Tagged: Passover

Jesus in the feasts of Israel

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The feasts of Israel are religious celebrations remembering God’s great acts of salvation in the history of His people. The term “feasts” in Hebrew literally means “appointed times” and in Scripture the feasts often are called “holy convocations.” They are times God has appointed for holy purposes – times in which the Lord meets with men and women.

While there are many religious celebrations in Jewish history and custom, seven are most significant: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. God established the timing and sequence of these feasts to reveal to us a special story – most significantly, the work of the Messiah in the redemption of mankind and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth.
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They were redeemed as the firstfruits – Revelation 14:4

Previously: They have kept their virginity – Revelation 14:4-5

The scripture

Rev. 14:4 – These are the ones not defiled with women, for they have kept their virginity. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were redeemed from the human race as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. (HCSB)

They were redeemed … as the firstfruits

We should note that John refers to the 144,000 as people “redeemed from the human race as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb.” In what way are they firstfruits?

WheatIn the Old Testament, the first sheaf of ripe grain is to be offered to the Lord, and is waved before Him by the priest, expressing gratitude to God and acknowledging that He – the Owner and Giver of all things – will grant a bountiful harvest. A lamb also is sacrificed as a burnt offering (see Lev. 23:10-14). In addition, the Lord requires the first of the Israelites’ flocks, and even their first-born children, although a redemption price is accepted in their stead. All of this is designed to teach God’s people that He is their sovereign Lord who demands their first and best, yet who watches over them as a gracious landowner, husbandman and shepherd.

In this respect, the word “firstfruits” involves two ideas: 1) that which is first, the beginning, or that which has the priority of time; and 2) that which is part of the whole to follow, and which is the earnest or pledge of the whole. The first sheaf of ripe grain therefore is not only the first in order of time, but is the earnest or pledge of the entire harvest that surely will come in.

Consider the feast of firstfruits, one of seven major Jewish festivals. The first and best of the barley crop is offered to the Lord in thankfulness and in faith that He will grant the rest of the harvest to be bountifully reaped. More importantly, it is a shadow of the coming Messiah.

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Jesus in the Passover – Part 3

Previously: Jesus in the Passover – Part 2   /   Jesus in the Passover – Part 1

With Easter approaching, as Christians celebrate the finished work of Christ — His death, burial and resurrection — it may increase our joy to see His earthly ministry in light of the Jewish feasts. In this post, we will complete our three-part look at Jesus in the Passover. For a free download of the complete study of Jesus in the feasts of Israel, click here.

Jesus appeared at Passover during each of the three years of His public ministry. Each time He revealed key truths about Himself and His work as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In each appearance, Jesus illustrated His person and work through confrontations and confirmations.

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Jesus in the Passover – Part 2

Previously: Behold the Lamb of God

With Easter approaching, as Christians celebrate the finished work of Christ — His death, burial and resurrection — it may increase our joy to see His earthly ministry in light of the Jewish feasts. In this post, we will continue to look at the Passover, which foreshadows Jesus’ substitutionary and sacrificial death. For a free download of the complete study of Jesus in the feasts of Israel, click here.

Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper during the observance of Passover on the night before His crucifixion. Just as faithful Jews gather for Passover to celebrate God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, Christians take part in Holy Communion, focusing on two elements of the Passover meal — the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine — in remembrance that “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7 HCSB).

LISTEN: Jesus in the Passover (mp3)

 

Jesus in the Passover – Part 1

With Easter approaching, as Christians celebrate the finished work of Christ — His death, burial and resurrection — it may increase our joy to see His earthly ministry in light of the Jewish feasts. In this post, we will begin to look at the Passover, which foreshadows Jesus’ substitutionary and sacrificial death. For a free download of the complete study of Jesus in the feasts of Israel, click here.

When John the Baptist declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 KJV), every Jew knew John was referring to the Passover lamb. Jesus is called “a lamb” or “the lamb” 31 times in the New Testament, and Isaiah 53:7 refers to the Messiah as a lamb.

Every Christian can see Jesus in the Passover by observing the uniquely Messianic characteristics of the Passover lamb:

1. The selection of the lamb (Ex. 12:1-6; John 1:29; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; Rev. 13:8).

2. The slaughter of the lamb (Ex. 12:7-10; Isa. 53:6; Heb. 1:3; 9:12-14; 1 Peter 1:2; Rev. 1:5).

3. The salvation of the lamb (Ex. 12:11-13, 23; John 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:26; Eph. 1:7; 2:1; 1 Peter 2:24-5).

LISTEN:  Jesus in the Passover – Part 1 (mp3)