FEASTS OF REMEMBERANCE

This study is moving through the book of Leviticus. Israelis learning about the laws they will be living under for thousands of years to come.  We areIsraelby faith now, adopted into the family of God.  This heritage will have significance to Jews and Christians alike in this day.  God now gives Moses the observation of special feasts and holy days.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.  Leviticus 23:1-3

The day of rest is still observed, though which day is more controversial.  Seventh Day Adventists and Messianic fellowships observe this on Saturday.  Others observe the day the Lord rose, Sunday as the new Sabbath.  The church fathers only told us to observe the day without strife.

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Colossians 2:16

These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.  In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.  And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.  In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.  But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.  Leviticus 23:4-8

The Passsover commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from the death angel, which slew the oldest male children ofEgypt.  For speed perhaps the Lord led them not to leaven their bread that night.  Now for remembrance they do the same. 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:  And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.  And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.  And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.  And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Passover is to be remembered for all time.  It will become even more memorable in the future.  The lamb and his blood shall mark the door to salvation itself. 

 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:  Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.  Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.  And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.  Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.  And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.  And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.  And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.  Leviticus 23:9-22

The word Penta is Latin for fifty, and Pentecost reflects this fifty day observation.  Seven weeks or Sabbaths is 49 days, Then fifty makes the Pentecost.  This too has a new significance to a coming generation.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:1-4

That blessing was far in the unseen future at this point though. Israelwas being taught from a primer, without the Holy Spirit as their teacher.  Moses would be their nursery worker.  This is an important growth step though, as they learn their boundaries.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children ofIsrael, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.  Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.  Leviticus 23:23-25

This Sabbath is preliminary to a major feast that follows.  The people are to prepare themselves for a Holy observation with repentance and humility.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.  And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.  For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.  And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.  Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.  It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.  Leviticus 23:26-32

The people must prepare themselves with a Sabbath offering and rest as well.  They will remember the days whenIsraellived in tents as the Lord did in his tabernacle.

 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.  On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.  Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.  Leviticus 23:33-36

 We still need to remember this time of rest.  Physical exercise demands recovery by sleep, and also by rest during waking hours at times.  Mental development is also dependant on getting a deep enough sleep period.  Consider how refreshing sleep is when you have time to sink into a full rest and dreams.  Dreams too may be an important spiritual function.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  Joel 2:28

Rituals are precisely outlined to bring remembrance of each deliveranceIsraelhas been given.  The time when God would appear in power would be limited, so these feasts served to keep the memory and appreciation fresh.

These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:  Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.  Leviticus 23:37-38

Notice again the need to make offerings.  This is to have significance to the Jews to this very day.  They depend on these acts to establish their righteousness by works.  All of these ceremonies must be followed faithfully under the Law.  For this feast of Tabernacles they are to build crude shelters from the branches of trees.  They live in these booths for a week to remember the days of wandering in the wilderness.  

Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.  And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.  And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.  And Moses declared unto the children ofIsraelthe feasts of the LORD.  Leviticus 23:39-44

THE SUM OF MEMORIES

The Jews seek to keep these feasts to this day.  It keeps their memory of God alive.  But a key part of the ceremonies can not be observed.  You will remember that the Jews are to make their sacrifices only at the temple inJerusalem.  To do this now would require rebuilding the temple.  The site is now occupied by a Moslem mosque.  The Jews have prepared all the furnishings of the temple, but they cannot build it now.  They are still prevented from serving God according to the law. 

That day will come, but they will learn that they are still unable to find righteousness by works.  They will see the temple desecrated and be led to discover their Messiah in Christ.  By faith in Yeshua, Jesus, they will be restored.  Daniel would predict the desecration that would again end the sacrifices.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.  Daniel 9:26-27

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.  Daniel 12:10-11

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