CELEBRATING THE LORD'S FAITHFULNESS
Tuesday, 27 March, 2018
Leviticus 23 : 1-22
'The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.”'
Leviticus 23 reveals seven Annual Feasts that the Lord ordained for His people to remember His goodness in deliverance and continued faithfulness in their lives. These feasts were to be a time of joyful worship and thanksgiving to the Lord, as a nation. What does it hold for the believer? The Feasts foreshadow the fulfilment of God’s deliverance through the promised Messiah – Jesus Christ, and should be a daily reminder and celebration of His grace and mercy extended towards us.
The Feast of Passover (Vs 5): The Passover is a reminder to the Jewish nation of God’s mighty deliverance from bondage in the land of Egypt. The Israelites were spared (passed over) because of the blood of the lamb marked on their doorposts. Every instruction concerning the Passover lamb given in Exodus 12 was fulfilled in the Messiah’s sacrifice. Jesus Christ – the blemishless Lamb of God was sacrificed on the Passover day, as a substitute for us, that once and for all He may take away our sins. It is by His precious blood that we have redemption and forgiveness of sins (Matt. 26:28, Eph. 1:7, Heb. 9:22). We celebrate the Lord’s love extended towards us in delivering us from bondage to sin and death through Jesus Christ, His Son.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Vs 6-8): This a reminder to the Israelites not just of the hurry with which they left the land of slavery but also of cleansing or removal of all yeast – representing corruption and sin. For us today this represents the urgency with which a believer is to be separated from the fallen world and united with Christ – our Bread of Life (John 6:35), living a consecrated life. Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor. 5:7-8)
The Feast of Firstfruits (Vs 9-14): The Feast of Firstfruits was a harvest festival, when Israel remembered their dependence on God’s provision and rejoiced in His blessings. For us, it is a foreshadow of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, who became the first-fruit for us. Just as a seed is sown and bears fruit, so Christ suffered on our behalf, died, was buried and rose again the third day. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (1 Cor. 15:20). His resurrection is the glorious hope of every believer, of being united to the Lord in His Second Coming. Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Heb. 9:28)
The Feast of Weeks (Vs 15-22): Also known as the Feast of Harvest or Feast of Pentecost, was a time of thanksgiving to the Lord for the bountiful harvest and rededicating their lives to the Lord. Symbolically, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon His disciples (Acts 2) transforming them into power-filled individuals who went into the world, reaping a great harvest for God’s kingdom. Today, the Holy Spirit dwells in us, guiding us and empowering us to live blameless lives bearing much fruit for the Lord. The two loaves of bread baked with leaven (Vs 17) represents the coming together of the Jews and Gentiles in unity as the Church.
As Isaiah 1:13-14 warns us, let not our worship become a meaningless ritual, but may we be constantly reminded and humbled by our Heavenly Father’s love and the great price that our Saviour paid on our behalf, that we might be delivered from the dominion of sin and be united to Him.
Thought: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..."(1 Peter 1:3)
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