March 31, 2015 14:13 PM
In ancient Israel, every male was required to go to Jerusalem and present himself before the Lord during three of the seven annual feasts: Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles. But why three feasts? And why these three?
We must remember that numbers have meaning and that the Bible is full of types and shadows. The number three represents completeness as indicated by the Trinity. Also, in the book of Revelation we see the number three repeated numerous times: three measures of barley, three angels, three unclean spirits, great city divided into three, three gates on each side of wall surrounding New Jerusalem, etc.. Therefore, it is no coincidence that these three mandatory feasts taken together as a unit also have meaning, including prophetic meaning.
We know that Passover represents the blood atonement of Jesus, the very payment necessary for us to be forgiven and saved. Pentecost depicts the infilling of the Holy Spirit as illustrated when the Holy Spirit was given to Jesus’ disciples after His resurrection. And Tabernacles speaks of Jesus’ return when He will rule and reign on earth and tabernacle with man. It’s all a roadmap and speaks of progression.
Putting it all together we see a beautiful picture. First, we must accept Jesus, our atonement, before being empowered by the Holy Spirit to live this new life as disciples of Christ. And those who have come through Passover and Pentecost, who have presented themselves to the Lord in fulfillment of their deeper meaning, will then be able to enjoy the Feast of Tabernacles, when our beautiful Savior tabernacles with us, not only in our lives right now, but in the era to come when Jesus literally returns to earth to live with His people.
Our modern Easter, commemorating Jesus’ death and resurrection, is really the Lord’s feast of Passover (and “First Fruits” too) when He became that sacrificial lamb whose blood we must apply to the doorpost of our hearts. And if we do, we shall pass from death into life. Note that the three mandatory feasts are listed in order of how they must be observed. Without Passover, we will never be able to participate in Pentecost and Tabernacles. As we are about to celebrate Easter with family and friends, let us not forget the wonder of what the day represents, as well as remember those, in prayer, who have not yet come into the amazing knowledge that they have a Savior who loves them and calls them by name.
Wishing everyone a very blessed and Happy Easter!
Until next time,
April 15, 2014 13:18 PM
Easter is right around the corner and many Christians will celebrate the most momentous occurrence in world history, that of Jesus paying the ultimate price and restoring a fallen world back to God. At the Last Supper Jesus offered the elements of bread and wine declaring them to be His “body and blood” and that they were ushering in a new covenant.
But why blood? Of all the things God the Father could have chosen to satisfy His justice, why did He chose this one thing? Since I wrote about that in a blog nearly four years ago, I’m reprinting it now, at least in part:
Recently I was talking to a friend about who shed the first drop of innocent blood in the Bible. Her answer: “Cain.” There was a time when I would have said the same thing. But since reading every scripture from Genesis to Revelation that mentioned blood, I know the real answer is “God”. Yes, God Himself shed the first drop of blood when He made coats of animal skins for Adam and Eve after the fall. That meant an innocent animal had to die in order to cover their sins.
From this we can see that right from the beginning God set up the blood standard, that “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Sin was not to be paid for by gold or silver; or compensated for by good works; or exonerated because of family ties, lineage, or status. That’s why in the Old Testament under the Law the priests slaughtered animals and sprinkled their blood over the altar to atone not only for individual sins but for the nation’s sins. “In fact, under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins” (Hebrews 9:22 Amplified Bible). Still . . . all this was but a foreshadowing of things to come; a foreshadowing of the perfect solution.
Enter Jesus, the Lamb, who allowed Himself to be slaughtered for you and me. “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”(1 Peter 18-19)
I don’t know why it took me over thirty years to connect the dots, thirty years to move from a vague knowledge that Jesus came and died for the sins of the world to the absolute knowledge that He died for me; that all my good works were but filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6); and that the only standard that God acknowledges is the blood standard. And that God not only instituted this standard but actually completely satisfied it Himself. Period. The end.
This Easter I want to dwell anew on this fact. It is something that should never be taken for granted or dismissed lightly. Jesus paid a tremendous price to make for us a way back to the Father, and those who accept that offering, that sacrifice, will not only have peace with God but will be with Him for all eternity. That’s His promise to us. That means I’m accepted. I’m forgiven. I have a hope and a future that extends far beyond this earthy realm. And so do you if you confess your sins and accept what Jesus has done. I can’t think of anything more wonderful.
Have a Happy and Blessed Easter.
Until next time,
April 9, 2012 10:22 AM
Did you ever want something so much you could taste it? Did you ever pray for it, hope for it, even beg and weep for it? And when things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, you were so disappointed, perhaps even angry with God? I have. A few times. And when that moment came when I realized my prayers were not going to be answered, at least not in the way I wanted, there also came the grace to deal with it.
But it brought to the forefront something else, too: my sense of entitlement. I think sometimes we Christians can fall into an “entitlement” mentality. Just because we are God’s, we sometimes believe He is obliged to answer our prayers in just the manner we want. It’s coming to us. Right? After all, we’ve been walking in faith these many years, doing things His way. Surely we can expect our prayers to be answered now and then. But what we forget, what I forget, is that God is not obligated to do anything more for us. He already did it all by sending his son, Jesus, to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. And this act has given us the greatest gift of all, peace with God and a hope and a future.
During this Easter season, as I thought about the magnitude of what He did for me, everything in my life, all of its problems, its hurts, its disappointments, paled in comparison. If God never does another thing for me, I’d have no right to complain. When I reflect on this great gift of peace with God, forgiveness of my sins, and the hope of eternal life, I’m amazed all over again by God’s great love. It’s this kind of loving God that I can trust with my future, to know what is best, even when I don’t understand what He is doing. And He is the kind of loving God you can trust as well.
Until next week,