Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a wealth of spiritual information is found in just these two chapters. It is interesting to note that the word "holiday" derives from holy day. These chapters thoroughly outline the holy days of feasts and fasts God required of the Israelites. Every Christian should know them and how they foreshadowed the coming Christ. They are a preview of Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament. Christ was crucified on the exact day of Passover (23:5; John 19:14).
On the annual Day of Atonement the high priest offered sacri fices first for himself and then for the sins of the nation. Only then was he prepared to enter the most Holy Place to offer incense (symbolic of prayer) before Jehovah. He passed beyond the veil hidden from the people, including all other priests, and he was alone in the presence of our Creator. There shall be a Day of Atonement . . . ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. . . . Ye shall do no manner of work. . . . it shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest (Leviticus 23:27-32).
The priests . . . shall come near to Me to minister unto Me, and they shall stand before Me . . . saith the Lord God. . . . when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them while they minister. . . . they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat (see Ezekial 44:15-18). Work that produces sweat was unacceptable in the inner court (44:17). Fleshly "sweat" in many of our activities incorrectly takes the place of prayer and fasting and causes the blessings of God to be withheld.
While individual Israelites under the Old Covenant did not have the privilege of coming into the presence of God, Jesus under the New Covenant has made a way for us to enter His presence any time and we are encouraged to do so with confidence. Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Only a few pass beyond the view of people, to be alone in the presence of God, and to take time to pray and fast as did the early church. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost (Spirit) said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them (Acts 13:2).
Thought for Today:
No one who lives a careless life should expect to experience the presence of God.
Leviticus 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).
22:9 ordinance =biblical law; 22:10 sojourner =quest; 22:14 unwittingly =unknowingly; 22:15 profane =desecrate; 22:16 suffer =permit; 22:23 vow =required offering; 23:2 convocations =sacred assemblies; 23:6 unleavened bread =bread without yeast, a symbol of Christ as the sinless offering; 23:7 servile =work at your occupation; 23:17 wave =held up to the Lord; 23:27 afflict your souls =humble yourselves; 23:44 feasts =appointed festivals.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Bett Brown • Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Government Officials: Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) and Sen. James Webb, Jr. (VA) • Country: Canada (31 million) in North America • Major languages: English and French • Religious freedom • 47% Roman Catholic; 37% Protestant; 3% Eastern Orthodox; 2% cults; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer with your whole heart and He will hear you (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
Optional Reading: Mark 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 118:24