Finding Christ in the Feast of Firstfruits

Last fall I wrote about the feasts that God ordained in the fall of the year. This month when I was assigned a study on fellowship and guilt offers, I was reminded of the 7 Feasts book by Erin Davis. So I picked it up again and realized that I missed out on writing about Passover, the Feast of Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks. So today, I’d like to share how we find Christ in the Feast of Firstfruits.

What is the Purpose of all these Feasts, Anyway?

We seldom find ourselves reading in the Book of Leviticus. The little we know sometimes strikes fear in us. Why did God set all these rules and feasts up in the first place? It really seems a bit overbearing, don’t you think? A few years ago, the First 5 app did a study of it alongside the Book of Hebrews. It became a wonderfully beautiful illustration of what God through Christ did for us.

Spiritual Amnesia

Erin Davis begins her book by teaching us that we, humans, have a terrible habit of forgetting. She called it Spiritual Amnesia. We tend to become so self-sufficient when, in truth, we need God more and more every day. The feasts were a way to remind the people of their sinfulness held against the holiness of God. The feasts reminded them of a God that not only protects but forgives and gives us all a second, third, fourth chance. The law acted as guard rails to protect us as we wander.

firstfruits - spiritual amnesia - Romans 15:4
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Take time to Read Leviticus 23:9-14 – The Feast of First Fruits

Creation Teaches Us the Gospel

First of all, we have all learned about the seasons. They make a circle from death to life and back again. We can see the character of God in every season. We see His redemptive plan every spring as the flowers bloom and animals are born. Spring reminds us that Christ died but rose again for us. His circle of life shows us His faithfulness new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23); His great power and strength (Isaiah 40:26), His righteousness and justice (Job 37:21-23)

“The firstfruits of Spring join together to declare this amazing truth…”

He is not here, for He is risen, as He sad. Come and see the place where He lay.

Matthew 28:6

The Feast of FirstFruits Follows Immediately after Passover and the Sabbath

Interestingly, these feasts are sequential.

On Thursday, they celebrated Passover.

Friday – Jesus was crucified,

Saturday, the Sabbath – Jesus rested in the grave.

On the first day of the week, Sunday – Feast of Firstfruits

– Jesus rose from the dead defeating death and sin!

Jesus was the firstfruits of our salvation! The first to rise from the dead to eternal life.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23

 Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:5-6

We are the Second Firstfruits!

When we accept Christ as Savior, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). His Holy Spirit works within us to remove our carnal spirit and to become new in Him. The things in our past are now gone!

But we can take this all one step further. One day, we will rise! We will be raptured to be in Heaven ever with the Lord. This is a future hope!

We have this hope, hallelujah!

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

John 5:28-29

For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“You have likely been celebrating the Feast of Firstfruits

all your life without realizing it!”

We call it Easter!

Erin Davis, 7 Feasts Finding Christ in the Feasts

On Easter we remember that because Jesus lives forever, we will too!

Jesus is Worthy of our Best!

At the feast of firstfruits, they were required to bring two offerings. First, a peace (or fellowship) offering of grain. This grain must be the very first sheaf of wheat they harvested. They were not to eat any of the new grains until after this offering was made. Like a peace offering we might bring to a spouse after messing up big time, it was an offering for acceptance; an offering to request fellowship again.

The second offering was a burnt offering or sin offering. This would be a male lamb, one-year-old with no blemishes. It was to be completely burned up and a fragrance to the Lord. It would be for the forgiveness of sins.

Did God need this grain? No. It was required to remind them of their sins and of God’s holiness. It was the “cure for their spiritual amnesia.” We still bring firstfruits offerings to God in the form of service, tithes, devotion. We give these things not because God needs them or even requires them but more as the posturing of our hearts. We give offerings because of our love and gratitude to Him.

Jesus gave the best for us. He gave all.

What offerings are you bringing to the Lord?

Are you giving the best of your best or just seconds?

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian like myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

feast of shelters

Finding Christ in the Feast of Shelters or Booths (Sukkot)

This week is the Jewish Feast of Shelters (Sukkot)

For thousands of years Jews have observed the Torah commandment to leave the comfort and security of our homes and eat in a specially constructed hut we call a sukkah.

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All who ascend to Jerusalem on Sukkot after the Redemption, to bow before God and to celebrate together with the Jewish people, will merit great blessing – and be spared the horror of plague.

https://www.aish.com/ci/s/Sukkot-and-Corona-Three-Major-Messages.html?s=mm

It’s somewhat ironic in this year of Coronavirus that to observe the Feast of Tabernacles is to guarantee blessing from God in part to avoid plague. And no so strange to be eating out of doors.

Feast of Shelters Reminds me of our American Thanksgiving

However, I see that we privileged Americans take this day very lightly. The Jews observe this feast for 8 days. The first and last days are specifically for praise God. We barely give it a day. And most of us squawk at going around the table sharing what we are thankful for. We have pretty much forgotten the holiday other than a day off from work to watch football games and start getting ready for Christmas.

The Point is Thankfulness

The Air we Breathe

As Americans I would say that even the poorest among us have much to be thankful for; however, we have become so privileged that we take nearly everything for granted. We need to stop and remember that God is our Source of Shelter (and everything else)

The Home we Live in

The tradition of Feast of Shelters is to go out of your home, into the country, and set up tents for the week. It’s about getting out of our comfort zone and remembering all the blessings of God. Now some people enjoy camping, but not this girl. At one point I would have been willing to experience this time of worship. Now with my health issues, I’m not so willing to get out of my comfort zone. I am pricked in the heart when I consider what am I willing to give to God in return for His providence.

As we can see in this year 2020, MIllion Dollar HOmes can be turned into nothing as we see millions of acres burned up in California or homes washed away by a hurricane. We can also lose house and home just as quickly due to job loss or ruined crops. Indeed, we depend solely on God

What We Really Need

Sukkot asks us to temporarily go outside, look around at God’s creations, “dine out doors” with your family, your children and perhaps even your grandchildren, in a sukkah from which you can gaze up, see heaven above and be reminded of God as well as your blessings.

I wonder, if we decided to stop and take the time to get out of our comfort zone and be still long enough to look into the heavens, would we realize how blessed we truly are.

Stopping to think;

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Here’s a song to meditate on

SOURCES

aish dot coM

7 Feasts – Finding Christ in the Sacred Celelbrations of the O.T.

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian as myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”


What God Did About Seriously Deadly Sin

Sin is deadly serious

In the Old Testament, God set up several feasts and celebrations for the purpose of bringing the people back to the mind of God. In September, The Feast of Trumpets (now called Rosh Hashanah) is celebrated leading up to Yom Kippur ( The Day of Atonement).

Just as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6, when we come into the presence of God, we become acutely aware of our sin. “Oh, Woe is Me.” We often take lightly the holiness of God because we become so callous from rubbing elbows with the world. But when we come before Him face-to-face everything changes.

Our Seriously Deadly Sin

Since the Garden and the Fall of Man, sin has been causing death. God came to Adam and Eve after the fall and killed an animal to cover their bodies. (Genesis 3:21) Solomon stated twice in the Proverbs that sin is deadly.

There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 14:12, 16:25

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Sin-Producing-Death
The Day of Atonement foreshadowed the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Click To Tweet

On the Day of Atonement, the high priest had to be certain that he was purified before enting the Holy of Holies to present the sacrifices to God for forgiveness. Only the High Priest could enter and only once a year. (Exodus 26:31-35) This sacrifice had to be presented every year for the forgiveness of sin.

BUT GOD…

I love those words! But God! The Day of Atonement was a foreshadowing of what God would do for us one day through Jesus. “…because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.” – Leviticus 16:20

And here’s what was foreshadowed

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:12

Praise God he sent his Son, Jesus to live on earth as a man, but without sin. Then he took our sins upon himself and carried them all the way to the cross. He died a cruel death so that we could be free from the bondage of sin. Oh His great mercy for us is unfathomable.

Jesus took our sins and carried them all the way to the cross. Click To Tweet

Encountering Jesus

When we encounter Jesus nothing will ever be the same again. Jesus exposes our sin and we will say just as the Samaritan woman said, ” Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could He possibly be the Messiah?”

And think of the conversion of Saul (Acts 6), “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.” … and at once  he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

This Power Is For All of Us

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:4-6

Have you realized how seriously deadly sin is? Have you accepted this gift of God, His love and mercy? If not, learn more at Harvest Church – Greg Laurie’s explanation of knowing God.

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This post was inspired by the Bible Study of Erin Davis – 7 Feasts -Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament. I thank Moody Publishing for providing this book to facilitate this review.

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian as myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”


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Three Things we Gain in God’s Presence

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Yesterday, I received a new book in the mail! 7 Feasts – Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament. I’m so excited to dig in. I knew that there was a feast coming up later this month so I thought maybe I should go ahead now and start digging in. Lo and behold, Today is the Feast of Trumpets. Obviously, I decided to jump right into the middle of the book and find out how Christians can find Christ in this Feast.

The use of trumpets for the Jewish faith indicates the Presence of God. Oh, how we need the presence of God. God first came to the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt when they arrived at Mount Sinai. I never really noticed in that passage how the trumpet sounded. Notice the sounding in this passage…

On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud blast from a ram’s horn, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder.

Exodus 19, csb

I’m reminded also of Isaiah’s meeting with God in the temple. It’s quite awe-inspiring. Read Isaiah 6. We can certainly, see how Isaiah was moved to repent in the presence of God.

What We Find In God’s Presence

three things we find in his presence

But since Christ’s death and resurrection, His Holy Spirit actually lives within us. Here are three benefits we have not that we can live in His Presence daily…

We Have Rest

And he replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

We Have Joy

You reveal the path of life to me;

in your presence is abundant joy;

at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

psalm 16:11

We Have His Protection

How great is your goodness,

which you have stored up for those who fear you.

In the presence of everyone you have acted

for those who take refuge in you.

You hide them in the protection of your presence;

you conceal them in a shelter

from human schemes,

from quarrelsome tongues.

Psalm 31:19-20
Goodness of GOd in His presence
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What blessings these are in this day of trouble. I want to stay in His Presence, don’t you?

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian as myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Image by chanwit whanset from Pixabay