Highlights In Today's Reading:
A wealth of spiritual information is found in these two chapters which outline the holy days of feasts and fasts God required of the Israelites. Every Christian should learn how they all foreshadowed the coming Christ who was crucified on Passover (23:5; John 19:14).
The great Feasts (Festivals) of worship are symbolic of Christ's entire work of salvation. Passover (Lev. 23:5) was the first Feast and it symbolizes redemption from sin by Christ, the Lamb of God who died for our sins (John 1:9; I Cor. 5:7; I Pet. 1:19).
The Feast (Festival) of Unleavened Bread began the day after the Passover (Lev. 23:6-8) and symbolized the sinless Christ, who said: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:48). It typifies the believer's holy walk — putting away leaven, a figure of sin. After we receive Christ as our Savior, we partake of His life through His Word which cleanses from sin. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you (15:3).
The Feast of Firstfruits was the Sunday after Passover (Acts 2) and is symbolic of resurrection, for Christ arose on that Feast Day (Lev 23:9-14; Matt. 28:1,6). At this Feast, one sheaf (one handful of grain) from the first harvest was waved before God as an act of faith that He would give a great harvest. The resurrection of Christ is our confidence of the great harvest day when all the dead in Christ shall be resurrected (I Thess. 4;15-17). Now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept (I Cor. 15:20).
Fifty days after Firstfruits, a new Meat (Meal) Offering was brought. Known as the Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23:15-22), and later as Pentecost, this summer harvest foreshadowed the Church (Acts 2). A long interval elapsed before the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23:23-25) representing the day this present age will close with the coming of Jesus.
On the Day of Atonement (23:26-32) the high priest made confession of all the sins of the people and offered sacrifices. It proclaimed that approaching day when our Great High Priest, Savior, and Israel's King, comes a second time, with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30).
The 7-day Feast of Tabernacles celebrated the fall harvest (Lev. 23:33-44). It points to the coming glory of Christ's reign and the Christian's glorious inheritance in His kingdom.
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (I Cor. 5:8).
Thought for Today:
We don't need a special day to celebrate what Jesus has done in our lives. Every day is a day which the Lord hath made and we have the privilage to rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24).
Lev. 23 — in the seven great Holy Days of the Lord: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) — all of which typified Jesus Christ. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Cor. 5:7); Bread of Life (John 6:35); Christ . . . the Firstfruits of them that slept (died) (I Cor. 15:20). Through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . we have now received the atonement (Rom. 5:11). The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14). And He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:1-40). And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet (Matt. 24:31).
22:10 sojourner =temporary resident; 22:14 unwittingly =unknowingly; 23:2 convocations =sacred assemblies; 23:6 unleavened bread =symbol of Christ as the sinless offering; 23:7 servile =work at your occupation; 23:17 wave =ehld up to the Lord; 23:27 afflict your souls =humble yourselves.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts to India in memory of Dennis Naderhoff • Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Officials: Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) and Sen. James Webb, Jr. (VA) • Country: Azerbaijan (7.7 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Azeri and Russian • Religious freedom • 65% Shi'a Muslim; 30% Sunni Muslim; 2% Russian Orthodox; 2% Armenian Apostolic; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for godly men of old who were faithful to record His Word of Truth (Hab. 2:1-2).
Optional Reading: Mark 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7-8