Read Leviticus 22 - 23
In Today's Reading:
Death penalty for defiled priests who ate holy things; acceptable offerings; Sabbath, Passover, feasts (appointed times to meet together), and their requirements
The Passover was the first feast of the Israelite's 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 lasted seven days during which unleavened bread was the only bread eaten (see Exodus 34:18). Unleavened bread 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 which (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 to their Lord God.
It took seven weeks to harvest all the crops, beginning with the spring barley. After that came the harvest of grapes in June/July and the olives in August/September. These were 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 as Feast of Harvest, expressed thankfulness for the completion of the summer harvest (Exodus 23:16). This feast took place on the 50th day after the one sheaf offering of the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:15-16). It was the second time of the year that all Israelite males were to appear before the Lord (23:14-17). Later the Feast of Harvest was also called Pentecost, from the Greek pentékonta meaning 50.
In contrast to the unleavened bread required for Passover (symbolic of Christ) 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 out therefore the old leaven, 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 of sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:7-8).
22:19 beeves = beef cattle; 22:23 superfluous = deformed; 22:27 dam = mother; 23:2 holy 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 Corin. 5:7); Bread of Life (John 6:35); Christ . . . the firstfruits of them that slept (15:20).
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Hands for Christ · BP Staff: Bernice Rathbone · Government Official: Rep. Jay Inslee (WA) · Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe · Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Do not be fearful or live in dread of what might happen; trust the Lord to take care of you (Psalm 112:7).
Optional Reading: Mark 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24