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Bible Pathways 02/09/2003

February 09

Read Leviticus 22 -- 23

In Today 's Reading:

Death penalty for defiled priests who eat holy things; acceptable offerings; Sabbath, Passover, festivals, and other requirements

The Passover was the first festival of the religious year. The Passover to the LORD comes in the first month, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the month, and the Festival of Unleavened Bread to the LORD is on the fifteenth day of the same month. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:5-6). The Festival of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days during which unleavened bread was the only bread eaten (Exodus 34:18). Unleavened bread represents the sinless nature of Christ. Jesus said to them, I assure you: Moses didn't give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world (John 6:32-33). Israel's abstinence from leaven for seven days was a reminder that they were a holy people separated unto their Lord God.

It took seven weeks to harvest all the crops, beginning with the barley crop that ripened in the spring. After that came the harvest of olives and the vineyards, followed by wheat, the final summer harvest. Just as there was a day of Firstfruits in the spring to indicate faith in the coming harvests, the Festival of Weeks, also known as the Festival of Harvest, expressed thankfulness for the completion of the summer harvest (Exodus 23:16). Later it was also called Pentecost because pente in Greek means 50, and this festival took place on the 50th day after the one sheaf offering of the Festival of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:15-16).

In contrast to the unleavened bread required for Passover were the two wave loaves that were to be baked with leaven for the Festival of Weeks (Pentecost) (23:17). Leaven is symbolic of our sin nature and was required in the two wave loaves because they were symbolic of both Jewish and Gentile believers.

Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast, or with the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:7-8).

Christ Revealed:

Leviticus 23 — in the seven great festivals of the Lord: Passover, Festival of Unleavened Bread, Festival of Firstfruits, Festival of Pentecost, Festival of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Festival of Tabernacles (Booths) — all of which typified Jesus Christ. Christ our Passover (I Corinthians 5:7); bread of life (John 6:35); Christ . . . the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (I Corinthians 15:20);Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses (Acts 1:8); For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven . . . with the trumpet of God (I Thessalonians 4:16); the Word was became flesh, and took up residence (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14); Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:11).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) · Country: Norway (4 million) in northern Europe · Major language: Norwegian · Religious freedom · 95% Protestant; .4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Psalms 55:16).

Optional Reading: Mark 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9

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