Friday, March 30, 2012

120330 - Leviticus 23 - Not just passed over and forgiven, but a new people...

Friday SOAP: Passover begins with a diligent search for yeast to expel from the home, (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7) - but 50 days later, Pentecost includes a harvest offering of leavened bread. How does this picture the mysterious Church of Christ?

S: You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:16-17)

O: These important offerings and feasts of Israel celebrated both the Redemption of Israel and the harvest.

A: These spring feasts connect redemption (the Exodus for them) and harvest in a symbolic way. Likewise, Jesus, the Lamb of God, ate the Feast of Unleavened Bread with His disciples, (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7, John 13), taught them many final things intensely, (content of John 13-17) and was crucified the next morning. After three days and three nights, (Matthew 12:40), he rose again on Sunday Morning (Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1). Passover is an absolute date, the 14th day of the month Nisan - so it could fall on any day. Christ could have been crucified on Thursday, in the tomb Thursday evening, Friday morning & evening, Saturday morning & evening, rising early in the morning on Sunday - three nights (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) later.

Furthermore, Pentecost became the day the church was born - Christ continued to appear to the Apostles for 40 days following the resurrection (Acts 1:3) and promised "in a few days" they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (1:5) Just like Christ's Resurrection, happening on the first day of the week after the Sabbath, Pentecost became a new beginning, as it was counted by seven sabbaths plus one day after Passover. This offering is also the only one to contain leaven. If leaven in Matthew 13:33 is used to represent something previously unclean that is united with the clean (it's hard to escape that conclusion, because Jesus says "the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven..." and not "the Kingdom of Heaven is like three measures of meal, to which leaven was added...") this makes a great picture of the Church, formerly alienated and enemies, (Col. 1:21), and now reconciled.. by the offering of the Lamb of God. (Gal. 3:28, Acts 15:14, 1 Cor. 5:7)

P: Father, as that last passage reminds me, just because my people were at that time strangers and aliens from the covenants of promise, but now reconciled and welcomed into your harvest, I'm still to be purged of leaven and a new lump together for you, separate and undefiled from my former lifestyle. As you who have called me are holy, so I ask you to make me holy in all manner of conversation.


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