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Jesus Pictured in the Jewish Feasts (outline)

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Jesus Pictured in the Jewish Feasts

Hilltop Chapel

December 14, 2003

  1. Introduction
    1. Holiday season

                                                    i.     Christian holidays – Christmas, Easter

                                                  ii.     Jewish holidays – described in OT, especially Leviticus

    1. Jewish holidays important for multiple reasons

                                                    i.     Commemorated specific events in Jewish history

                                                  ii.     Prophetic – portray various aspects of the life and work of Jesus Christ

                                                iii.     Instructive – in terms of our relationship with God

    1. Timing – see chart                                                     i.     Jewish calendar a lunar one

                                                  ii.     Years not always the same length

1.     Extra days added to keep Yom Kippur or Sukkot from occurring on a Sabbath

2.     Extra months added occasionally to keep a rough relationship to the seasons (7 times in a 19 yr cycle)

                                                iii.     Religious year begins in Nisan (Feb-Mar) – Ex 12.1-2    1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

                                                iv.     Civil year – begins in Tishri

1.     Tradition says Adam was created in that month

2.     Year numbers increment at this time

3.     Date today is 19th Chislev, 5764

    1. Seven major feasts outlined in Leviticus, with several others having been added later – 7 the number of divine perfection                                                     i.     Passover

                                                  ii.     Unleavened bread

                                                iii.     Firstfruits

                                                iv.     Weeks

                                                  v.     Trumpets

                                                vi.     Day of Atonement

                                              vii.     Tabernacles

                                            viii.     (Purim)

                                                 ix.     (Hanukkah)

    1. All Jewish males commanded to appear in Jerusalem 3 times during the year; the clustering of the spring & fall feasts meant that these 3 occasions would cover all 7 of the major feasts – Deut 16.16    Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty #. Read Leviticus 23       1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 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. 3 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. 4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. 6 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. 7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 8 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. 9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10 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:  11 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. 12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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: 16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. 17 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. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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. 21 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. 22 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. 23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, 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. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27 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. 28 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. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 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.  33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 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. 35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. 36 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.  37 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: 38 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. 39 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. 40 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.  41 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. 42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 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. 44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD. #. Spring feasts
    2. Passover (pessah) – Lev 23.5

                                                    i.     1st month, 14th  day

                                                  ii.     Reminder of God’s protection from the 10th plague in Exodus, leading to departure of Israelites from Egypt

                                                iii.     Story in Exodus 12 – as we’ve seen already, important enough in Israel’s history that God changed the calendar to help commemorate it

                                                iv.     Modern observance – quite different from scripture

1.     Leaven removed from house the night before

2.     Passover meal (“seder”)

a.      Parsley/horseradish replace the “bitter herbs”

b.     3 pieces of unleavened bread “Matzoh”, one broken but the other 2 intact

c.      A dinner including just about any type of meat, but not lamb – at least not since the destruction of the Temple. A lamb thigh bone on the table though

d.     An instructional time where a child asks 4 traditional questions that cover the historical and religious basis of the feast

e.      An extra place always set for Elijah, whom observant Jews believe will return eventually (Christians do too, as one of the 2 “witnesses” in Revelation)

                                                  v.     Prophetic aspect

1.     Sacrifice of an unblemished lamb, whose blood protects from death, a clear foreshadowing of the sacrificial/substitutionary death of Jesus

2.     1Co 5.7 - 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed  for us:

3.     3 matzohs (not mentioned in scripture)

a.      Jews say they represent the 3 temples (2 past, 1 future)

b.     Could also symbolize the trinity, with the broken one representing Christ’s broken body

4.     Jesus expounded much of this in John 3, which occurred at a Passover time

    1.  Unleavened bread – Lev 23.6-8

                                                    i.     1st month, 15-20th day

                                                  ii.     Prescribed in Leviticus – commemorates separation from Egypt and its sin

                                                iii.     Modern observance – basically just involves use of unleavened bread “matzoh” for 7 days

                                                iv.     Prophetic aspects

1.     Foreshadows the sinless offering of Christ

2.     Leaven a symbol of sin – 1Co 5:5-7 that discusses disfellowshipping an adulterer lest he corrupt the entire assembly

3.     Unleavened bread a symbol of the sinless Lord Jesus

4.     7 days could represent the completeness & perfection of His sacrifice for our sins

    1. First fruits – Lev 23.8-14                                                     i.     1st month, 21st day

                                                  ii.     Commemorates the passage of the Red Sea which gave new life to the nation Israel

                                                iii.     Jewish observance -  in scripture involved presenting a variety of agricultural products as sacrifices

                                                iv.     Prophetic aspect

1.     Foreshadows the resurrection of Jesus

2.     Christ as the first fruits from the dead – 1Co 15.23 - But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

  1. Summer feast - Weeks (Pentecost, Shavuot) – Lev 23.15-22
    1. 3rd month, 6th day (50 days after Passover)                                                     i.     “pente” means 50

                                                  ii.     Commemorates

1.     God’s provision for all, even the poor and foreigners – gleanings of the fields reserved for them

2.     The giving of the 10 commandments, believed to have occurred about 50 days after the crossing of the Red Sea

    1. Observance

                                                    i.     Scripturally included a unique sacrifice containing leaven – indicating God’s acceptance of redeemed sinners into His kingdom

                                                  ii.     Modern observance –

1.     Meals containing dairy products and honey cakes (God’s bringing them into a land of “milk & honey”), typically 2 honey cakes

2.     Readings from book of Ruth (a tradition of unknown significance)

    1. Prophetic aspects –                                                     i.     The new revelation received by the apostles through the coming of the Holy Spirit on that very day

                                                  ii.     2 loaves likely represent Jews & Gentiles, both of whom are welcomed into the Church since the coming of the Spirit

  1. Autumn feasts
    1. Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) – Lev 23.23-25                                                     i.     7th month, 1st day

1.     The 1st day of the civil new year

2.     Also supposedly the day on which Adam was created

                                                  ii.     Observance –

1.     Modern Jews observe this for 2 days

2.     Rams horn blown 100 times each day (not a cow’s horn lest God be reminded of the golden calf worship!)

3.     Ritual of emptying the pockets into running water, symbolizing casting off one’s sins

                                                iii.     Prophetic aspect

1.     Foreshadows the new beginning Christians will experience at the 2nd coming – which according to scripture is announced by trumpets

2.     The long interval between Pentecost and trumpets symbolizes the church age in which we currently live

    1. Day of atonement (Yom Kippur) – Lev 23.26-32

                                                    i.     7th month, 10th day

                                                  ii.     Divinely prescribed  day on which special sacrifices and atonements are made for the sins of Israel

                                                iii.     Preceded by 9 “days of awe”, starting with Rosh Hashanah, when Jewish people meditate on their sins in preparation for this day

                                                iv.     Observance

1.     In scripture included

a.      Fasting

b.     Sacrifice of a specially consecrated goat

c.      Release of a 2nd goat (the “scapegoat”) into the wilderness

d.     Entry of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies, the only time of the year when this could occur

2.     Modern observance

a.      24 hour fast

b.     Synagogue service marked by blowing the rams horn (from Rosh Hashanah), as a reminder of the ram that God provided as a substitute for Isaac

c.      Wringing the neck of a chicken, also as a substitute

3.     Prophetic aspect

a.      Future redemption of Israel as God once more turns his attention to his chosen people

b.     Future judgment of mankind at the 2nd coming

    1. Ingathering (tabernacles, sukkot) – Lev 23.33-44                                                     i.     7th month, 15th day through 21st day

                                                  ii.     Intended to be a reminder of the 40 years wandering in the desert, with God in the midst, at the end of which God brought them into the Promised Land

                                                iii.     Also intended to thank God for his provision of the harvest

                                                iv.     Observance

1.     Scriptural – 8 days of sacrifices during which the people live in temporary dwellings – tents, “booths”; also worship God using branches of 4 different trees

2.     Modern – very similar except for the sacrifices

                                                  v.     Prophetic aspect - a prophecy of God living with man during the Millenium – Rev 21.3-4    And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  1. Other feasts
    1. Hannukah (known in our Bible as the feast of dedication)                                                     i.     9th month, 25-30th day

                                                  ii.     Scriptural background

1.     1Macc 4.52-59   Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 53  they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. 54  At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55  All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56  So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57  They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. 58  There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed. 59  Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.

2.     According to tradition the oil used in the lamps lasted for the entire 8 days, when in reality there wasn’t nearly enough for that long

3.     Jn 10.22 – refers to feast of dedication, and that it was in winter

                                                iii.     Observance

1.     8-branched menorah, with 1 candle being lit each day

2.     Special foods made with oil, to recall the miracle of the oil

                                                iv.     Significance – as the oil miraculously lit the rededicated temple, so the Spirit lights our lives after we obtain new life in Jesus

    1. Purim –

                                                    i.     12th month, 14th day

                                                  ii.     Word means “lots” and refers to the lots cast by Haman to set the date of Jewish massacre

                                                iii.     Recalls the deliverance of Jewish nation from annihilation as described in book of Esther  - Est 9.1 - Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)

                                                iv.     Observance –

1.     Fast the day before to recall Esther fasting before going in to the king

2.     Reading the book of Esther – children make noise whenever Haman’s name mentioned

3.     Lots of eating and drinking

a.      Triangular fruit-filled cookies that recall Haman’s 3 cornered hat

b.     ‘According to the Talmud, a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordecai," though opinions differ as to exactly how drunk that is.’

                                                  v.     Prophetic aspect

1.     In Esther all the Jews were saved from physical death

2.     At Calvary, we are all saved from spiritual death

  1. Summary
    1. Jewish feasts all have significance for Christians #. All symbolize some aspect of the life and work of Jesus
    2. Show how intimately connected the Jewish & Christian faiths are
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