Friday, October 25, 2013

Lesson 7-Deuteronomy 16:1-18

A Jewish college student in his research for a class on comparative religions became engrossed in a book describing the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament feast of Passover. He had stepped onto an enlightening path of Old Testament prophecy that would lead him to embrace Jesus as the Messiah. Fifteen years later, as he addressed a Jewish-Christian conference on “Jewish Feasts and the Messiah,” he tearfully recounted his journey. “I ask you,” he said to the audience, “do you plan to wait until your Jewish friends just happen to read the right book, as I did? Or can you explain to them the basic meaning of the historical Jewish feasts, so they too may learn to celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!?”
Lesson 7 God provided a unique calendar to help Israel to remember who they were and celebrate all the Lord had done for them-“holiness in time, to be attached to sacred events.” Our teaching tonight will focus especially on the three feasts described in Deuteronomy 16. These feasts require the men to travel to the “place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, v. 6 first in the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem. Years after the Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed, Israel can continue to celebrate the feasts according to months in the Hebrew calendar. The Seder meal can now be observed in individual homes. Each local church is the family of God, feasting on Jesus Christ through the Word. Taste and see that the LORD is good. PRAY
Deuteronomy 16:1-17
         Feast of (Pey-sahkn) Passover: Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God (16:1-8).
         Feast of Pentecost: Celebrate with generosity (16:9-12).
         Feast of Tabernacles: Celebrate with joy (16:13-17).

Passover: Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God (16:1-8). Feast of Unleavened Bread
Deuteronomy 16:1 Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. The Biblical year begins with the first New Moon after the barley in Israel reaches the stage in its ripeness.
The Passover lamb selected for the feast must be a perfect male with no blemish (Ex.12:5). Its blood marked the doorposts of the houses of the Israelites, so the Lord would “pass over” and spare them the dreadful tenth plague which was visited upon the Egyptians on the night God redeemed His people.
50 days later God established a covenant with the people at Mount Horeb. The second Passover was celebrated the first month of the second year after the Exodus. Because of the disobedience at Kadesh Barnea the feast would not be celebrated again until Israel crosses the Jordan into the Promised Land.
The Passover meal, seder (SAY der), commemorates God’s mercy in delivering the Israelites’ from slavery.JUST THE FACTS
·        Who-Jews and non-Jews  
·        What- Pe-sach, known as Passover, perfect sacrificial lamb,
·        When-v.6, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt
·        Where- at the place the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell.
·        Why-Teach your children by retelling the exodus from Egypt.

Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!
Feast of Unleavened Bread v.3 Seven days you shall eat (it with) unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste— Yeast is equated with sin. Just a little bit can leaven a whole loaf; sins multiply until there is no truth.

The wife and children clean the house and remove all products that contain yeast all bread, rolls, etc. Sometimes they will bag it up and take it to a non-Jewish neighbor for the week. The father will come in before the meal with a feather and symbolically look through the cabinets for yeast. Often they may leave a small bit for the father to find and discard.

Many years ago I attended a Seder meal at my church hosted by a Messianic Jew and his family. I was so impressed with the children and their participation in the serving of the meal. The “script” for main part of Passover is the Haggadah (literally, “telling”). It contains questions and answers, stories, song, and food for teaching the young children the story of the exodus. Therefore we Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!
Notice four cups on the table.  The bread, Afikomen (ah-fee-koh-mun) in Greek, is one of three pieces of matza that is broken, hidden, and then found to be eaten for dessert at end the meal. The children search the room for the hidden matza to receive a reward. Since the meal is at sunset and last until around midnight, it is important to keep the young ones active and awake. Jewish children can celebrate every year without knowing Christ came to be Passover lamb. As Christians we need to share the feasts with Jewish people so they may Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!
Jesus grew up knowing Jewish history. At twelve years old we remember his trip to Jerusalem with his parents. He obeyed the laws and the commandments. Jesus celebrated His last Passover meal with His disciples.  Jesus, who knew no sin, is our perfect unblemished sacrifice, crucified to redeem us once for all time.

(John 1:29) “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice as the Passover Lamb and the fulfillment of the new covenant between God and man.  As Christians we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with Afikomen (ah-fee-koh-mun) broken bread Christ’s body and grape juice which represents Christ’s blood, the seder’s Cup of Redemption.
Let us praise God for our Redeemer and
Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!

1 Corinthians 5:8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Pentecost-The Feast of Weeks Celebrate with Generosity (16:9-12).
9“You shall count seven weeks... from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. Everyone in your household and sojourners are invited. 12You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. Giving was an act of sharing and rejoicing! Unlike all the other feasts in the Tanach, the Feast of Weeks is not given a fixed calendar date but instead Jews are commanded to celebrate it at the end of a 50-day period known as "The Counting of the Omer." Omer was the size of a container to measure offerings about 3.7 quarts.
Ann Spangler in her book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus says, “if Passover commemorated the exodus from Egypt, then Shavuot (Sha-voo-awt) must commemorate the God’s covenant with Israel on Mount Horeb.”
Shavuot (Sha-voo-awt) is the time to present an offering of new grain of the summer wheat harvest all Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem to “appear before the Lord” (16:16). The book of Ruth is often read to celebrate joy and thankfulness for the Lord’s blessing of harvest. You will remember as a young Moabite widow, Ruth was allowed to glean around the edges of Boaz’ wheat fields. Incidentally she is in the lineage of Jesus as grandmother of King David.

From the book of Acts we know Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem following his crucifixion and resurrection. They were all together in the upper room for Shavuot (Sha-voo-OTE) on the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover week. The Holy Spirit filled the house, with a sound like a mighty wind and what appeared to be tongues of fire, and filled the disciples. Peter said that the risen and exalted Jesus had poured out the Holy Spirit.  The people responded to Peter’s message with repentance, and about 3,000 were baptized (Acts 2:41.) The original Feast of Pentecost ushered in the harvest season. In Acts the Pentecost ushered in the birth of the church and a harvest of souls. On Pentecost God sent His Spirit to seal a new covenant of the forgiveness of sin, not carved on tablets of stone but on human hearts. Like the Torah, the Spirit reveals God’s truth, instructs us, and convicts us of sin. The Spirit empowers us to live in intimate communion with God by changing our hearts from within. That is something that the law could never do. (Romans 8:5 – 7).

What a wonderful reason to celebrate! Celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God!  
Will you share your knowledge of the feasts with a Jewish friend? How will you share with generosity from the abundance of God’s blessings on you?
Feast of Tabernacles: Celebrate with joy (16:13-17)
13“You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. 14You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
Feast of Tabernacles: Commemorates the Forty-Year Wilderness Journey
The Feast of Booths-figs, grapes,
Sukkot (Soo-KOTE or SOO-kote), also known as “Feast of Tabernacles,” is a week-long celebration of the fall harvest and a time to build booths (temporary shelters of branches) to remember how the Hebrew people lived under God’s care during their forty years in the wilderness (Neh. 8:14–17).
• The sukkah, or booth, is a temporary structure built of wood or wood and canvas. The roof is made of branches and leaves, with enough open spaces to see the stars. It is decorated with fall flowers, leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Many Jewish people erect booths on their lawns or balconies and eat at least one meal a day in them.

• A lulav, made up of 2 willow, palm, and myrtle branches, march  aound the Torah waved in all four directions (north, south, east, and west) and up and down to symbolize that God’s presence is everywhere.
2 million roamed the in desert and God provided, 3 x larger  of than Charlotte.780,000 and God provided food, clothing, and water for al of them.
 The celebration is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and protection. Jewish people continue to celebrate Sukkot by building and dwelling in temporary booths for eight days. The four special plants used to cover the booths are citron, myrtle, palm, and willow (Lev. 23:39–40).

Two ceremonies were part of the last day of Sukkot: (1) Giant golden lampstands were lit in the temple courtyard, and people carrying torches marched around the temple, then set these lights around the walls of the temple, indicating that Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles (Isa. 49:6). (2) A priest carried water from the pool of Siloam to the temple, symbolizing that when Messiah comes the whole earth will know God “as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).
When Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles, on the last day of the feast, he said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37–38). The next morning while the torches were still burning, he said, “I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). Sukkot represents the final harvest when all nations will share in the joy and blessings of God’s kingdom. During that time, all believers will celebrate this feast (Zech. 14:16–19).
Will you choose to celebrate Jesus, the Lamb of God?