Resurrection Sunday 2108

Resurrection Sunday 2108

Resurrection Sunday

Christ rising from the dead is what we stop to consider, admire and worship today.  And yet even this unprecedented fact of history was lovingly woven in advance into the very fabric of the Hebrew Nation.  The preeminence of Jesus as first fruits from the grave is anticipated by the Third of the Seven Feasts of Israel called the Feast of First Fruits.  By ordnance it begins the day after the Sabbath following Passover – which is to say it is a one-day Feast on Sunday).   It is interesting to note that this Feast gets plunked down the midst of another and ongoing Hebrew Feast – the seven day Feast of Unleavened Bread.  We tend to see the Feasts in a linear fashion as seen below:
But the Feast of Unleavened Bread starts before and ends after The Feast of First Fruits.   When looked at closely, this is a brilliant Design.  The Feast of First Fruits turns the focus of the entire Hebrew Nation upon the glorious new beginnings Promised to Abraham, Issac and Jacob.   The Feast of First Fruits sends a message of thankfulness to God.  It is celebrated on the very date folks on the Jesus Path call Resurrection Sunday (the day after the Sabbath).   This is because Christ is the fulfilment of the Priestly actions conducted during First Fruits.  Lets review the the precise prescription from Leviticus 23:9-11:
  • The Lord said to Moses – Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.
  • He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath

When you enter the Promised Land – the land flowing with milk and honey, you will take of the first of the reapings and give them to God.  The Priest is commanded to stand and wave the first sheaf in proclamation of the first-fruit of the harvest.  Notice this sacrifice is both FROM and TO God.  He fosters the harvest and then sacrifices His gift acceptable to Him.  Bible Ground is to say the entire ceremony proclaims Jesus.

That Sunday morning in 32 AD when the sacrifice of the First Fruits was being made at the Temple; the First-Fruits from the Dead walked among us.  The smoke from the Temple rose as a fragrant aroma before the Lord – while the King of Glory walks out from among the dead, the first fruit of the rich Harvest of those who believe in His Name.  

  • But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep  – 1 Corinthians 15:20
  • And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy  – Colossians 1:18
  • For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then when He comes, those who belong to Him  – 1 Corinthians 15:22-23
  • Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth – Revelation 1:5

Which brings me to some things we need to know.  Ishtar (from which we get Easter) is the name of a Babylonian Fertility goddess.  Festivals in her honor were held weekly, but the high days were tied to the Vernal Equinox – the first day of Spring.   It was no chore to get Men to church as meetings were spent in search of sensual ecstasies – wickedness unleashed.   Pagan symbols for these exertions survive today.  The bunny is a notorious breeder, the egg is the ultimate symbol of fertility and the search for hidden eggs points to the universal pursuit of conception.

Let’s start the Lesson, already!

Well I would like to stop on Bible Ground to recognize an important fact about Resurrection Sunday.  Before Jesus entered Jerusalem (Triumphantly – as we learned last week) He would not permit others to call Him King.  And when the crowds approached Him to make Him King by force, He said “My time is not fully come.”  However, when He rode into the City of Peace, humble on a foal, He permitted them to cheer Him as King.  It was for this reason that Pilate wrote “King of the Jews” on the death warrant nailed to the Cross.

So what about you and I?   We tend to see Jesus as Teacher and Priest, as the Suffering Servant – but as King?  And what’s more, as the King of Kings?  Think a moment, what kind of evidence do you produce that confirms Christ’s position as King, the Ultimate Authority for Eternity?   In the lesson today we unearthed five touchstones upon which those on the Jesus Path should manifest.

The last of which is DO YOU KNOW HIM?   The real test is this one of knowing Jesus – not just something you picked up spoon-fed from somewhere – but the personal Jesus;  Who has become Someone of significance through your personal journey of belief and trust.   This is key.  Knowing Jesus.   Please enjoy the video.

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