Leviticus 22-23

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Chapter 22 Unacceptable Sacrifices —  As I read this today I was reminded of the Scriptures about Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:2-5  Cain brought “some” of his food (any food will do you know).  And Abel brought the BEST of his flock (the fat portions and the firstborn).  God saw their hearts.  He KNEW who was offering their best.  Leviticus is teaching the people and the priests that ONLY the BEST is to be offered to HIM.  NOTHING else will do.  In last year’s bible study, Trish gave an example of someone “giving to the church.”  Here is the story — “the Pastor told a story about a woman who found a Butterball turkey in the back of her freezer frozen.  She was not sure if it was still safe to eat.  She called the “800” number on the package and the company said it was old,  but  indeed safe to eat, BUT probably not worth baking because it would not be tasty. So she donated it to the church. (whoops!)

How do you give to the Lord?  Do you give your best or do you simply “grab something” that has no worth or value to you.  A sacrifice has great value to the person giving it.  Just think about the Sacrifice God gave us in HIS son , Jesus Christ … HIS ONLY begotten son… HIS son in whom HE was well pleased… HIS son without blemish.  Do you tithe?  (I don’t wish to know the answers to these rhetorical questions…. they are between you and God and only to get your cerebral juices flowing, possibly improve if the need is there.)  Do you give gifts and offerings outside of your tithe?  Do you help the needy, the poor, the homeless, the jobless, etc?  Hebrews 13:15 tells us to “continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God.”  Romans 12:1 tells us “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”

Also keep in mind that my “best” may not be the same as your “best.”  GOD KNOWS our hearts.  HE KNOWS what we can do, what we have, what we don’t have.  This is not about the “Impossible Dream.”  This is about giving our best from what we have.  AND with that in mind…. as we grow with the Lord… our “best” changes.  This is not about condemnation or judgement but about wanting to give our best to our Abba Father who loves us with an everlasting love.

What was the purpose of the sacrifices?  The purposes were many such as obedience, to atone for sins, and for the High Priest to be able to ENTER into the Most Holy Place ONCE A YEAR to atone for ALL the sins of the Hebrew Nation as well as that of his own and of his family.   And when Jesus Christ made the final sacrifice for us… we could ALL enter into The Most Holy Place (also called the Holy of Holies depending on the version of the Bible you use) as often as we desire.  The following song is an awesome song about entering into the Holy of Holies, listen and read the words while it is playing. 🙂

“Take Me In To The Holy of Holies” by Kutless

Chapter 23 — This discusses the Appointed Festivals.  If you click on the right side of the page of this blog on CHARTS you will find a chart which contains all the Festivals/feasts of the Ancient Israelites in case you would like to review that while reading the Word.  The chart also notes the nature of the gift, offering, or sacrifice to be given for each event.

I found a WONDERFUL explanation of the Festivals/Feasts that I wanted to share with you.  I could not express this topic nearly as well as they have.  Notice all the comparisons and significance of the OT feasts and festivals to what they mean in the NT.  Also take note of which Prophesies have been fulfilled within these festivals/feasts.  And if your brain is really analytic notice the months these festivals and feasts were celebrated.  Get ready for an AWESOME BLESSING !!  If you want to read the entire article about this click on FEASTS AND FESTIVALS however; most of the article is below:

The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) literally means “appointed times.” God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. The seven annual feasts of Israel were spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. They are still celebrated by observant Jews today. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.

The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks), and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

Many Bible scholars and commentators believe that these fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus. However, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) for all believers in Jesus Christ is that they most assuredly will be fulfilled. As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ’s first coming, these three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord’s second coming.

In a nutshell, here is the prophetic significance of each of the seven Levitical feasts of Israel:

1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”

4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter’s great sermon and his first proclamation of the gospel.

5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).

6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6,25-36).

7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).

Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).

While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly, it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.

Is that not TOTALLY AWESOME!!???  I am singing “HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD” out loud at this very moment… you may be able to hear my squeaky, laryngitis voice from here to where you are… but I’m still singing a song of praise to HIM   🙂

As always… I’d love to here if this is helping you, what stood out to you, is there anything you learned, and questions you have so bring it on   🙂

Sharing HIS love

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