Passover to Pentecost – Thomas

Passover to Pentecost – Thomas         Week 3 Day 6

We have seen the Lord. John 20:25 (NIV)

Thomas the future apostle to India was not at Jesus’ first visitation at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  His story is set at the end of the Feast and would be the eighth day (the number of new beginnings).  In the first Passover the Israelites were out of Egypt on the other side of the Red Sea partying.   He, in true form of the other disciples refused to believe words that sounded like nonsense.  I hope he was with his family for the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread but the fact is that he had left the group during a time when you might have expected everyone to be together.  So Jesus shows Himself again (during the meal closing the Feast that celebrates His sinless life) proclaims “Peace” and sets about to restore a prodigal son and chosen leader.  His doubts and those of the other disciples could be linked with all of the complaining and testing the Israelites did in the first fifty days.   It must be noted here that they still have not left for Galilee.

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The Number Fifteen in the Bible – Cleaning Up to Celebrate

The number Fifteen -15 in the Bible.

FYI – Depending on the translation and the concordance you use some of these numbers may appear different.  For this study, I just wanted the number fifteen (15).  The NIV and KJV handle numbers differently.  The KJV will spell them out like eight hundred and fifteen while the NIV will write 815 (Genesis 5:10).  Also, the NIV translates some numbers in standard units (what Americans will understand) like 15 feet while the KJV would say 10 cubits (Zechariah 5:2).

  • The first number fifteen is in Genesis 7:20 and is the depth of water covering the mountains with the Flood.
  • The second usage is with the walls of the courtyard of the Tabernacle.  There were two fifteen cubit walls forming the east side leaving a twenty cubit gap that had an offset hanging acting as the gate (Exodus 27:14).
  • The third usage is in Exodus 16:1 (see 10 Test and Timeline).  This marked the second month of the Israelites marching out of slavery.
  • The most references are with Feasts (Leviticus 23).

As I thought about the fifteen cubits in Genesis I realized it was not the depth of water but the fifteen.  God used the water to “clean” the earth of corrupt humanity.  Several source listed below will tell you that if you added the letter yod (10) and the letter hey (5) you would get 15 which happens to spell out a name of God.  In Hebrew, however, it is written with the 9th (teth) letter and the 6th (waw) letter out of respect for God. (Sorry, Hebrew letters are also used as numbers.)

The total width of the courtyard for the Tabernacle was 50 cubits, that was the west and east side (the one that faces the sun).  So as you entered on the east side to worship there was a 15 cubit wall on your left and your right. (See Camp and Marching Order) The bases holding up the curtains/walls also had a fifteen associated with them. (Think about that for a minute!)

The most references with fifteen belong to 15th of the month because several Feasts (celebrations) start on that day – Unleavened Bread, Booths/Tabernacles, Purim, and several you may not find in a Christian Bible.  Passover is on the 14th of the first month and the 15th is the start of Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is also when Pharaoh let Israel go because the firstborn all died (another cleaning/judgment).  The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates the exodus when Israel lived in booths waiting for everyone over twenty to die.  A “silent/hidden” fifteen is associated with the Feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23: 17 – 21) it is the number of offerings:

Why the fifteenth of the month?  If you do not know it the Hebrew calendar is set on a 30-day month (lunar cycle) with the month being the actual unit of time.  The first day is the new moon so the fifteenth day would be the full moon of each month.  Here are some thoughts about this: the Feast was a reminder of the “best” of Egypt dying and them leaving; full moon is a reflection of sunlight at its best; it still could add up to be a name of God. (Something to think about.)  To be fair to one source I read which said 15 represented “rest.”  The Feast do start (and end) with a day of rest but the first one, the day after the first Passover, was them leaving in a hurry. These Feasts (Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur and Feast of Tabernacle) were so important that Jeroboam set up a false holiday on the 15th of the 8th month to act as a distractor for the Ten Tribes (1 Kings 12:33).  In Ezekiel 31:17 it is talking about Egypt, the time frame the 15th day of the first month (Passover/ Unleavened Bread).  Purim is the holiday from the Book of Esther and is still celebrated today (enemies got cleaned out).

Another notable story that has fifteen wrapped in it is the healing of Hezekiah where God added fifteen years to his life (2 Kings 20:6, Isaiah 38:5).  One resource concluded that fifteen must deal with “addition” because fifteen years were added to his life.  His reign was twenty-nine years long so this extra fifteen years started in the fifteenth year of his reign.

Some other non-holiday references with fifteen being a part of the story are (You will find these scriptures in a King James Version.):

  • Hosea 3:2 where the prophet bought his wife back for fifteen pieces of money (a picture of Jesus redeeming His Bride)
  • Solomon had columns in rows of fifteen holding his house up (1 Kings 7)
  • Ziba in 2 Samuel 9 had fifteen sons
  • 2 Kings Amaziah king of Judah lived 15 years then he was killed (cleaned out)
  • Asa king of Judah threw a party in the 15 years of his reign to renew the seeking of God – 2 Chronicles 15:10
  • Bethany was fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem
  • Paul spent fifteen days with Peter (Galatians 1:18)
  • Acts 27:28 finds Paul in a boat over fifteen fathoms of water.  Chronologically this would be the last listing of fifteen in the Bible.  The first reference (Genesis 7:20) had fifteen units of water and a boat also. (Just saying.)
  • Luke 3:1 is where John the Baptist starts to preach and that was the 15th year of Tiberius.  (Another party was starting.)

God “cleaning things” and “parties starting” seem to happen, a lot when the number fifteen is involved.  The feast were times to enjoy God and His goodness by drawing close to Him so they are cathartic in themselves.

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 8.07.29 PMThe fifteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Samech.  I will list some things associated with it but follow the links to the various sources for a better study (Please note that some are Messianic Jew/Christian and others are strictly Jewish).

  • Numerically it represents the number sixty.
  • The priestly blessing has fifteen words and sixty letters.
  • It means “to support” or “to protect.”  This is all forms of support: spiritual, financial, physical, moral, etc.
  • Samech (15) and Mem (13) surround/support Nun (14).  Samech and Mem are the only fully enclosed Hebrew letters. (See studies on Thirteen and Fourteen).  Nun may represent someone who is “bent down.”
  • Because it is circular it represents the wedding ring.

There are still other references with the number fifteen (15) in the Bible but I hope you will continue to study as this number/letter has a lot associated with it.

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Reflections On The Resurrection #2

In the Resurrection what kind of body will we have? (1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV)

I have read this passage numerous times and never thought about it much until I read Chapter 16 in the C.S. Lewis’ book Miracles.  The Apostle Paul presents a clear argument that the body we now have will be changed when the trumpet sounds  (15: 51).  Lewis adds to Paul’s discourse by talking about Jesus after He came out of the tomb on Easter morning.  Mary and the other women did not recognize Jesus and thought He was a gardener until He called her by name.  The two disciples on the road to Emmaus walked with Him several hours and had their “hearts burning” as He spoke but did not recognize Him until Jesus blessed and broke bread.  The disciples at the Feast of Unleavened Bread meal thought He was a ghost even though He showed them scars and ate something.  Finally, Peter did not recognize Him when He was telling them about the fish until John told him “It is the Lord!” (John 21: 7)  A connection between all of these is that He had a changed physical body but retained His mannerisms: how He said, “Mary”, how He blessed a meal, and physical scars that were completely healed.  The accounts repeatedly tell of Him having a physical body or doing something that required a physical body.  The women held on to His feet, He could break bread, and He ate fish.

The_Resurrection016The earthly body that was sown as “seed” so He could become the “Firstfruit” on Easter was changed; it had a new “splendor.”  He had a “spiritual body” that was an improved version of His old one.  This sort of change is foretold in Daniel 12: 2+3 where Daniel talks about those who will “sleep in the dust” but “will shine like the brightness of the heavens.”

It also seems that He received new abilities with the new body.  He broke the bread in Emmaus and then disappeared (Luke 24: 31) and He “stood among them” twice in a locked room in John 20.  In Philippians 3: 10 – 11 Paul talks about the “power” that comes with the Resurrection.

Jesus physically returning as the Firstfruit and showing Himself to the disciples as foreshadowed in the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Weeks let them know that there was a new power waiting for them.  After all, in John 11 Lazarus was raised from the dead as one of the Seven Miracles that were presented to prove Jesus’ divinity but his body was just brought back to life, no change was mentioned.

The Resurrection/new body is tied in with the tree of life from the Garden of Eden the references for this tree are Genesis 3: 22, Proverbs 11: 30, and Revelations 22: 2.  Adam and Eve missed the chance to have this change here on earth because they ate the wrong fruit but Jesus after missing several meals on Friday had a powerful snack before taking away the keys to Death and Hell from Satan and then showing Himself to everyone during the Resurrection.

http://clipart.christiansunite.com/1395484861/Easter_Clipart/The_Resurrection_Clipart/The_Resurrection016.jpg