Today's One Year Bible Reading

Exodus

Tabernacle furnishings: Here is a great website to give you an overview of the Tabernacle furnishings and what their New Testament (symbolic) counterpart is.

35:21-22 All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord. ...Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. One of the things I truly love about God is that He does not coerce anyone to love or obey Him. He always extends invitation to bring our offerings of heart, soul, mind, and strength to Him.

Bunny Trail... When I read how elaborate God's designs were for His Tabernacle all those thousands of years ago, and when I look at His majesty in creation, I get so excited to see His future plans for our earth as well as His astounding, flabbergasting, never-seen-before designs for His New Jerusalem! In Revelation is says the city alone will be 1,400 miles square and high! Can you imagine?

Matthew

Passover timing: The first thing we get to uncover today, that I have alluded to since early on, is the fact that Jesus was not sacrificed on Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning, but was crucified on a Wednesday evening and resurrected on Saturday evening. There is complete evidence for this. First of all, Jesus told the Pharisees that he would be in the earth for 3 days and 3 nights, not a day and two nights like we have celebrated. How is this possible since His body had to be taken down before the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is known to be Saturday? Jesus was actually crucified on what was called the Preparation Day before a "High Sabbath." The day of Passover (Nisan 14) was always followed by an additional special Sabbath (see Numbers 28:16-18) that could fall on any day of the week. So Jesus was crucified on Wednesday morning, died Wednesday before sundown, and was raised on Saturday just before sundown. Then Mary came to the empty tomb early Sunday morning to find Jesus wasn't there.

If you want to read a more in-depth study on the timing of the crucifixion including the extra High Sabbaths during Passover week, visit this website. I must say, all of this is new for me, too, and we would not have any of this opportunity to learn if it weren't for the Internet! I am so thankful and happy to be on this journey!

Passover Symbolism: In Jewish history, there were specific rituals on the day of Passover. At the 3rd hour (9:00 a.m.), Israel's high priest tied the Passover lamb to the altar for sacrifice. The lamb remained there until 3:00 (9th hour) at which time the priest would sacrifice it and sprinkle (or splash) blood on the altar. At that moment, the high priest would also shout, "It is finished." Then they would take the lamb and put it into the oven, and consume it before morning.

Compare Jesus story: It was the third hour when they crucified him (Mark 15:25). About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit (Matthew 27:46-50). When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit (John 19:30).

27:51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now there is no more curtain between us and the Father. Because of our mediator, we now have complete access to the Holy of Holies! Absolutely miraculous.

27:52 The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. If you don't understand the Feasts, you won't understand this verse. Luckily, we've been studying the Feasts, and we learned about "Firstfruits." This is the fulfillment of that Feast. And I can't help but wonder if these "Firstfruits" are the 144,000 according to Revelation 14:1-5. Here is a portion: "Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

Notice that in Matthew, it says, "men and women," but in Revelation, it says those resurrected did not defile themselves with women, which seems to indicate it was only men resurrected. After studying the Greek, it is the Matthew account that seems altered, as the word used is "saints," not "men and women." In my humble opinion, it would make sense that men were the firstfruits and that it was not women who were resurrected. If this is true, it would have nothing to do with chauvinism, just part of the picture of "firstborn sons being bought back," depicting Christ.

Question for reflection:

•    Do you feel your heart being stirred to "bring your sacrifices to God?" I have noticed that as I learn about His goodness, power, sovereignty, and faithfulness, my heart is stirred to serve Him out of love and not duty. Let us pray this week and ask God to show us how we might demonstrate our love and gratitude toward Him. It could be done in many creative ways. Our sacrifices could be our time, talents, creativity, money, and even prayers.