Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Seven Feasts: Part 1 - Passover


The Seven Feasts: Part 1 - Passover
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

Leviticus 23:4-8 4 “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6 On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7 On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8 For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’”

INTRODUCTION

God gave the Jews seven feasts to celebrate, remember and teach to their children.  In a time when writing, documents and other forms of literature were scarce, and the greatest form of handing down knowledge, history, and instruction was through the tradition of oral reciting and keeping of regular holy days.

In Leviticus, God’s instructions to Moses were recorded for the Levites, the spiritual leaders of the Tribes of Israel.  This was to be the roadmap that the Israelites were to follow, teaching to their children from generation to generation, so that they would remember what God had done, was doing, and was going to do for them.

In light of the fulfillment of the Old Testament by Jesus Christ, we can look back at these promises God made, and kept, and see the foreshadowing of God.  This series should increase your faith, simply by understanding that the promises God has made to generations gone by, He fulfilled, which should encourage and remind us that the promises He has made to this generation, and those to come, He will also honor and fulfill.

We begin examining the first three fests that God gave Moses, because they take place within three days of each other.

Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, and the feast of the first fruits.

Today is resurrection day.  Today is the Feast of the First Fruits!

       I.            PASSOVER
a.      What is Passover?
                                                             i.      Passover commemorates the day God freed the Jews from the bondage of Egypt. (Exodus 12)
1.      We are the children of God, in bondage to sin.

                                                          ii.      There were many plagues given on the land, but Pharaoh would not free the slaves, the children of God.
1.      God’s children are no longer slaves to Egypt, but slaves to sin.

                                                       iii.      God sent the angel of death to take the firstborn sons, and those who sacrificed a lamb and placed the blood on the door-stoop would be passed-over, and saved from the angel of death. 
1.      Christ, God’s Lamb, sacrificed, and His blood was shed so that you and I could also escape the angel of death, not physical death, because it is appointed to every man to die once, and then face judgment, but the second death, spiritual death, eternal separation from God and Heaven.

                                                         iv.      In Leviticus 23:4-8, Scripture tells the Jews to commemorate this day.  Remember this day and what God had done.  He freed them from bondage.  Teach this to your children, so that they too will know what God had done.

                                                            v.      This is ordained by God
1.      Exodus 12:3
2.      Exodus 12:23-24 - for children to learn about God
3.      Exodus 12:46 - should be taught in the home
4.      Exodus 12:26,27; 13:8 - Father’s must teach their children


b.     Passover Scriptures
                                                             i.      Exodus 12: The Passover Story
                                                          ii.      Genesis 3:21: The First Sacrifice for sin
                                                       iii.      Genesis 22:2, 8: Foreshadow of Christ through Abraham and Isaac
                                                         iv.      Isaiah 53:6, 7: Why Jesus came
                                                            v.      Revelation 1:5: Jesus is our sacrifice
                                                         vi.      Psalm 118: Usually sung at Passover
                                                      vii.      John 12:9-19: Jesus is the Passover
                                                   viii.      John 19:19-22: God claims His sacrifice


c.      Prophetic Foreshadow by God
                                                             i.      Genesis 3:14,15: Savior would be born of a woman
                                                          ii.      Exodus 6:6,7: Four cups represent four steps of our freedom
                                                       iii.      Matthew 26:28: Blood is shed for MANY (not all accept Christ)


d.     What Does Passover Foreshadow?
                                                             i.      Passover paints a picture of how God was going to save His children from the bondage of sin.  Sin that began in the garden.

1.      In the garden, God promised that there would be hate (enmity) between children of the devil (those living in sin) and the woman’s offspring, specifically, Jesus.

2.      God said in Genesis 3:15 “He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
a.      Although Jesus suffered at the cross, it was a mere bruise compared to the devils head (power and rule) being crushed.

                                                          ii.      God promised in the garden to free His children from the power and bondage of sin.  He did this physically for the Jews in Egypt, and now spiritually for us today.

                                                       iii.      Just as Adam and Eve were born innocent, and fell into the temptations of sin, we too become entangled into its snares, and are all in need of rescue, in bondage to the sin that rules in this present evil age.


e.      How was Passover Celebrated?
                                                             i.      Traditionally, there were many steps to the Passover.  The Passover dinner was called the Sader, and the format in which your family celebrated it was called the Haggadah.

                                                          ii.      It was to be celebrated on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, Nisan.

                                                       iii.      The first month, the beginning.  This too is a sign for us to observe.  It represents the beginning of the timeline for God’s Children.  A countdown to the complete fulfillment of God’s promises.


f.       The seven feasts of God lay out for us in the Book of Leviticus, the timeline, from the beginning to the end. 

g.      In the following weeks, we will look at a traditional Haggadah, and see all of the symbolism which reveals Christ.



   II.            THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
a.      The feast of unleavened bread takes place the day after the Passover feast.  For seven days the Jews were to eat bread without yeast (or leaven).

b.     This represented being without sin.  They were to remove all yeast from their home as well during this time.
                                                             i.      1 Peter 2:22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

c.      This unleavened bread represents not only Christ, who was without sin, but it also represent what took place the day after Christ paid the price to free us from the bondage of sin...we are viewed by God through the Blood of Jesus Christ, just as the angel of death passed over those protected by the blood of the lamb in Exodus, we are protected from the second death by the Blood of Jesus, God sees us as sinless.


III.            THE FEAST OF THE FIRST FRUITS
a.      On the third day, the feast of first fruits was to take place.  The first fruits of the harvest was to be given to the Lord, and a lamb without defect, or blemish was to be given as a burnt offering.

                                                             i.      The lamb without blemish represents Jesus Christ, the burnt offering of the lamb represents the Judgment Christ faced.
1.      This is why the lamb had to be perfect and without blemish because it represented Jesus Christ.

2.      This is also why you are to tithe from your first fruits, not your leftovers, because your tithe also represents Jesus Christ being the first fruit.

                                                          ii.      Jesus IS the first fruit of the resurrected!

                                                       iii.      Today, resurrection Sunday, is the day we are to celebrate the sacrifice made for our freedom from the bondage of sin, the fact that because of this sacrifice, we appear as blameless and sinless before God and are ready for judgment, and as Christ was the first fruit of the resurrected, we too will one day be resurrected with new bodies, perfect, sinless, and immortal.


CONCLUSION


Where are we today in the timeline of this earth and God’s plan for His children?

After Passover, the feast of unleavened bread and the feast of first fruits, we are to count 50 days...this is Pentecost, the church age...this is where we are at this very moment in God’s timeline.

Next week we will look at the Haggadah, and then we will examine the counting of days, or Pentecost.