091220 Celebrating Christ BC (Before Christmas)


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A sermon on the Jewish Feasts & Festivals presented December 20, 2009, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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091220 Celebrating Christ BC (Before Christmas)

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  2. 2. Purpose of OT Festivals<br />What is the purpose of your birthday in the scheme of your life?<br />What is the purpose of July 4th?<br />What is the purpose of Christmas?<br />Remembrance!<br />
  3. 3. OT Festivals foreshadowed Christ<br />We’re 2,000 years removed from the time of Christ<br />Jesus’ life & ministry revolved around the feasts & festivals taking place during his life<br />There are messages in the feasts and festivals for us<br />
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  5. 5. Deuteronomy 16:1-8 NIV <br />Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night. (2) Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name. <br />
  6. 6. Deuteronomy 16:1-8 NIV <br />(3) Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. (4) Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning. <br />
  7. 7. Deuteronomy 16:1-8 NIV <br />(5) You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the LORD your God gives you (6) except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt. (7) Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. <br />
  8. 8. Deuteronomy 16:1-8 NIV <br />(8) For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the LORD your God and do no work.<br />
  9. 9. The Passover Observance<br />14th day of the first month<br />At the time of barley harvest<br />Two celebrations in one:<br />The Passover & the Feast of Unleavened Bread<br />Since the two feasts were close together and they resembled each other, they were combined into one festival<br />
  10. 10. The Passover Observance<br />A lamb was slaughtered & eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs<br />Lamb’s blood symbolized cleansing from sin<br />Unleavened bread symbolized purity<br />Bitter herbs symbolized the bitterness of the bondage in Egypt<br />Jesus was crucified during the Passover<br />Messages of the Passover<br />
  11. 11. 1. God keeps His promises<br />Genesis 13:14-17 NIV The LORD said to Abram … &quot;Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. (15) All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. (16) I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. …“<br />430 years later, God kept His word to Abraham (Galatians 3:17)<br />Delivered Israel from Egypt<br />Brought them into the Promised Land<br />
  12. 12. 2. We’re the chosen generation<br />When Jews observe the Passover Seder, they personalize it<br />Not: Look what God did for our ancestors<br />Rather: Look what God did for us!<br />Set us free from bondage; led us through the sea on dry land; led us through the desert!<br />Gave us the commands, the tabernacle & the Promised Land!<br />We should personalize Christ’s death<br />1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV … Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”<br />
  13. 13. 3. Christ’s Passover was unique<br />Jesus departed from tradition twice:<br />Bread of affliction (matzah) broken<br />Tradition: “This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in Egypt. Let anyone who is hungry come and eat; let anyone who is needy come and celebrate the Passover.”<br />“Take and eat; this is my body.” <br />Cup of blessing shared<br />Tradition: “Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.”<br />“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”<br />
  14. 14. 1 Corinthians 10:16 AMP<br />The cup of blessing [of wine at the Lord&apos;s Supper] upon which we ask [God&apos;s] blessing, does it not mean [that in drinking it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the blood of Christ (the Messiah)? The bread which we break, does it not mean [that in eating it] we participate in and share a fellowship (a communion) in the body of Christ?<br />
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  16. 16. Deuteronomy 16:9-12 NIV <br />Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. (10) Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given you.<br />
  17. 17. Deuteronomy 16:9-12 NIV <br />(11) And rejoice before the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, the Levites in your towns, and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you. (12) Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.<br />
  18. 18. The Pentecost Festival<br />A one-day festival, 50 days after Passover, during wheat harvest<br />Also: Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits<br />Orthodox Jews celebrate it as the day of “the giving of the Law”<br />The church was established on Pentecost<br />
  19. 19. Acts 2:1-47 NIV <br />When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. (2) Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. (3) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (4) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. …<br />
  20. 20. Acts 2:1-47 NIV <br />(14) Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: … (22) &quot;Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. (23) This man was handed over to you by God&apos;s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. <br />
  21. 21. Acts 2:1-47 NIV <br />(24) But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. … (32) God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. (33) Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. … <br />
  22. 22. Acts 2:1-47 NIV <br />(36) &quot;Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.&quot; (37) When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, &quot;Brothers, what shall we do?&quot; (38) Peter replied, &quot;Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. … <br />
  23. 23. Acts 2:1-47 NIV <br />(40) With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, &quot;Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.&quot; (41) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. … (47) … And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.<br />
  24. 24. Observations on Pentecost<br />1. Judaism celebrates Pentecost as the day on which the Law was given<br />Their focus: thanksgiving for the Law<br />2. Christianity celebrates Pentecost as the day the Holy Spirit was given<br />Our focus: thanksgiving for forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit<br />
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  26. 26. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 NIV <br />Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. (14) Be joyful at your Feast—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites, the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. <br />
  27. 27. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 NIV <br />(15) For seven days celebrate the Feast to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.<br />
  28. 28. The Feast of Tabernacles<br />End of the autumn harvest on the 15th day of the seventh month<br />Israel lived in leafy booths for seven days<br />Commemorated the Desert wandering<br />Feast of Booths or Feast of Ingathering<br />Jesus announced himself at this feast <br />
  29. 29. Matthew 17:1-5 NIV<br />After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (2) There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. (3) Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. <br />
  30. 30. Matthew 17:1-5 NIV<br />(4) Peter said to Jesus, &quot;Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.&quot; (5) While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, &quot;This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!&quot;<br />
  31. 31. John 7:37-39 NIV <br />On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, &quot;If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.&quot; (39) By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.<br />
  32. 32. Observations on Tabernacles<br />1. We ought to be thankful<br />Exodus generation – grumbling, thankless lot<br />God forgave them & kept providing for them<br />Should have been thankful, not complaining<br />2. We are just passing through<br />Israel was passing through to Promised Land<br />We’re passing through on our way to heaven<br />
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  34. 34. Leviticus 16:1-34 NIV<br />… (2) The LORD said to Moses: … (3) &quot;This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. … (5) From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. (6) &quot;Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household. …<br />
  35. 35. Leviticus 16:1-34 NIV<br />(8) He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. (9) Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. … (10) But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. … <br />
  36. 36. Leviticus 16:1-34 NIV<br />(21) He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat&apos;s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. (22) The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert. <br />
  37. 37. The Day of Atonement<br />Not a feast, but a day-long fast<br />Set aside for the cleansing of sins<br />Involved a scapegoat<br />Scapegoat symbolized people’s sins<br />It was sent off & abandoned to die<br /> Christ is our atonement<br />
  38. 38. Hebrews 9:11-28 NIV <br />When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made … (12) He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. … <br />
  39. 39. Hebrews 9:11-28 NIV <br />(15) For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. … (24) For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God&apos;s presence.<br />
  40. 40. Hebrews 9:11-28 NIV <br />(25) Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. (26) Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. <br />
  41. 41. Hebrews 9:11-28 NIV <br />(27) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, (28) so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.<br />
  42. 42. Thoughts on Day of Atonement<br />1. Sin is poison<br />Three kinds of offenses laid on scapegoat:<br />Sin: moral sin (everyone can see these)<br />Transgression: breaking the law (only you and God know about these)<br />Wickedness: deliberately wronging other people (because you know you can get away with it)<br />2. God forgives our sins when we repent<br />
  43. 43. Why study OT Festivals?<br />Passover: Christ is our Passover Lamb<br />Pentecost: Our freedom is found in Christ<br />Tabernacles: Our securty is found in Christ<br />Atonement: Christ is scapegoat for our sins<br />Why?<br />So we can walk through the gates of Heaven!<br />