Humans and donkeys have something very important in common, according to the words of God: Both have to be redeemed by the blood of a lamb. The purpose of the memorial of Unleavened Bread is to remind us those who trust God have crossed over and what was before is destroyed and is gone. The past is destroyed just as the Egyptian army was drowned into the Sea.
A number of theologians have wondered publicly if the festivals of the LORD are relevant for today or are just historical or intellectual curiosities. Many dismiss Sukkot as either a harvest festival only applicable in the Land of Israel or only relevant with a standing temple. Let’s explore what the Bible says about the past, present and future layers of meaning in these annual appointments and how they teach us about the Messiah and ourselves.
We will look at the different layers of the festivals. The holy festivals do not stand alone. The past, present and future are all apart of the messages of all the feasts.
We will focus on the annual feasts but the Shabbat sets the stage for the feasts. The theme of seven shows up a lot in all the appointed times.
The appointed times of God are multidimensional presentations and memorials of what God is doing. He has the appointed times, prophets and the Messiah to teach us what He is doing. They are waymarkers for where we were, are and will be. They are waymarkers in the history of God’s people and how He is going to recreate the world.
In a sense, they are like a wedding anniversary, on which the couple remembers all the experiences layered on top of one another since the cutting of that first wedding cake.
Chag Matzot (Unleavened Bread), one of the festivals of the Lord is not primarily about eating lots of matzoh, but about “eating” and absorbing Yeshua’s pure and true testimony about God. As you nibble on the matzoh, think about God’s word and how you can absorb God’s word into your inner being.
Texts: Ex. 13:1; Lev. 23:9–10; 1st Cor. 11:17–34
The Apostle Paul said that the unleavened bread eaten at Passover and the seven days afterward represent “sincerity and truth” (1st Cor. 5:8). Yeshua told the disciples in the book of John that they were all clean, except for Judas (John 13:9–11). Yeshua said it was His word that made them clean (John 15:2–3).
Those who are still leavened are in a condition of “malice and wickedness” because they don’t have Yeshua’s word (1st Cor. 5:8). When God places Yeshua’s word in our hearts, we possess the truth.
As we go through the days of Unleavened Bread, we are becoming completely full of truth and sincere in the way that God is sincere, not a worldly sincerity.
Throughout the TaNaKh, the firstborn male holds a special spiritual significance because that status is a symbol of Yeshua who is God’s firstborn.
Since Yeshua’s death and resurrection, He has been building up a group of people, a community, for God. Sometimes, we have this impression that Yeshua does all the work of salvation and that God has no role to play, but Yeshua tells us otherwise. In the parable of the vineyard, Yeshua tells us that it is the Father that prunes the vines — not Yeshua, not the people, but God. God is the vinedresser.
Originally God had called the firstborn to be the priests to His people but He later chose the tribe of Levi to be His priests instead. God does sanctify the firstborn, but many times He has specifically chosen men who are not first born as His. That goes all the way back to Abel, down to Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Ephraim, Moses and David. All these men were not firstborn of the flesh, yet they received a special anointing from God.
Jacob’s prophesy over Reuben in Gen. 49:3–4 is more about the Messiah than it is about Reuben personally. The entire Torah tells us about Yeshua (John 5:39).
God’s appointed time of Firstfruits, חַג הַקָּצִיר בִּכּוּרֵי מַעֲשֶׂיךָ Chag ha-Qatsir Bokerei Ma’aseikha (Festival of the Harvest, First of Your Labor) or in Hebrew, relates to the beginning of the harvest, the first head of ripened grain. The Hebrew word for first of the harvest is רֵאשִׁית קְצִיר reshiyth qatzir (Strong’s lexicon nos. H7221 and H7105) (Lev. 23:10). The priest is supposed to wave an עֹמֶר omer (Strong’s H6106a), or sheaf, of the first grain before God. The community can’t partake of the newly harvested barley until after the omer is presented by the priest to God.
There are three things this day represents:
- Sanctified firstborn.
Are you a type of firstfruit? None of us is the true first fruit because only Yeshua fulfills that office as the firstborn of those who have died and will never die again.
Death and sin are the worse enemy we face (1st Cor. 15:26), and Yeshua conquered both. The wages of sin are death, but eternal life is a gift from God through Yeshua’s death (Rom. 6:23). Sin has no more dominion over you (Rom. 6:14).
God prunes those vines that are producing so they will produce more. God is the light, and Yeshua reflects and expands it. God said, “Let there be light.” Light comes from life, not death.
Yeshua comes with His reward. The reward is not a thing such as money or lots of stuff. The reward Yeshua brings is the divinely appointed task for us to do. In Eden, Adam and Eve worked. In God’s economy, His people will be working too.
Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.