Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts about Passover, Unleavened bread, Firstfruits...

This month we began studying the Biblical holidays, starting with Passover. I've been seeing Jesus all over the place and learning more about the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses...Israel as I go. The teacher is learning more than the students I think, but I'm trusting the seeds are being planted.

I just wanted to share some thoughts as we've been going through these studies.
  • First I think it's awesome and beautiful...perfect, that God would designate Passover as being the begining of months for Israel (See Exodus 12:1). It is the begining- the begining of months for anyone who by faith appies the blood of the Lamb to the doorposts of their lives. They did it physically and it represented Jesus' coming sacrifice, nevertheless they did it by faith and it was salvation and deliverance to them who believed and obeyed. It is also the beginning of our new "school" year in this house. Or at least it's a purposeful and designated time when my husband and I are declaring our plans and intentions to homeschool- at least for one year. Here we are studying Passover and my husband, who should have absolutely no reason to think what I'm doing in teaching our sons the scriptures and "school" things using the scriptures, is giving us his blessing to homeschool. It is a begining for us, though I know I have already been teaching them and would continue to even if they were to go to public school. But I feel like I've been given a great oppurtunity here, to, for the next year, study, teach the scriptures and model a life of faith in Christ more saturatedly than ever. So we're just gonna follow the calendar the Lord set up for Israel starting with Passover for this coming year and see what God teaches us.

  • About Unleavened bread. This feast (see Leviticus 23:4-8) begins the day after Passover and continues for seven days with the eating of unleavened bread. Leaven is a type of sin in scripture and the ways of the old man (see 1 Cor.5:7). We are rid of sin ONLY after and because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. Also, in our deliverance out of a life of sin (Egypt), there's no time to try to make a nice tasty cake- a good life. We don't try to create a pleasing life with good works before we leave Egypt, that is before we turn our backs on our old sinful ways, WE JUST GRAB OUR DOUGH AND GO! And for the next 7 days (the number of completeness in scripture), so for a complete period of time, we don't add into our lives any of the old leaven, that is, those old practices and ways which characterized our lives while we were still slaves to sin. We've put off the old man (eating leavened bread) and we put on the new man (the eating of unleavened bread). That leads to Firstfruits.

  • The FIRST of the Firstfruits feast is offered the day after the Sabbath during Unleavened bread (or the day after Passover) and waved before the LORD to be accepted, "...on your behalf..." (See Leviticus 23:9-14) Jesus IS the FIRST of the Firstfruits of those who've fallen asleep, and He was waved before the LORD to be accepted on our behalf and is, "...a sweet aroma..." to the LORD (See Leviticus 23:13 and 1 Corinthians 15:20).

  • The feast of Firstfruits begins with the First offering (Jesus- He's the first) and ends, 50 days later with the reaping of the harvest and the baking of two LEVEANED loaves of bread, which are the firstfruits to the LORD (See Leviticus 23:15-22). I've been learning both through reading the Biblical Holidays book (which I can't say enough good about!) and through listening to a study through the book of Ruth on Searchlight (which I also can't say enough good about), that the feast of weeks is celebrated by the Jews to commemorate the giving of the law (two tablets), and the 50th day is called Pentecost. Pentecost is, of course, also the day when the Holy Spirit was given in Acts 2:1-4. Well, it just so happens (tongue in cheek, nothing just happens with God- He's teaching me something) that the book of Ruth is read at Pentecost by the Jews, and the book of Ruth typifies the church (Ruth), Israel (Naomi) and Messiah (Boaz). All that to say, the beauty of God's pictures in scripture when you allow yourself to listen and study is amazing! God painted a picture of His plan to harvest souls not through the law but through the Redeemer and through the giving of His Holy Spirit, and it's pictured clear back in Leviticus and the Old Testament with the setting up of the Feast of Weeks.

  • We are the firstfruits of those Jesus has Redeemed! We are FREE of the OLD leaven, but we are prepared or baked with the NEW leaven of the Holy Spirit which is permeating all God's people and making us a sweet aroma to the LORD when we are burned in the firey trials of life!

  • In all this it strikes me why God said Israel was to do these things and teach them to their children and that their children would ask questions: He wants our kids to remember and know the REAL JESUS. He wants them to know Israel's Messiah as their own Kinsman Redeemer (like the Gentile Ruth).

  • My kids are asking questions. Not why are we sacrificing a lamb (cause we didn't and don't) but, "Why do we have to clean up the trash?" And other questions, and maybe someday they'll ask why we DON'T sacrifice a lamb. And like it was thousands of years ago when Israel answered their children, my answer is, "Because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt." (Exodus 13:8).

  • When I'm living a life of obedience, worship in faith in Jesus, my kids are gonna ask questions and the answer for why I do what I do needs to be not, "Because we have to." Or, "Because it's the good Christian thing to do." But rather, "Because of what the LORD has done for me."

  • In this study the Lord has really been teaching me the importance of telling my kids about the God of Israel. HE IS THE ONLY GOD! And that way they'll learn of their need for a Savior and of the character of Jesus our LORD who IS the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Who was and always will be!

  • When I started listening to Ruth I was so captivated. I'm planning to do a post series at my Wife of Valor blog through that book, but as far as being a Timothy Mom is concerned this struck me: Ruth learned of the goel (the kinsman redeemer) law through Naomi. We gentiles (non Jew) also learn of the One who is Messiah, our Redeemer, through the example of Israel throughout scripture. Through Israel we are led to the feet of Jesus to seek His mercy and grace- and there we find it! And just as it is for us it is for our children. For Ruth took her child to Naomi to be nursed (See Ruth 4:14-17). When we let the life giving, pure milk of the Word of God (which came through Israel and is recorded in the entire Bible, not just the New Testament) nurture and grow our children, they are given the best feeding to make them wise unto salvation which is through Jesus Christ.


lori said...

Hey there....I visit often and don't often get to I completely understand...
grab the pic!! absolutely!!

We just finished a study on was AWESOME! The kids really learned alot!!I just LOVE how it all connects!

What a wonderful post!!

e-Mom said...

A wonderful series of points! You're learning so many exciting truths. Also, I'm delighted that you're going to be homeschooling your boys. Your husband's support is amazing. :~D

Blessings, e-Mom