Passover to Pentecost – Seven

Passover to Pentecost – Seven        Week 1 Day 3

Count off seven full weeks.  Exodus 23: 15b (NIV)

Genesis 2: 2-3 is the foundation for the use of seven when it comes to Sabbaths and special holy days as they are stated in Leviticus 23 and 25.  In Genesis, God ceased working, rested, and blessed the seventh day because He had finished creating. Leviticus should clear up any doubt that God is serious about us resting.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread, Weeks, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles are special holidays and all of them have a “do not work” or “no regular work” component in them.  We will look at this on day six.

The patterns of seven days or years than adding a day or year is seen in the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, the Sabbath Year, and the Year of Jubilee.  The extra day/year was to give an extended rest to the people and the land.  Remember, part of the reason for the exile of Judah/Israel was to give the land its Sabbath rest.

I once heard someone preach about Matthew 18: 21 and Luke 17: 4 where the disciples were willing to forgive seven times; the person assumed they picked seven because they were being generous.  Now I might wonder if it may not be connected with putting the matter to “rest.”

It is interesting that in Exodus 16 (part of the first fifty days) where it seems that the people ran out of Egyptian food. Now the people would have to “work” again for their food God reminded them of the Sabbath. He reinstated the Sabbath before they got to Sinai and the Law.  I imagine that the Egyptians did not give them a day off because their God had demanded it.  God also gave them a special miracle for forty years with the manna on the sixth and seventh days of the week; so they had no excuse not to rest (it did not go bad overnight as it did on the other days).

Hezekiah was a king who tried to follow God and was given several special signs for the things he did.  One thing he did was celebrate Passover (2 Chronicles 30) and one special sign he received sounds a lot like Jubilee when it came to planting and reaping (2 Kings19: 29).

Reflections On The Resurrection #1

The Resurrection, Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus came out of the tomb but is that The_Resurrection015really what the Resurrection was to the early church?  C.S. Lewis in the sixteenth chapter of his book Miracles makes the point that the modern church may have that wrong.  Instead of five minutes or an hour or even until sundown the Resurrection is the forty-day period of time up to the Ascension.  Lewis says,  “It is not the action of raising from the dead but the state of having risen.”  This period of time is only lightly covered in the Gospels but has its foretelling in the Feast found in Leviticus 23 and Exodus 23.

Many people witnessed the Resurrection and their testimony on the topic was The_Resurrection014important in the Church.  It started with the women on the morning of the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread and that of “Firstfruits.”  This was also the beginning of the Feast of Weeks, which ends in what we call Pentecost.  So following Paul’s list in 1 Corinthians 15: 5 – 8 and adding in the ones from the Gospels the appearances of Jesus during the Resurrection were:

  • The women (Mary Magdalene)
  • Peter
  • The disciples on the road to Emmaus
  • The Twelve (twice)
  • The five hundred
  • James
  • The other apostles
  • Paul

After the meetings with the Twelve they went to Galilee like Jesus had instructed them and they saw Him there on the mountain.  The story of Peter and the “great catch of the fish” (John 21) took place in Galilee but the Ascension happened near Bethany.  So it seems that the Disciples did a lot of traveling during this forty-day period.

I found that the two appearances to the Twelve in John 20 were based on the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The first one would have been the start of the Feast and the second visit was the end of the Feast (Leviticus 23: 4 – 8).  The Disciples were observing the Feast and honoring their Jewish beliefs.

Pics from: http://clipart.christiansunite.com/Easter_Clipart/The_Resurrection_Clipart/index3.shtml