8. The Feasts (1) The Sabbath, the Feast of the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
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Scripture Reading: Lev. 23:1-8; Gen. 1:26—2:3; Luke 22:7-20; 1 Cor. 5:7-8
I. The feasts in Leviticus 23 were for rest and enjoyment and typify Christ as our rest and enjoyment—v. 2; Matt. 11:28-30:
A. God ordained the feasts that His people might rest with Him and be joyful with Him, that they might enjoy with Him and with one another all that He has provided for His redeemed people; the rest and enjoyment were not individual but corporate—Lev. 23:1-2.
B. The feasts appointed by Jehovah were holy convocations, special assemblies of God's people called for a special and particular purpose—v. 4.
C. These signify the gathering of the believers as the church to have a corporate rest and enjoyment of Christ before God, with God, and with one another—1 Cor. 10:16-17.
 

II. The weekly feast, the Sabbath, signifies the rest that God's redeemed people enjoy with God and with one another; every seven days there was a day for rest and enjoyment—Lev. 23:3:
A. The principle of the Sabbath is that we should cease our work because God has done everything for us and has become everything for our enjoyment—Gen. 2:2-3.
B. According to the book of Genesis, to God the Sabbath is the seventh day, but to man it is the first day—1:26—2:3:
1. The significance of this is that to God the Sabbath was rest after work, but to man it was rest first and then work.
2. God first worked for six days and then rested on the seventh day; man rested on his first day and then began to work.
3. Man's first day being a day of rest established a divine principle: God first supplies us with enjoyment, and then we work together with Him—1 Cor. 15:10; 3:9a, 10; 2 Cor. 6:1.
C. The principle of the Sabbath applies not only in creation but also in redemption; the result of Christ's work in redemption is Christ Himself as the Sabbath—Eph. 1:6-7; Heb. 1:3; 9:11-12.
D. The principal denotation of all the annual feasts is for God's people to enjoy rest with God and with one another—Lev. 23:7-8, 21, 25, 28, 31-32, 35-36, 39:
1. Rest is thus the denotation of the seven annual feasts; every annual feast, like the weekly rest, was a rest.
2. The weekly rest lays the foundation for God's people to keep the holy feasts with God annually.
E. The weekly Sabbath was a complete, solemn rest; this complete rest signifies a genuine and thorough rest with God for God's redeemed people to enjoy with Him and with one another—v. 3.
F. This Sabbath, this rest, was "to Jehovah," signifying a rest for God's joy and enjoyment, participated in by His redeemed people—v. 3.
III. There were seven annual feasts—vv. 4-44:
A. Seven is the number of fullness, signifying that the seven annual feasts were in the fullness of God's riches.
B. Christ is the reality of the Sabbath and of all the annual feasts—Col. 2:16-17.
IV. The Feast of the Passover is in the first month of the year, that is, the beginning of a course—Lev. 23:4-5:
A. This signifies Christ as our redemption to begin our enjoyment of God's salvation with God—v. 5:
1. The Passover, the first feast of all the annual feasts ordained by God for His people, typifies that Christ is the beginning of our enjoyment of Him that originates our Christian life—1 Cor. 5:7-8.
2. The entire Christian life should be such a feast—v. 8.
B. The Passover is in the denotation of a passing over—Exo. 12:
1. This signifies that the judging God has passed over us, the sinners who are in our sins, so that we may enjoy Him as our feast.
2. Today we have this feast, which is the redeeming God Himself, and we are enjoying Him for rest and for joy.
C. In the Passover, Christ is not only the Passover lamb but also the entire Passover—1 Cor. 5:7b:
1. In His perfect redemption through His death judicially and in His complete salvation by His life organically for the carrying out of God's eternal economy, Christ is the Feast of the Passover—vv. 7-8.
2. To be our Passover, He was sacrificed on the cross that we might be redeemed and reconciled to God.
3. Based upon Christ's redemption, we may enjoy Him as a feast before God:
a. In this feast no leaven is allowed to be present—v. 7a.
b. Sin and the redeeming Christ cannot go together.
D. The Feast of the Passover is a sign of God's full redemption, and this full redemption is the bringing of God's chosen people into the full enjoyment of Himself.
E. The Lord's table, which also is a feast, replaces and continues the Feast of the Passover—Luke 22:7-20:
1. Today in the church life we are attending the New Testament feast, but this feast will not be fulfilled completely until the feast in the coming kingdom—vv. 16, 18.
2. The Feast of the Passover is one feast in three stages: the Feast of the Passover, the feast at the Lord's table, and the feast in the kingdom.
V. The Feast of Unleavened Bread signifies Christ, who is without sin, for our enjoyment as a feast in a life apart from sin—Lev. 23:6-8; 2 Cor. 5:21:
A. Since the Feast of Unleavened Bread closely followed the Feast of the Passover, these two feasts should be considered together; the first feast—the Feast of the Passover—was the beginning, and the second feast—the Feast of Unleavened Bread—was the continuation—Lev. 23:5-6.
B. Keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Deut. 16:1-8) typifies the purging away of all sinful things through the enjoyment of Christ as the sinless life supply—Exo. 23:15:
1. No leaven was to be seen with the children of Israel; this signifies that we must deal with the sin of which we are conscious, with any sin that is manifested, that is seen—13:7; 12:19; 1 Cor. 5:7a; Heb. 12:1-2a:
a. To deal with manifested sin is to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
b. If we tolerate sin once it is exposed, we will lose the enjoyment of the fellowship of God's people—Exo. 12:19; 1 Cor. 5:13.
2. Christ is our unleavened bread, our sinless life supply of sincerity and truth, absolutely pure, without mixture, and full of reality—vv. 7-8:
a. The only way to eliminate sin is to daily eat Christ as the crucified, resurrected, and sinless life, signified by the unleavened bread.
b. The unleavened bread signifies the sinless Christ who is to be dispensed into us, His believers, as the unleavened (sinless) element; as the unleavened bread, Christ is the spiritual and divine food that makes us unleavened.
c. When we take Christ as our life—an unleavened life, a purifying life—this life purifies us—Col. 3:4; John 6:48, 57, 63.
3. As the unleavened bread, Christ is for us to live a pure church life—1 Cor. 5:7-8:
a. In the church there should be no leaven, which in the Bible signifies all negative things, such as wrong doctrines and practices, evil deeds, and sinful things.
b. We need to be a new lump (v. 7)—the church, composed of believers in their new nature.
C. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasting for seven days signifies the entire course of our Christian life—Lev. 23:8:
1. The course of our Christian life is a feast of unleavened bread, a feast without sin—1 Cor. 5:8.
2. We have been redeemed from sin, and now our Redeemer, who is without sin, is the feast for our entire life—2 Cor. 5:21.
3. Throughout the course of our Christian life, we should be enjoying rest, enjoying God, and enjoying our Redeemer.
D. Having a holy convocation on the first and last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with no work of labor, signifies that we enjoy Christ corporately without our human labor, from the first day until the last day of the course of our Christian life—Lev. 23:8.
E. The presenting of an offering by fire to Jehovah for seven days (a full course of time) signifies that we offer Christ as food to God continually through the full course of our Christian life—v. 8:
1. At the Lord's table we makea display to the entire universe that each day of the week we take Christ as our unleavened bread, as our life supply apart from sin, and that we come to the table with Him—1 Cor. 5:7-8.
2. Then we offer to God for His satisfaction the One whom we have been enjoying as our food—John 6:32-33, 48, 50-57.
 
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