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The Feasts of Israel

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The feasts of Israel take a special place in the scripture. They are referred in both Old and New Testaments. The feasts are to tell the story of God’s redemption plan for his people. Upon feasts, the first 3 involve the sacrifice of God’s Passover Lamb, the Messiah who dies to pay for the sins of the world. The last 3 Feasts represent the “Second Coming Messiah” who will come to rule on the earth over the nations. Leviticus 23:5 “The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.”

The feast of Passover celebrates an event that occurred in the land of Egypt. God commanded the Israelites and believing Egyptians to kill the firstling lamb without blemish and take the blood of the lamb and apply it to the doorposts of the house. Whoever was in the house would be spared and the angel of death would “Passover” the house and the “firstborn” and the firstborn would not die. But if a Jew or Egyptian was in a house without the blood of a lamb then the firstborn would die. This event demonstrated the death of God’s Lamb the Messiah who would die for the sins of the world. His blood would then be applied to our lives and the angel of death would “Passover. Jews celebrate this feast by searching their homes for any leaven.

When it is found it is taken outside and burned. Eating leaven was a serious offense, God called for the “expulsion” from the community of Israel any who would eat leaven during this seven-day feast. The Messiah was to be killed on Passover, yet unlike our bodies, His body would see no decay. Since the Passover lamb represented the death of Messiah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread demonstrates his body would not experience the decaying effects of death while in his grave, this was because he was to be resurrected.

The barley harvest was planted in the winter. When the month of March to April came the harvest would then begin to ripen. The first sheaf is cut from the harvest and is presented to the Lord in the feast. The harvesting of the crop is a theme used to illustrate the kingdom of God. The Word of God is called a seed, which produces a crop. Seeds and harvest demonstrate the Kingdom of God, composed of redeemed and resurrected saints. Since Jesus died at the start of Passover, He was in the grave on Passover day. He was resurrected on Sunday morning, the beginning of Feast of First Fruits. Jesus is the “First Fruits” of the promised resurrection of the redeemed.

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