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Message

Holified - Part 9, Pay it Forward
Miles McPherson - March 26, 2006

Message Recap

The seven feasts given in the Old Testament did more than teach the children of Israel how to worship God and how to relax, they also pointed to the coming and purpose of Jesus Christ and His completion of all this in Him.

Spread through out the year were seven feasts; The Passover Feast, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of First Fruits, The Feast of Pentecost, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, The Feast of the Tabernacles.

As Miles begins to talk about the feasts, he points to the relevance of numbers in the Bible, the number seven being the symbol of Completeness and the number eight being the symbol of Abundance. This is reflected also in the days of the month on which feasts are held.

The Passover Feast and Feast of Unleavened Bread

The first feast, the Passover Feast, reminds the children of Israel of their deliverance from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. The first and most powerful point to be made is that Jesus is our Passover lamb; he set us free from the bondage of sin.

Leviticus 23:5-6 tells that the Passover Feast is to be held during the first month (Jewish Calendar) on the 14th day. On the 10th day of the month the head of each household is to take a lamb, 1 year old and without blemish, into the house and the family was to bond with it for four days. On the 14th night, the lamb would be killed, a feast of the Passover lamb had and the blood of the Passover lamb placed on the doorposts of those who believed in the One True God.

On the eve of the exodus out of bondage the angel of death passed over those households with the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. Exodus 12:1-14

The second feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is to remind the Children of Israel that God does not want them to take impurities into themselves. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. Leviticus 23:6

Leaven in the scriptures symbolizes sin. Jesus was the unleavened sinless Bread of Heaven. His life was one of sinless perfection. And His body was offered as the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for sin.

The Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Pentecost

None of us can live up to the Laws of God; all are born in to sin and unworthy of Heaven.

The third feast occurs on the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; it is called the Feast of Firstfruits.

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15:20

Miles draws a clear comparison between the third feast, which has no set month and day to be celebrated and Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal (or Spring) equinox.

The Feast of Firstfruits is held at the time of the first grain harvest. This is also called the Waving of the Sheaves. The priests gather the grains and fruits on sheaves and wave them before the Lord.

Nothing is supposed to be eaten of the harvest until after this Feast. This was to occur the day after the Sabbath (Sunday) following the harvest. Our Feast of Firstfruit (Easter) happens the Sunday following Christ's crucifixion.

The Feast of Pentecost, the fourth feast, occurs "on the 'fiftieth day' or 'Pentecost' or 'Shavuot' - the Firstfruits of the wheat harvest was celebrated. Two loaves of bread baked with leaven were waved before the Lord. This was an act of thanksgiving before Him for the bounty He had provided." Leviticus 23:16-20

The important parallel between the first Pentecost following the exit from Egypt and the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus is the number 3000. On the first Pentecost, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the law of the Lord (10 Commandments) was given to the children of Israel and 3000 people were killed by the hand of God because of their choosing to worship the Golden Calf.

The first Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection, the Spirit of the Lord was given to the world and 3000 people were saved. The importance of this is to realize that none of us can live up to the Laws of God; all are born in to sin and unworthy of Heaven.

But, when God sent His Son, and consequently His Spirit, He gave us the Way (the Truth and the Life) to be forgiven of our sins and welcomed to His presence above.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Atonement

The Feast of Trumpets, the fifth feast, occurs on the first day of the seventh month. The Feast of Trumpets reflects God's desire to summon His people to repentance so that He can vindicate them on the day of His judgment.

Miles points out that anytime you see in the Bible that God is announcing "something big", He does so with the sounding of trumpets.

The Feast of Trumpets heralded, through the blowing of trumpets, the final phase of the Jewish religious year. On that day the trumpets were blown in a massive way throughout the land to announce to the people that the Day of Judgment had arrived and they should prepare themselves to stand trial before the heavenly court.

Miles points out that in Revelations; this is also done when we are standing before God in Heaven.

The sixth Feast, the Feast of Atonement, is to be held on the tenth day of the seventh month. Miles points out the alternate pronunciation of Atonement as At-one-ment, which may be understood that this brings us back to being of one heart with God.

In the Old Testament, held once per year, the high priest would prepare to enter the Holy of Holies. First he would have his sins forgiven by sacrifice, then the sins of the people.

When Christ was crucified, being the perfect sacrifice Himself bearing no sin, He bore the sins of all mankind, once and for all.

The Feast of Tabernacles

What the Old Testament Priests did every year to atone for the sins of the Children of Israel, Jesus did for all of us for once and for all...

The seventh and final feast, held on the fifteenth day of the seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles.

The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. Leviticus 23:35-36

The children of Israel would dwell in booths for seven days. Miles points out that the reason for this is because God wants His children to remember that it was He alone who brought them out of Israel.

Our Challenge

What was celebrated in the Old Testament was revealed in the New Testament. What the Old Testament Priests did every year to atone for the sins of the Children of Israel, Jesus did for all of us for once and for all in His crucifixion and resurrection.

Miles challenges us to take God up on His promises, that He has paid all of this forward. Also we should clean out the leaven in our lives, to make ourselves accountable to someone, having a reminder that there is something that you know does not belong in you and that you want to clean out.

Do not let your pride keep you from cleaning out your heart, do not let your pride tell you that you can handle it, take it to the One who can, God.

Holified

This 11-part series takes us through a study of the book of Leviticus which outlines for us what holy living is all about, living in the boundaries God has set for us. This message examines the seven feasts given in the Old Testament, and how Jesus’ death and crucifixion fulfilled the purpose for each feast.

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