To 21st Century Christians…
“ASK ABOUT THE FORMER DAYS, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth, ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?”
· Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have and lived?
· Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? (Deuteronomy 4:32-34)
IT WAS THE TIME OF THE EXODUS. THE LAST PLAGUE WAS ABOUT TO BE EXECUTED.
Choose a male lamb without defect, slaughter it at twilight and roast it over the fire. Be dressed ready to go. You won’t understand the full meaning of this ceremony now, but your descendants will. Some will witness the crucifixion of your Savior—the perfect lamb; still others will remember many years after his death because they keep this festival. So—eat in haste, for it is LORD’S Passover (Exodus 12:11).
All of Israel sat before their God and blessed their Passover meal, not knowing the true meaning of the celebration and the magnitude of the sacrifice.
“This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. At this, the Jews began to argue among themselves, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’" (John 6:50-52).
They were told to paint their door posts with the blood of the lamb. It will be seen and the death angel will pass over them—their first-born will not die. All those who accept the perfect Sacrifice will receive life eternal. This is a celebration of freedom from the slavery of sin and death, made possible by the blood of Christ—the Lamb. The apostle Paul taught us to keep it on the “same night in which he was betrayed”—the evening of the Passover (1 Corinthians 11:23).
Lifehopeandtruth.com provide a succinct description of the symbolism of Passover. “Symbols of the Passover are full of meaning. Jesus Himself is “our Passover” and “sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). The unleavened bread represents His sinless and broken body (Matthew 26:26), and the wine represents His blood that was poured out for us (Matthew 26:28). The foot washing represents the humility and serving attitude of Jesus, which we are to emulate (John 13:5-8, 9-11, 12-15). https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/5-major-differences-between-passover-and-easter/
This is a commanded annual festival celebrated on “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household” (Exodus 12:2).
“Then Moses said to the people, ‘Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast” (Exodus 13:3).
The Passover is the first of God’s annual holy days; the first major event in His grand plan for mankind. Without the payment of our sins, we are already dead. God is transparent. Seven days following the Passover, God said to eat unleavened bread, symbolizing the keeping of sin out of our body—a spiritual temple. Christ’s resurrection is celebrated on the Feast of First-Fruits. Christ’s resurrection confirms our resurrection into eternity. The next holy day is Pentecost; the day the church was renewed with God’s Holy Spirit. The receiving of the Holy Spirit was made possible by the payment of our sins, now finally we can grow in God’s grace and knowledge. The first four events in God’s grand plan has come to pass: The Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First-Fruits and Pentecost. Four major events remain unfulfilled: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. Celebrate the holy days and you will not forget God’s grand plan for mankind.
Compiled by Janette Andrejowich @ sharingsharpens.ca
“A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah” (Matthew 16:4).
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).
A day is defined by God beginning at sunset and ending at sunset. “God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day” (Genesis 1:5).
If Jesus was in the grave for three days and three nights, then his claim to the Scribes and Pharisees to be the Son of Man given authority from God to teach is valid. It also confirms that he is the Messiah.
Through patterns in the Bible, the number three has been noted as having symbolic meaning for divine completion. Jesus’ death—the perfect sacrifice fulfills/completes God’s legal requirement, the payment for our sins. Christ’s death is a significant marker in God’s divine plan for mankind. Upon Christ’s resurrection, he was restored to his former glory.
An interesting prophetic parallel recorded nearly 2,000 years before Christ’s crucifixion, is the story of God instructing Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.
“Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about’” (Genesis 22:1).
Abraham a great man of faith obeyed. But, before he took his son’s life an angel intervened.
“But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ “Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son’” (Genesis 22:11-12).
Woven into this incredible story is the prophecy of the redemption of mankind. For three days,
Abraham traveled before arriving at Mt. Moriah. Three days Christ lay in the grave and after
the third day, he was raised up and restored to his Father. So, Isaac’s life representative of
mankind who were as good as dead until Christ’s sacrifice was accepted by the Father, was
restored to his father after the third day.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:1).
Peppered in the Old Testament is the promise of a Savior and redemption for mankind, but it was woven tightly in symbols and parallels to keep it secret from the dark powers and authorities in heavenly places because if they knew, they would not have allowed the crucifixion of Christ. These dark powers in heavenly places do NOT want mankind redeemed. They do NOT care for us.
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE CRUCIFIED THE LORD OF GLORY” (I Corinthians 2:8).
Those rogue dark powers have now been imprisoned. The evidence of their presence has been silenced. Still, our fight remains not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities in the heavens.
“He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that war against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having DISARMED THE POWERS AND AUTHORITIES, he made a PUBLIC SPECTACLE OF THEM, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM BY THE CROSS” (Colossians 2:13-15).
The sign of our Savior in the grave for three days and three nights is critical to the redemption of mankind. Was that Savior, Jesus?
Why is this sign important? Christians in general keep Good Friday and Easter Sunday. There isn’t three days and three nights between Friday and Sunday. Does it matter?
It matters if:
WHILE IT WAS DARK TUESDAY EVENING, SOMETIME AFTER THE PASSOVER MEAL, JESUS WAS TAKEN BY ROMAN SOLDIERS AND DURING THE NEXT DAY ON WEDNESDAY, Jesus was mocked, sentenced, beaten, and crucified. Hastily before sunset on Wednesday, before the First Day of Unleavened Bread—a holy Sabbath day, Jesus was wrapped for burial. This was not a weekly Sabbath but an annual holy day—the First Day of Unleavened Bread. “And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath” (Mark 15:42).
“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies [of those crucified] should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken [to hasten death], and that they might be taken away” (John 19:31).
ON FRIDAY, AFTER THAT ANNUAL SABBATH—THE ANNUAL HIGH DAY of UNLEAVENED BREAD, the women came with spices and oils to complete the burial preparation before sunset of the weekly Sabbath. “Now when the Sabbath [First Day of Unleavened Bread] was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him” (Mark 16:1) and “And the women who had come with [Christ] from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath [the weekly Sabbath] according to the commandment” (Luke 23:55-56).
ON SATURDAY, they rested according to the commandment because it was the weekly Sabbath.
ON SUNDAY WHILE IT WAS STILL DARK, Mary Magdalene came and found that Jesus had already risen; the tomb was empty (John 20:1).
Christians who celebrate Good Friday do so in commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. They are mistaken. God asks us to keep the Passover, which acknowledges the saving power of Christ’s blood and to keep the First and Last Day of Unleavened bread, which acknowledges the importance of removing sin out of our lives.
If Christians remembered God’s Feast Days in Leviticus 23, they would not have confused the weekly Sabbath with God’s Annual Sabbaths assuming that Christ died on the day before the weekly Sabbath. They would also understand why the Sabbaths were given.
God has mapped out his plan for mankind in His Annual Feast Days:
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (I Corinthians 15:55)
If Jesus was NOT in the grave for three days and three nights, then Jesus is not the Christ. As scriptures show, Jesus did fulfill his only sign. For three days and three nights, he lay in the tomb and then on the 4th day, he rose from the dead. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah—Yashuah Hamashiach.