Read Leviticus 22 -- 23
In Today's Reading:
Death penalty for defiled priests who eat holy things; acceptable offerings; Sabbath, Passover, feasts, and other requirements
The Passover was the first feast of the Israelites' religious year. In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the LORD's Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:5-6). The Feast of Unleavened Bread was to remind them of the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 34:18). Unleavened bread also represented the sinless nature of Christ. Then Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the True Bread from heaven. For the Bread of God is He 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 the Lord God.
It took seven weeks to harvest all the early crops, beginning with the barley 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 Feast of Weeks, also known at the Feast of Harvest, expressed thankfulness for the completion of the summer wheat harvest (Exodus 23:16). Later it was called Pentecost, from the Greek word pente meaning five and pent konta meaning 50. The Greek word for Pentecost is pent kost . This feast took place on the 50th day after the one sheaf offering of the Feast 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 Feast 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 who would later make up the Church.
Purge (clean) out therefore the old leaven (sinful nature), that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread (pure ways) of sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:7-8).
22:19 beeves = beef cattle; 22:23 superflous = deformed; 22:27 dam = mother; 23:2 convocations = sacred assemblies; 23:7 you shall do no servile work = you shall not work at your occupations.
Leviticus 23 — in the seven great feasts 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 (I Corinthians 5:7); Bread of Life (John 6:35); Christ . . . the firstfruits of them that slept (I Corinthians 15:20).
Government Official: Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Terry Anderson · Country: Nepal (24 million) a mountain-ringed Himalayan state between Tibet and India · Major language: Nepali · Limited religious freedom · 89% Hindu; 7% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; .3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Your prayer should always be to please the Lord (Psalm 73:25).
Optional Reading: Mark 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9