Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pesach, Matzah, Bikkurim!

It's the time of year again to begin the Feasts of the Lord!  The first feast, Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) , is today.  Our savior fulfilled this God-appointed time through his sacrificial death on the cross.  He became accursed and took on sin for us.  

Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says this:  If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,  his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.

Tomorrow begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matzah in Hebrew), which lasts seven days.  Yeshua fulfilled this feast through His burial.  The first and last days of Unleavened Bread are Sabbaths.  The disciples, knowing the above scripture about the body remaining overnight on the tree (and also being aware of the approaching Sabbath) requested that the body of Yeshua be released to them for burial.  He was buried just as the Feast of Unleavened Bread was about to begin.

The Feast of Firstfruits (Bikkurim) always follows the regular Sabbath of Passover week.  The days of the week for Passover and Unleavened Bread change from year to year according to the Hebrew calendar, but Firstfruits always falls on the first day of the week.  THIS is the feast that found fulfillment when Yeshua rose from the dead!  On this day, the priests at the temple were to wave the first sheaf of barley as an offering to the Lord God.  Yeshua, as the Firstfruits of all creation, was "waved" before His Father as an acceptable offering on our behalf.  Leviticus 23:10-11 says, ...then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  

In John 20:17, Yeshua said to Mary Magdalene, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”  The waving of the sheaf by the priest at the temple took place at 9:00 am, at which time Yeshua also became the acceptable offering before His Father.  No one could touch Him before the appointed time.

I just love the way these three Feasts go together, and how Yeshua fulfilled them all so beautifully.  It is no mistake that the Lord commanded Passover to be a pilgrimage feast under the Law of Moses, when all the Israelite men were required to be in attendance in Jerusalem.  I believe He wanted to make sure that all were in attendance when the fulfillment took place!