Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
As we enter into the season of Easter, celebrating the resurrection of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, lets take a moment to get nerdy, and see how Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s appointed Springtime Holy Days in Leviticus 23. This is so completely exciting to me, considering God knew of His redemption plan before the foundation of the world, and instituted it’s remembrance and celebration back in the old testament after delivering His people from Egypt, in anticipation of the awaited messiah. Yet now, He has revealed to us, that Jesus is the reason for THIS season too!
In Luke 22, Jesus and His disciples sat down to enjoy the Passover meal together, beginning at Sundown of the first day of Passover, in remembrance of when God told His people to kill, eat and place the blood of the lamb over the threshold of their homes. The Lord passed over with the last of the plagues in Egypt; the death of all the firstborn sons. Jesus became our sacrificial passover lamb, fulfilling this Holy Day, just as indicated by the voice of John the baptist, making straight the path of the Lord when he stated, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
During the Passover meal, Jesus took the unleavened bread, which was ceremonially part of this passover meal, and broke it, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” and “my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” (Luke 22:19-20) This indicates His knowledge, that He was about to be broken and poured out for us like the bread and wine. This year the first day of Passover is remembered April 11th.
Early the very next morning, after Jesus was praying all night, was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in remembrance of when God told His people to flee quickly after the last plague, without waiting for their dough to rise (Deuteronomy 16:3). This signifies how Jesus went quickly and obediently into the hands of His executioners, to give His body to be broken for us.
May I clarify that His flesh was broken, and no bones were broken, to fulfill the prophesies in Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 and Psalms 34:20, that none of His bones should be broken, confirmed in John 19:36.
If you look at traditional Jewish Matzah (unleavened bread), you will notice the stripes and piercings, as we remember the horrible mutilation our Lord endured during scourging, prior to being pierced with the nails on the cross, during that same day. This was prophesied in Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, and he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his stripes we are healed.” (NHE) In other translations it uses ‘wounds’ instead of stripes, but you get the picture. This year the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is remembered April 12th.
Another interesting quality about this unleavened bread, is that it was to be made without yeast, by direction of the LORD. Yeast often represents ‘sin’ in the bible, (Ref: Mark 8:15, Matt 16:6, Galatians 5:9). And of course we know, that our Savior was completely sinless, and calls Himself the bread of life in John 6:35.
Praise the Lord! Jesus rose on the third day, not only conquering sin and death, but also becoming the offering of First Fruits. In ancient Israel, God required an offering of the first of the harvest, thereby accepting the whole harvest. This first harvest was ‘lifted up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf.” Of course we know that Jesus was lifted up, and accepted by God, being the only worthy sacrifice once and for all. What a wonderful thing that we are the harvest accepted in Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, it is confirms our understanding of how Christ was raised as the first of the harvest. This year the first day of the Feast of First Fruits is remembered April 15th.
We read in Acts chapter 2, a few days after the ascension of Jesus (which was 40 days after Jesus’ bodily resurrection), as jews from many far away places were in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, in remembrance of God providing His law on two stone tablets (Exodus 19:16-19). It is at this pivotal moment the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, as God fulfilled Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you”. No longer are we under the guidance of the externally written law, but now God’s law is written on our hearts as we have the indwelling Holy Spirit. Prophesied in Jeremiah 31:33, fulfilled in Jesus, confirmed in Hebrews 8:10 and Hebrews 10:16.
Friends, Our loving Father is intentional, never changing, and did all this to be with us for eternity! What wonderful Grace; His free gift to all who will accept His Son.
Dear Father, remind us of your mighty works, and let us bask in Your love, in awe of what You have done for us. Thank-You for revealing to us your meticulous plan of redemption, Your Son, Jesus. Thank-you for filling us with Your Spirit, a promise of being with You forever – Amen
|Holy Day||Instituted by the LORD||Confirmation of Fulfillment in Jesus|
|Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread||Leviticus 23:5-8, Exodus 12:3-20, Deuteronomy 5:13-14, Deuteronomy 16:3||John 1:29, Luke 22:7-29, 1 Corinthians 5:7, Revelation 5:8-14|
|Feast of First Fruits (First Harvest)||Leviticus 23:9-14, Exodus 23:19, 34:26, Leviticus 6:20||1 Corinthians 15:20-23|
|Festival of Harvest (Weeks or Pentecost, Shavuat)||Leviticus 23:15-22, Exodus 19:16-19, Deuteronomy 16:9-11||Act 2:1-41|