Cover 2016-03-27

Ron Writes

This Day in History

The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar orbit, so there were three Old Testament feasts that would come during March-April.

First Fruits - Wave Offering (Lev. 23:9-11).

Leviticus 23 describes three feasts that follow one after the other. First came the Passover Feast. It was a memorial of God’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery. The blood of the sacrificial lamb was painted on the doorpost, which allowed the death angel to “pass-over” that home. It doesn’t seem any accident that Jesus was crucified on Passover.

On the next night, there was the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For an entire week, they were to eat unleavened bread. Leaven is a symbol of sin and so this feast represented a holy walk with God. This feast was so closely associated with Passover that the entire week is often referred to as the feast of unleavened bread.

On this day in history, the “day after the Sabbath,” Sunday, was the Wave Offering. They were to take the sheaf of the first fruits of their harvest and wave that before the Lord. This is also called the Feast of First Fruits. The wave offering looked just like the remaining crop still in the field. 50 days later, on the day after the Sabbath, Sunday, there would be Pentecost. This would be the day that they celebrated the summer harvest. It was on the Sunday after the Passover that Jesus arose from the dead. Paul calls Jesus the “first fruits” (1 Cor. 15:23). 50 days later on the day of Pentecost the rest of the harvest began to be brought in with 3,000 connecting with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection in baptism.

Jesus arose from the grave on a Sunday. The church was established on a Sunday. Christians began worshipping on Sundays. Part of that Sunday worship was the partaking of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7), a remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection. It wasn’t an annual event, but a weekly memorial. Nowhere in Scripture do we get the idea that this was only celebrated once a year. It was when they had “come together as a church” that the Lord’s Supper was observed (1 Cor. 11:17-34).

Easter

All New Testament scholars agree that the term “Easter” is never used in Scripture. It is a name derived from the pagan goddess of fertility. Pagans worshiped Ishter (pronounced “Easter”). They would use such things as an egg, a sacred symbol among the Babylonians and rabbits, symbolic of fertility, along with orgies and other pagan rites. In an effort to convert pagans, many Christians began to “Christianize” pagan holidays and rites, thus leading to what is called Easter today.

On this day in history Jesus rose from the dead. Christians celebrate this with a memorial every Sunday. It’s also reflected in the way Christians live their daily lives.