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Continuity after the cross work
Bible Passage Leviticus 23:4-14
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books Deuteronomy, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.

Continuity after the cross work

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached April 10, 2023

SCRIPTURE 📖
4 These are the LORD’s appointed festivals and sacred assemblies that you are to declare at their appointed time.

5 “The LORD’s Passover is to begin on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight.

6 On the fifteenth day of that month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread.

7 On the first day that you hold the sacred assembly, you are to do no servile work.

8 Instead, you are to bring an offering made by fire to the LORD daily for seven days. On the seventh day, you are also to hold a sacred assembly during which you are to do no servile work.”

9 The LORD told Moses,

10 “Tell the Israelis that when you enter the land that I’m about to give you and gather its produce, you are to bring a sheaf from the first portion of your harvest to the priest,

11 who will offer the sheaf in the LORD’s presence for your acceptance. The priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath.

12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a one year old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering in the LORD’s presence.

13 Also present a meal offering of two tenths of a measure of fine flour mixed with olive oil as an offering made by fire to the LORD, a pleasing aroma. Now as to a drink offering, you are to present a fourth of a hin of wine.

14 You are not to eat bread, parched grain, or fresh grain until that day when you’ve brought the offering of your God. This is to be an eternal ordinance throughout your generations, wherever you live.”

BACKGROUND
Leviticus 23 contains a list of the holy days for the Jewish people. They include the important Jewish holidays which are usually in April, June, and October.

Today’s scripture concentrates on the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as well as the First Harvest.

The Passover is the day of the full moon, in March or April (Exodus 12, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16-25 & Deut 16:2). In it, the Jews remembered the event just before God freed them from Egypt. God allowed terrible trouble to happen in Egypt, called ‘the 10th plague’. The oldest son in every family in Egypt died, in just one night. But God told each Israelite family to kill a lamb and to put its blood on their door. When the angels of God who killed the firstborn males in Egypt saw the blood, they would ‘pass over’ that house. That is why the day was called the Passover. On that day, God saved the Israelites from death.

The Passover is important for Christians today. Jesus became our pass over when He offered Himself to die on the cross on Good Friday. The Bible calls Jesus: ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the week after the Passover (Exodus 23:14-17, Leviticus 23:6). It begins the day after the Passover and lasts for seven days. In the preparation of bread, yeast is added to make it ‘rise’. ‘Unleavened’ means that there is no yeast in the bread. Thus, it does not ‘rise’ or ‘get bigger’. Bread that does not rise is flat. It’s like biscuits or cookies.

At the time of Unleavened Bread, the Jews remember the events immediately after the first Passover. God led them out of Egypt at once, in hurry. He did it so quickly that there was not enough time for their bread to rise. They had to work hard like slaves when they lived in Egypt. But God made them free at once. The yeast equally symbolizes unrighteousness which we must do without. We must purge out evil ways to make Christ’s death useful to us.

The First Harvest is observed during the week of Unleavened Bread (verses 9 -14). There are several types of grain. The first one that becomes ripe in Israel is called barley. Ruth 1:22 tells us that Naomi returned home ‘at the start of the barley harvest’. The priest had to hold up (or wave, verse 11) a bundle of barley plants in front of the LORD. This was also called a ‘wave offering’. It was God who provided all the crops in the Israelites’ new country.

God gave them that country after they left Egypt. And that country (Canaan, afterward called Israel) had good land. So, by this ceremony, the Israelites gave the first grain of each harvest back to God. This was the people’s acknowledgment to God that He had given the harvest that they were about to reap.

This teaches us to acknowledge that it is not the soil, nor the raindrops, nor the sunbeams, nor the dews, nor the skill of agriculturists, that we have to thank for bounteous produce; but must rise above the sower and reaper, and see God, the Giver of the golden harvest, and make His praise the keynote to our harvest. Hallelujah!

On the same day, as they presented the sheaf offering, the people also presented animal sacrifices. They sought forgiveness for their sins through a sin offering, and in gratitude to God for His gifts they consecrated themselves to Him afresh through a burnt offering. They also acknowledged His care and provision in general by presenting a cereal offering and a wine offering taken from their daily household food (verse 12-13; Num 28:16-25). Only after they acknowledged the whole harvest as belonging to God were they allowed to gain benefit from it for themselves (verse 14).

 

LESSONS✍🏽
🔷 We must acknowledge God as the source of all life and good harvest

🔷 Our present predicaments should never make us forget God’s goodness in the past

🔷 We must open up our weaknesses and inabilities and frailties to God and request for strength and pardon all the time.

PRAYER POINTS🙏🏽
💥 Thank God for giving His Son to die for you
💥 Pray that you’re able to take away all yeast out of your life as a response to what Christ did for you

CONCLUSION📙
The grace of God Almighty through the blood of Jesus Christ offers us the opportunity to experience God’s goodness. Our response to this must be positive, acknowledging that God is good and great and thanking Him for all He does for us.
AMEN

In series Bright Morning Reflections