after the Passover is the feast of unleavened bread.

 

Unleavened bread is a picture of being in fellowship with God.

 

They ‘keep the feast’ by getting back in fellowship.

 

 

In verse 8, we read again 1CO 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

Malice refers to the mental attitude sins and this is actually malignity in the frontal lobe.

 

Wicked deeds [literally] come from the mental attitude.

 

“but of sincerity,” the Greek word for sincerity is a compound noun and it means to judge something by putting it up to the sun.

 

In verses 9-11, we have a clarification of the previous instructions and so let’s read the section yet.

 

1CO 5:9   I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;

 

1CO 5:10  I {did} not at all {mean} with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.

 

1CO 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so‑called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler‑‑ not even to eat with such a one.

 

Paul wrote four times to the Corinthians, only two became a part of the canon of scripture and one was lost and one was written by Paul but not inspired by God the Holy Spirt.

 

In that letter he told them not to company with fornicators.

 

They all interpreted this one way, i.e. unbelievers.

Now Paul is going to show them that isn’t what he means altogether. He is talking about believers here.

 

For in 1CO 5:10  I {did} not at all {mean} with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.

 

We are in the world for one purpose, to witness for Jesus Christ.

 

So, we have to have contact with the unbeliever to witness to him.

 

1CO 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so‑called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler‑‑ not even to eat with such a one.

 

He is clarifying the previous instructions which they didn’t understand and misinterpreted.

 

There are five categories given here, this doesn’t cover all the areas of sin but it covers the areas where something might flow from one person to another, where a person might have influence.

 

In other words, the leaven leavening the whole lump.

 

The first category is an immoral person”

 

You cannot have fellowship with an immoral person.

 

1CO 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so‑called brother if he should be an immoral person,

 

 

 

Next is “covetousness” which is a lust. A covetous person is one who is motivated by approbation lust, power lust, or whatever kind of lust it may be.

 

“idolator,” religious activity. 1CO 10:19-21, the devil’s communion table is a type of religious activity.

 

“railer,” a person who is abusive of others verbally. It may be nit-picking or it may be more volatile but it is a person who criticizes, who runs down, who maligns, who tries to cut down other people.

 

“drunkard,” one who is frequently

inebriated; “extortioner,” a believer guilty of dishonest business practice.

 

Unleavened bread, eaten over a period of time (seven days), symbolized a holy walk with the Lord.

 

The apostle Paul commented beautifully on the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, with which he was, of course, quite familiar as a Jewish scholar:

 

The unleavened bread in the New Testament is a reference to the body of our Lord as the Bread of life as He is described; JOH 6:31-35; 47-58.

 

JOH 6:31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written,   ' He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. '"

 

JOH 6:32 Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

 

JOH 6:33 "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."

 

JOH 6:34 They said therefore to Him, "Lord, evermore give us this bread."

 

JOH 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

 

Also we have JOH 6:47-58.

 

JOH 6:47   "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

 

JOH 6:48 "I am the bread of life.

 

JOH 6:49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

 

JOH 6:50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

 

JOH 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."

 

 

JOH 6:52   The Jews therefore {began} to argue with one another, saying,   "How can this man give us {His} flesh to eat?"

 

JOH 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

 

JOH 6:54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

 

JOH 6:55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

 

JOH 6:56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

 

JOH 6:57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.

 

JOH 6:58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever."

 

As "the Bread of Life”, He was born in Bethlehem which in the Hebrew means "House of Bread."

 

He utilized bread as an image of Himself as in JOH 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone;

 

God fed the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven, and He feeds the Christians in the world on the Bread of Life.

 

The very piece of bread used by the Jews during this week of Unleavened Bread is a good picture of our Lord.

 

Anyone who has seen the Jewish matzah bread sees that it is pierced and it has stripes throughout the bread like He was as our bread of life.

 

One verse can describe that like…….

 

ISA 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well‑being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

 

"They shall look upon me whom they've pierced"), and, of course, He was pure, without any leaven, as His body was without any sin.

 

ZEC 12:10  "And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him,

 

Look at JOH 19:37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

 

The Passover ceremony of breaking and burying and then resurrecting a piece of this bread (the middle piece, as the Son in the Trinity) very obviously presents the Gospel.

 

For those of you who have studied the Jewish Passover with me, you ought to be familiar with some of these principles that I taught before.

Remember once again:

 

God performed this exact ceremony with the burial of Jesus, our precious piece of unleavened bread, and more importantly, He performed it on the exact day of the feast.

 

Once again, the required feast was fulfilled in a remarkable and unmistakable way.

 

We see from the Gospel that Jesus was buried at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread since….

 

His body was taken down from the cross at sundown of Passover Day, the beginning of the fifteenth of Nisan, the first month.

 

Our "kernel of wheat" as the Bread of Life was indeed placed into the ground at the appropriate moment; JOH 12:24.

 

JOH 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 

It was to rise again, of course, and again in accordance with the schedule of the feasts, as we shall see.

 

One cannot permanently bury a Christian; 2CO 5:8.

 

Men have speculated just how it was that Jesus died so quickly on the cross because crucifixion normally took three days.

 

That was the point of it.

 

The victim died by seconds and very slowly as the people passed the cross, morning and night, morning and night.

The Romans utilized this slow and terrible way of death to terrify the population of Israel from breaking the rules.

 

As citizens or visitors walked into the city of Jerusalem, the first thing they would see would be individuals hanging and suffering on the cross for days.

 

It was to serve as a warning to those who are entering the city and what happens when you break Roman Law.

 

We see in the Gospel that….

 

The centurion was not ready to believe that the young, strong carpenter of Galilee was dead in just six hours; from 9:00 a.m. ("The third hour") and taken down at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

The speculation is ended of course, if we simply understand the schedule of the first two feasts.

 

Our Lord died in time to be buried at sundown that day.

 

He was placed on the cross at 9:00 a.m., and then taken down at 3:00 p.m., when God the Father finished judging His Son for the sins of the world.

 

There was then time enough to wrap the body and bury it at sundown.

 

The answer to why He died in six hours is that His work was finished and so in…..

 

JOH 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

 

Our Lord never omitted a feast.

He said dogmatically that no one could take His life from Him, “I lay it down and I take it up again."

 

Two passages emerge here.

 

The first on is found in JOH 2 beginning in verse 18.

 

JOH 2:18 The Jews therefore answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?"

 

JOH 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

 

JOH 2:20 The Jews therefore said, "It took forty‑six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"

 

 

JOH 2:21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

 

The second passage is even clearer; JOH 10:17-18.

 

JOH 10:17 "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

 

JOH 10:18 "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

 

Now, back to LEV 23.

 

  1. The third feast is held on the Sunday following Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Firstfruits: LEV 23:10-11.

 

LEV 23:10 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.

 

LEV 23:11 'And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

 

God wanted a special feast during which the Israelites would acknowledge the fertility of the fine land He gave them.

 

They were to bring the early crops of their spring planting ("First Fruits") to the priest at the Temple to be waved before the Lord on their behalf.

 

They were not to offer the less of their produce but the best of their produce, the first fruits and not the leftovers.

As Solomon said in……

 

PRO 3:9-10,  Honor the Lord from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce so your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

 

This was to be done "the day after the Sabbath," or Sunday.

 

Since the feast of Unleavened Bread was seven days long, one of those days would be a Sunday and that Sunday would be Firstfruits each year.

 

By the way firstfruits is technically one word where Bible scholars are concerned.

 

To most normal people it is two words.

 

We have come to call this feast Easter, after the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility.

We even continue to worship the objects of fertility—the rabbit, the egg, new outfits, etc., but the celebration was to be over God's replanting of the earth in the spring.

 

We miss a very important biblical truth by NOT using the term "First Fruits" as the name of this feast, because "first" implies a second, a third, and so on, and that is the real meaning of the feast.

 

We do not merely celebrate the resurrection of the Lord on First Fruits, on which it occurred, but even more so, the resurrection of the entire Church as we will note.

 

We shall all be resurrected and go to heaven, just as the Lord did, "Every man in his own order."

 

The apostle Paul presented this brilliantly when he wrote 1CO 15:22-23.

 

1CO 15:22-23, For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming.

 

Paul makes very clear the real point of the feast which is the Doctrine of Resurrection.

 

The resurrection of the Lord Himself is the great news and worthy of a celebration, but we are not so surprised by it.

 

After all, the Lord could raise the dead Himself; He walked on water.

 

He is God's Son.

 

The real miracle is that each of us as ordinary mortal sinners will experience this resurrection.

 

We apparently all have a part in the first resurrection because of what the apostle Paul also said beginning in 1CO 15:12.

 

1CO 15:12   Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

 

1CO 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;

 

1CO 15:14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

 

 

1CO 15:15 Moreover we are even found {to be} false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.

 

1CO 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;

 

1CO 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

 

1CO 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

 

1CO 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

 

The Resurrection of Christ is the pattern for the First Resurrection.

 

The first resurrection is pictured as a battalion pass-in-review, and therefore, is divided into four echelons, 1CO 15:20‑24.

 

1CO 15:20   But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.

1CO 15:21 For since by a man {came} death, by a man also {came} the resurrection of the dead.

 

1CO 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.

 

1CO 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

 

 

1CO 15:24 then {comes} the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

 

We have defined the Firstfruits of the doctrine of resurrection into four different categories using a military term we call “company”.

 

 

  1. Alpha Company = the resurrection of Christ at the end of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, for He is "the first fruits of them that slept." Mat 28; Mar 16; Luck 24.

 

  1. Bravo Company: the resurrection of the royal family of God at the end of the great power experiment of the Church Age, 1Co 15:51‑57; 1Th 4:13‑18.

 

  1. Charlie Company: the resurrection of the Old Testament believers and Tribulation martyrs at the end of the Tribulation and the Second Advent, DAN 12:3; MAT 24:31; REV 20:4.

 

  1. Delta Company: the resurrection of the millennial saints at the end of the Millennium.

 

Jesus Christ's number was one; He was the First Fruits—the first man permanently resurrected.

1TH 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

 

How simple it all is if we understand these feasts.

 

Jesus of course, celebrated the Sunday of the week of His crucifixion by rising from the dead.

 

It was not some other day He chose but the very day of First Fruits, of course, just as He had performed on Passover and Unleavened Bread, each with the appropriate action.

 

It is very interesting that the week that the Lord died there was the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits.

 

They spoke of the cross, the death and burial of the humanity of our Lord and the resurrection.

 

As I said before……

 

Our Lord not only followed and fulfilled all the feasts but He also kept them on the exact day they were to be observed and performed.

 

Look at MAT 5:17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

 

Jesus even presented His proper First Fruits offering not only to the Father but also to those who had died already physically.

 

Look at the passage where after the Lord was raised from the dead notice what followed.

 

Graves were opened and dead people rose and were seen after His resurrection in Jerusalem; MAT 27:50-61, especially verse 53.

 

MAT 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up {His} spirit.

 

MAT 27:51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split,

 

MAT 27:52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

 

 

Here’s the verse, MAT 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

 

 

 

 

MAT 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

 

MAT 27:55 And many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him,

 

MAT 27:56 among whom was Mary Magdalene, {along with} Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

 

MAT 27:57   And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

 

MAT 27:58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered {it} to be given over {to him.}

 

MAT 27:59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

 

 

MAT 27:60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

 

MAT 27:61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave.

 

The Lord, not unlike a Jewish planter, gratefully showed the Father the early crops of what will be a magnificent harvest later on.

 

First Fruits was the last of the feasts that the Lord was seen personally fulfilling on earth.

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