Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring is Approaching and All That Comes With it!

With the spring feasts approaching, I often times feel like I am unprepared for how I should truly be to celebrate them with the right heart attitude. So, since I stayed home from church with the boys today, I thought it was a good time to do some studying and begin the preparing process.

So many times things in the Scriptures line up perfectly. Why wouldn't they with a master author who knows all things from the beginning of times, to the end. The first thing that I find fascinating is that there are 7 Feasts of the Lord. The number 7 means "perfection" or "completion". The 7 Feasts are definitely complete. My little review here will not show the entire completeness and perfectness in the feasts, but is what the Lord blessed me with this evening.

Let's start with Passover as it is the feast that will be coming up next and is the first in the spring feasts that we look forward to. A couple Scriptures from the Old and New Testament that talk about Passover are Exodus 12:11-14, Leviticus 23:6, and Matthew 26:17-30. I especially like the one in Matthew as it shows that Jesus too kept this feast. Passover is to be a memorial. We are to remember the deliverance of God's people physically from Egypt and the spiritual deliverance of God's people through Jesus the Messiah.

Next is a seven day long feast, Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leviticus 23:6 and Matthew 26:17 are good referrences. As Passover approaches, we rid our home of all the leaven which represents sin in our life. As we become aware of the sin in our life, we spend the week of Unleavened Bread drawing nearer to the Lord, while separating ourselves from the sin.

First Fruits is the next feast that we observe, which is also Resurrection Day. Read Leviticus 23:10 and 1 Corinthians 15:20. All of the spring feasts go together nicely as was His plan I'm sure. Before Jesus died, he told the disciples that he would send a Comforter. So, after he resurrected, do you think the disciples were looking for that One that Jesus promised He would send to them?

Which takes us to Pentecost (also called the Feast of Weeks), the time when His Spirit, the Comforter He spoke of earlier, would come to bring us help along this journey. Exodus 34:22 and Acts 2:1 speak of this feast. And John 16:7 talks about the Comforter that He says He will send.

Beginning the fall feasts is the Feast of Trumpets. Leviticus 23:24 talks about keeping this feast and observing it and Revelation speaks of when the final trumpet will blow. Hallelujah for that day!!!

The next feast is not as much of a celebratory feast as most of them. The Day of Atonement reminds us of how the sacrifices of burnt offerings were not enough to atone for sin. You can read about it in Leviticus 23:27-28. I found it interesting that in Hebrews 9:13&14 it talks about the change in the priesthood. "For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unlcean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spririt offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Because of God's sacrifice of Jesus, we no longer need to offer the burnt offerings that were done under the Levitical priesthood.

The Feast of Tabernacles is another long celebration of 8 days, from Sabbath to Sabbath. This one is truly amazing in all of it's perfectness. In Leviticus23:34-44 you can read about this feast. In verse 37 God says that these are "the feasts of the Lord" (not the feasts of the jews) and in verse 1 and verse 44. They are to be statutes that are kept forever, for generations (31 & 41- some say that this is only for Israel, but it talks about the strangers or foreigners keeping them as well. Guess we would fit the "stranger" or "foreigner"category). That is why we keep them, because they are HIS feasts, His appointed times, His seasons for us. Nothing that man created but straight from the Omnipotent God! Now come along with me for this perfect plan....
It doesn't say it definitively in the Scriptures, but when considering the events that took place around the time of Jesus' birth, it seems that it was definitely more likely to have happened during the Feast of Tabernacles. Here is a link to some very interesting details to the likelihood of this.

So, upon my studying and reading tonight, I wonder how one could believe in the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Spirit all being one) and not believe that what God spoke from the beginning of time was what He still means even today. Jesus walked what God established from the beginning and aren't we to walk as Jesus did? Sometimes I do question what I believe now because it's so different than the average Christian. But I don't want to be an average christian who believes what people say. I want to be one who searches out the Scriptures with all my heart til I find what is consistent throughout it and believe what HE said. I love when I hear His voice challenging me to dig deeper and gain more understanding. And I do love realizing that there were things that I was wrong in and that there are things that I am still wrong in, but the desire to learn and grow in His Word, is exciting.

As the spring feasts approach, I want to be ready to celebrate as I should and as He requires of me. It does take effort, denying myself, having an open mind other than preconceived ideas and clinging to His Truth. But if that's what He wants, that's what I want.

Ephesians 5:1 & 2
"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma."