“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hag Hamatzot and Yom HaBikkurim

I am finally able to return to my posting -- I thank the many, many friends that have been praying for my healing. My eye is getting better everyday, and I thank you.

Now, on to the Feasts -- We left off at Pesach, or Passover, as it is better known. I provided a few insights into the Seder, and there are many others, but I am just providing a glimpse into the Feasts, truth be told, each one has many sermons/teachings in it. My goal is to familiarize you with the feasts.

Anyway, as most Christians know, Messiah was crucified during the Passover season, but what they may fail to realize is that it is a Passover SEASON - with several feasts thrown into the timeframe.

The first Feast that eventually became mixed into the Passover celebration is Hag HaMatzot, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread -- Passover was on 14 Nisan, Hag HaMatzot started on 15 Nisan running seven days , and Yom HaBikkurim, or Early First Fruits was on 16 Nisan. To miss these is to miss the beauty of God's plan for redemption in all of it's subtlety.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in Exodus 12:17, and Deuteronomy 16:3. This Feast is identified with the period of Messiah in the tomb. Unleavened Bread represents sinlessness, which was displayed by Messiah, and also, unleavened bread does not spoil (unlike bread made with leaven, which, in that day, soured quickly), illustrating another portion of Scripture -- Psalm 16:10 -- "For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption". The Messiah, the sinless one of the Father, unleavened and pure, did not sour/decay in the tomb, precisely because He WAS unleavened (without sin)!!

The next day, (Resurrection Day), would have been Yom HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits (Barley). This feast was quite a site -- they had special barley fields set aside, which were watched closely to insure that no artificial growing mediums, i.e. fertilizer, or anything else was added to the barley. It was to be completely grown depending on God's provision. This barley would have been marked off, with red line, or something else that would have set it apart.

The night before the Feast, the priests would go out to the field with a gathering of people and would ask a set of questions, all of which would be answered by the group, and at that point they would cut the barley, and bring it into the Temple. They had a very elaborate sifting ritual that ensured that the barley was exceptionally clean, and pure before being mixed with oil and offered up to the Lord. This FirstFruit was God's possession alone.

Our Messiah's resurrection is alluded to in 1st Corinthians 15 by using the language of Yom HaBikkurim -- 1st Corinthians 15:20 - 23 -- "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."

Just as the priests would set aside a special section of field and observe it to ensure that it was pure and undefiled by man's works, so we can see that the Father set aside His Son, marking Him off as a special sacrifice to the Father, being undefiled and pure. This blessed sheaf, the Messiah, was cut down and sifted, before being lifted up and offered as a sacrifice to the Father.

The FirstFruits of Messiah were realized as He walked out of the tomb -- the Firstfruits of those who would never die, but live forever in the presence of the Father!

6 comments:

Steve Sensenig said...

Welcome back!!! It's great to "see" you again. And I'll bet for you, it's just great to see! :)

steve :)

Ray said...

Steve--

You bet! :-)

Ray

BugBlaster said...

Yahoo!

Ray said...

Hey Bugs! GREAT to hear from you!

Mike said...

How amazingly cool is the synchronicity (if that's a word) of our Lord. Lining up the feasts w/ our Savior is such a merciful act.

And, hey that's pretty good typing for a guy w/ one eye! ha!

Seriously, glad you're healing. Been praying.

Ray said...

Mike -- Sorry for the delay in getting back to you -- I took a 2400 miles motorcycle trip, and just got back...

So, yes, the eye is back, and getting better everyday, praise the Lord!

I am doing this series precisely because the synchronicity is so amazing, and we can miss it if we are unaware of the events surrounding this.

The entire Gospel of John is written around the Feasts...