The Good News - Home


The Seven Feasts of Israel


Part 1

by David A. DePra



God had afflicted Egypt with 9 plagues. Still, Pharaoh would not let Israel go. The final plague was to be the death of the first born of Egypt. This would finally break the power of Egypt. Israel would be free.


Egypt, in the Bible, always stands for the world, the realm of darkness, and bondage to sin. It speaks of the old nature which keeps us in bondage. Israel, in captivity, stands for the real person who God wants to save. Presently, he is captive to Egypt. There is no way out by his own strength.


Along this line, we find that in the first Passover there is a wonderful picture of God’s provision through the Blood of Jesus Christ. Christ, according to Paul, is our Passover lamb. "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." (I Cor. 5:7) John the Baptist announced Him as, "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1;29)

Just prior to that first Passover, God gave specific instructions to Moses as to what the children of Israel were to do to prepare for the first Passover. He said,


Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (Ex. 12:5-7)


So God is telling the children of Israel that each of their households must kill a lamb without blemish. They must take the Blood of the lamb and sprinkle or strike it on the two sides of the doorway, and on it’s top. Furthermore, they must EAT the lamb during that same night – the night during which the plague would come upon the land.


This Blood, and it alone, provided salvation that night for that household:


It is the LORD'S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Ex. 12:11-13)


What a picture of Christ, our Passover Lamb! But if we continue on and examine what is going on here, it gives us a greater dimension of knowledge as to the Truth of the Redemption.


First, note the reason as to why the Israelites had to kill the Lamb, and then apply the Blood. Ask: Was God confused as to who was an Israelite, or who was an Egyptian? Of course not. He knows everyone by name. Thus, we see here that it wasn’t being an Israelite that mattered at all. It was that you were under the Blood. It was, in fact, whether you put YOURSELF under the Blood by faith.


We do not see God saying to the Israelites, "Because I have chosen you, just sit tight. I’m going to come through and curse the Egyptians, and save you." No. Even though God had chosen the Israelites, and had destined them to freedom, they had to "come under the Blood," or they were going to suffer exactly the same fate as the Egyptians that night. They had to come "under the Blood" by believing God – and by "applying" that Blood to their houses.


This is clearly stated at least three times in God’s instructions. Being an Israelite was not what protected the Israelites! It was only if they were under the Blood that they were protected.


For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not permit the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Ex. 12:23)


Again – what would cause the Lord to "pass over" those households spared? The fact that they were children of Abraham? No. Only the Blood. God told them: "When I see the blood upon the lintel and the two side posits, the Lord will pass over the door, and not permit the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you." He also said earlier, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." It was clear that if any Israelite had not applied the Blood as God instructed, that they too would have been under the curse that night. In the Blood and only the Blood was salvation.


This is so important to understand. God choose the nation Israel before any of those people involved in the first Passover were born. They WERE God’s chosen people. But did the fact that they were "chosen of God" automatically save them? No. In fact, God tells them that despite the fact that they were chosen of God, that without the Blood, they would experience the same curse as the Egyptians.


What we see in this story is that God draws people to salvation, but that this alone does not insure it. They must believe and come under the Blood. God does not save, and then bring us to the Blood. He brings us to the Blood, and then we must believe and embrace it by faith, and then we are saved.


This progression is clearly described to the Israelites:


Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Ex. 12:21-23)


We start with the Israelites, the chosen people of God, who God was calling out of Egypt unto salvation. We start with ALL of them. Indeed, the Blood of a Lamb was to be shed for each and everyone of them. There were no exceptions. It was always God intention to save them ALL. He tells everyone of them to slay a lamb, and to keep it’s Blood.


Notice that once the lamb was slain, that it’s Blood was held in a BASIN – which can be likened to the covenant which God offers us through Christ. At that point, the death of the LAMB is finished. The Blood has been shed. But ask: Is that all there was to saving Israel that night? NO. Their salvation was fully paid for, and provided. But if they had stopped there, not a one of them would have been spared the curse!


Why? Because the Blood had not been applied. Only those who took the provision of the Blood with "a bunch of hyssop" and "sprinkled" or "applied" it to the sides and top of the doorway would be saved. Otherwise, despite the fact that the Lamb was slain for them, it would do them no good. Or, to put it in New Covenant terms, the Lamb IS slain, but unless we believe, His death will not save us!


Do you see that the slain Lamb was enough to save everyone that night – but that not a single person would have been saved without the Blood being applied by faith? The death of the Lamb was the only death necessary, and was fully sufficient to save all. But the death alone saved no one! Why? Because until the Blood was applied through the faith of the one being saved, it was a neutral thing – still in the basin.


Jesus Christ died for ALL the sin of ALL people. No one is excepted. And if not a single person ever believed it, or put their faith in His Blood, his death is nevertheless finished, and sufficient for the salvation of every person. But only those who actually believe and embrace what Christ has done can be saved! You must believe.


The fact that an Israelite who refused the Blood would have come under the curse of Egypt tells us that the Blood was no respecter of persons. Indeed, we might infer that any Egyptian household which had put faith in the Blood would have escaped the curse. It was the Blood which saved, and the faith which embraced that salvation. The nationality of the person was not at issue.


The Christian Calling


This begins to point us in the right direction with regard to our Christian calling. No man can come to Jesus, except the Father draw Him. (Jn. 6:44) The parallel here is that God called Israel solely by grace, and had shown them the Truth that night about how to be saved from the plague of death. God did that – and only God could do it.


But God did not save Israel that night by simply making sure the angel passed them over. Neither did He save them merely on the basis of the slain lamb. No. Israel themselves had to come under the Blood by faith. THAT was necessary, or else they would have come under the curse.


We do not see here a salvation given resulting in Israel coming under the Blood. No, for the possibility continued to exist of not coming under the Blood, and of not being spared. Rather, and as the NT teaches, we see a coming under the Blood, and the salvation being received upon that basis.


Clearly, the Father draws a person and does what no man can do: Bring him to see Jesus. Bring him to see the Lamb slain. But that person must come – by faith to the Blood. Just as the Israelites had the choice to put their faith in the Blood, or not to put their faith in the Blood, and had to act that faith out by applying the Blood, so must we make the choice to put our faith in the Blood.

There comes a point in the calling by grace where we SEE enough light to "come to Jesus." WE must do that by choice; by surrender. And if we don’t, our calling – as it could have been for any child of Israel that night – will mean nothing. We will have judgment instead.


Freedom Through Death


Death was coming that Passover night to those who dwelt in Egypt – death to ALL – as is symbolized by the death of the first-born. This death would NOT be a respecter of persons, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) But God offered His people a substitute – the Lamb. The Lamb would be slain. Those who would take the Blood and apply it in faith to their doorway would be spared – for they were coming under the Blood of the Lamb, and accepted His death for their own. God would honor their faith and "pass over" them.


Notice how – in a manner of speaking -- no one escaped death. It was just a matter of whether you were going to die for your own sins, or come under the death of the slain Lamb. Regardless, however, death was coming in one form or another that night. There would be no escape.


Those who came under the Blood of the Lamb were able to emerge the next day, free of what had enslaved them. The power of Egypt had been broken for Israel. The power of sin is broken for us.


Do you see how the only means by which God can solve the sin question is DEATH? God cannot fix Egypt, or rehabilitate it. No. Egypt must DIE. Then Israel is free.


Here we see that "our Egypt" – our old man of sin – must die. There is no reprieve and no pardon. He must die. But the "real us" – which is under the Blood – is saved. It is that which emerges the next morning, ready to come out of Egypt.


If we again picture ALL of this going on inside of US, we will see that our "outer man" – Egypt which is "outside" of the houses covered by Blood – must die; must have it’s power broken. But our inner man – the fundament of our being, long ago brought into captivity through sin – is safe inside, covered by the Blood. It is THAT part of us which is IN CHRIST – and which is saved.


Paul the apostle says all of this. He tells us that we – and by "we" I mean our old man in Adam – do not escape death because of the Lamb. No. Our "old man" isn’t inside, under the Blood. It is "outside" – of Egypt. Our old man, the "old we" -- MEETS death – is crucified in Christ. But because of that, our new man is set free from sin.


Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)


So if you understand that YOU have an Egypt and an Israel, you realize that there is a part of you that must die: Your Egypt. There is NO reprieve for your Egypt, for it is only through the death of your Egypt, that your Israel can be set free.


What we see here is that the Blood of the Lamb is your salvation. But so is the destroyer. The destroyer puts to death all that must die for you to be free. The destroyer puts to death all that stands between you and God. But the Blood preserves the real you -- unto a resurrection this next morning.


For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Rom. 5:10)


Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:8-11)


The Door


The Blood of the Lamb was to be applied to the sides and the top of the doorway. This "barred" the destroyer from coming into the house. But notice: The blood was not to be applied to the floor part of the doorway. Why? For in one sense, it would seem appropriate to apply the Blood to the floor, since it would be an even greater barrier through which no one dared to pass.


But this is really the whole point. The floor part of the doorway being left open was symbolic of the fact that those inside were there by choice. They were not prisoners – held in by the Blood. They had put their faith in the Blood, and had come under it’s protection. But they could walk out into the open air anytime they wanted – although doing so would have subjected them to the curse of that Passover night.


Here we see the freedom, and free-will aspect of the Redemption. God shows us we must come under the Blood. But we must, by faith, come under it. Once we do, we are not prisoners. We are those who learn that coming under the Blood is everything we ever wanted.


God tells us that the only thing necessary for salvation is to come to Jesus – included in which is our repentance of not coming to Jesus. Coming to Jesus is the one thing WE must do, and the only thing we CAN do. God does the rest. He draws us to Christ, shows us Christ, presents us to Christ. He makes us to understand the Truth, and gives us the grace to grasp what we need to know. But we must make that choice of faith. God will not do that for us.


Yet once we do make that choice and come to Jesus – come under His Blood – God does not lock us in. He knows that once we come to Jesus, we will begin to experience Jesus, and will fall in love with Him. Thus, He is free to leave the door open.


Trodden Under Foot?


There is yet another symbolism in leaving the floor of the doorway free of the Blood: So that none may TROD THE BLOOD UNDERFOOT. We see this in Hebrews:


For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10:26-29)


When the writer of Hebrews speaks of those who "sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the Truth," he is not talking about losing one’s salvation. Neither is he saying that if we ever sin, knowing we shouldn’t, that we are doomed. All of us would be doomed in that case.


When the writer speaks of sin, he is speaking of THE SIN which he is about to describe – the sin of trampling underfoot the Son of God. This is clear from reading the above passage as a whole. THE SIN which will doom us, if we willfully commit it after seeing the Truth, it to trample underfoot the Son of God, and the blood of the Covenant.


The writer of Hebrews isn’t talking about a saved person who loses salvation. He is talking about someone who receives the knowledge of the Truth, but nevertheless goes ahead and tramples it underfoot. In other words, they don’t lose salvation – they refuse to be saved. And it is willful. They know what they are doing.


So if we want to discover as to why the floor area of the doorway was not sprinkled with Blood, we now know that it can’t be because God was making it impossible to trample under foot His Son. No, because Hebrews is telling us that it IS possible to see the Truth, and refuse it. So how could one trample underfoot the grace of God, if the Blood was not applied to the floor area? Simple. You could trample the Blood under foot BY applying it to the floor, against the commands of God.


Herein we see THE SIN. THE SIN is to know the Lamb is slain. To have access to the Blood – in the basin. But then, out of sheer irreverence for the Blood, to put it on the floor so that it might be walked upon.


Do we see the terrible picture of possible if the floor was stained with Blood? The Israelites would spend the night in the house, under the Blood, eating the Lamb. Then, in the morning of deliverance out of Egypt, they would leave the house, but trample upon the Blood. This would show that despite seeming to be under the Blood, they gave it no reverence. They not only disobeyed God’s command with regard to the Blood, but they then trampled upon it.


There are those who, seeing the Truth, choose to refuse it, in favor of something else. There is nothing left to offer them. How could there be? Christ paid everything and offered it free of charge. That is why there is, for them, no longer any sacrifice for sin. They have rejected the only One there is.


Eating the Passover


You will remember that the Passover included more than just applying the Blood to the doorposts, and waiting out the night.


And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S Passover. (Exodus 12:8-11)


The people were told to EAT the lamb. In other words, take the Lamb "into yourselves." You will be taking into yourself the Lamb Himself which provided the sacrifice which saved you.


To "eat the Lamb" is explained by Jesus Himself. He said:


Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:53-57)


To eat of Jesus means to live BY Him. It means, having died in Him, to now be raised through Him – as symbolized by the energizing food. And again: The Israelites had to do this. They had to eat the Lamb. What it provided was not given to them unless they ate of it.


There were other characteristics of this Passover meal. First, there was to be NOTHING left over until morning. In other words, we are to take ALL of Christ, not just some of Him. And the Lamb was to be eaten overnight, leaving none till morning. This shows a complete and finished work – through the death of the night, into the resurrection of the morning.


Jesus has given all of Himself for us, that we might have life. But just as the Israelites who came under the Blood, once under the Blood, had to eat all of the Lamb during the time the destroyer was passing them over, so must we. Again – we can do nothing to save ourselves. But we are told to receive it by faith.


The Israelites were told to eat the Lamb with bitter herbs – which is symbolic of the fact that we must repentance of everything for which the Lamb has died. We swallow that bitter pill even as we are eating of the Lamb. The two go together.


In addition to eating the Lamb with bitter herbs, the Israelites were to eat the Passover meal dressed to depart from Egypt. This "departing posture" is to show our desire to forsake sin and no longer belong to Egypt. Imagine eating the Passover, comfortable and at ease! No. We eat it as the means of our deliverance – and because we want freedom from sin.


Stranger and Foreigners


Israel was God’s chosen, but God wanted to foreshadow the fact that salvation would be open to ALL people, not only to a select few. God would later made it clear to Israel that, "There shall be no stranger to eat thereof," of the Passover. (Ex. 12:43) Strangers were always Gentiles, or those not of Israel. But then God would go on to qualify His remarks. Strangers COULD eat of the Passover – but only if circumcised. He said:


And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.


And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourned among you. (Ex. 12:43-48)


Here we see that, in the final analysis, the qualification for keeping the Passover was NOT that you were a child of Abraham. No. It was that you became circumcised. Thus, even those who were strangers could eat of it once circumcised. For God said, "ONE law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourns among you."


There is a direct parallel to this in the New Testament. Up to that time, it was unthinkable that salvation could be offered to the Gentiles. The Jews thought it only offered to God’s chosen -- Israel. But Jewish Christians came to see that God’s chosen were not only the Jews, but anyone who would come to Jesus – in other words, those circumcised spiritually.


Paul writes:


For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Rom. 2:27-28)


For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:26-29)


Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (Eph. 2:19)


The message here is clear. You become a spiritual child of Abraham through the new birth – through the "cutting off" of the flesh – and then through the resurrection in Christ. You are NOT a child of Abraham before that, nor can you become one any other way.


Strangers could come under the Old Covenant, and thus take of the Passover, by being circumcised. But before this, there were never considered chosen of God. We know this is what God meant, because in the New Testament, those in the early church who did not understand the Truth, were demanding that Gentiles converts to Christianity be circumcised. They did not believe they were saved solely by faith in Christ, and therefore made spiritual Jews – to the complete disregard of circumcision.


In this we see that God has offered salvation to all. But in order to receive it, you must believe. You must take the Blood and come under it. You must allow your flesh to be "cut off." This is not restricted to a certain few. You do not become circumcised because you are OF the chosen. You become circumcised to be among the chosen. Not only is salvation NOW open to all – both Jew and Gentile – but we see that God had already deposited this great Truth right from the beginnings of His dealings with Israel. ANYONE could come and enter into the Covenant with God. They needed only to be circumcised to eat of the Passover.


God illustrated this right from the beginning. We see it in the fact that Israel had to come under the Blood, or the destroyer would have visited them – even if they were God’s chosen people. And we see it in the fact that someone who was NOT of Israel could become circumcised and take of the Passover. God is showing us that salvation is not only open to all, but that it can be refused by those to whom Jesus is revealed.


We see this Truth, that salvation is now open to all, without restriction, even more clearly taught in the New Testament. Paul is able to tell the Corinthians, who were Gentiles, that salvation is now open to them as well. Indeed, he is able to say to them:


For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (I Cor. 5:7-8)


The Passover Lamb has been slain for all. God now beckons all to become a child of Abraham, by faith in Jesus Christ. Through the spiritual circumcision of the Cross, we have "cut off" the power of sin; the power of the old man. We come under the Blood of the true Passover Lamb.


In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (Col. 2:11)


All of that speaks of the death of the OLD. We come under the Blood by faith in the Blood, and are "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands." But because of that DEATH, we are able to be born again unto newness of life through the resurrection. We are then born into the New Covenant a brand new circumcised baby, a child of Abraham, a spiritual Jew, through Jesus Christ.


The Destroyer and Freedom


And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. (Ex. 12:29-30)


To slay all the first born, in those days, meant to cut off all inheritance. Symbolically, it meant to cut off the natural lineage. By this we see God picturing the death of the old heredity in Adam. It is cut off, and can no longer keep those under the Blood in bondage.


We see through this that when everything was said and done, nothing could set Israel free short of death. Simply plaguing Egypt and Pharaoh would not do. There must come a death in order for those under the Blood to be set free.


The reaction of Egypt was swift. The Egyptians "were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste." (Ex. 12:33) Indeed, it was at this time that the Israelites asked of the Egyptians jewels and silver and gold. They gave them gladly, as one might suppose they were willing to do anything to speed them on their way.


Remarkably, when it came time to build the tabernacle, God would command that the Israelites give offerings of this same wealth to built it. The only wealth slaves could have had was this same wealth they had asked of the Egyptians the night of Passover. It would be this gold, silver, etc., that would eventually be used to build the tabernacle.


What are we being shown by this? Well, for one thing, it shows that when you forsake all to follow the Lord, God will see to it that you have what you need. Furthermore, it also shows that there are many aspects of the old life – as symbolized by the wealth of Egypt – that God can take and sanctify to His glory. God does not despise good things. He does not despise wealth or beauty. It is when it is used apart from Him that it becomes a bad thing. God is well able to take everything about us, even the talents and wealth of the old life, and use them if we will surrender them to Him.


There is much irony here. The Egyptians who had enslaved Israel, were now begging them to go. The Egyptians who had become rich by making Israel work for nothing, were now paying them, not to work, but to LEAVE. Israel was not leaving Egypt as fugitives, even though Pharaoh would later pursue. They weren’t even leaving as those who had gotten that concession from Egypt. They were practically being thrown out of Egypt, and given great wealth for their trouble.


Israel was never called to reform Egypt. They were called out of Egypt into a new life. And God had such a victory, that even Egypt wanted Israel to leave. Indeed, we are told that they were "thrust out of Egypt." (Ex. 12:39) What seemed so impossible not many months earlier was now happening.


Lamb of God


We have already read how Jesus is our Passover Lamb. There are many other places in scripture where Jesus is pictured as THE Passover Lamb. For instance, John the Baptist referred to Christ in this role when he "announced" Him as the Savior of the world:


The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)


Note how Jesus did not take away the "punishment" of the world. No. He took away the sin of the world because He took those sins upon Himself. This is fundamental to our understanding. Unless we see that Jesus actually took SIN away, and broke it’s power in our lives, we will never see that we have freedom NOT to sin.


The Week Jesus Was Crucified


Jesus was, of course, crucified at exactly the time the Passover Lamb was to be slain. Furthermore, Jesus was raised from the dead on the feast of First Fruits, three days later. And of course, He died and was raised to set us free from sin and make us alive to God, as is pictured by the Days of Unleavened Bread (UB).


That historical "Holy Week" is displayed below as it likely fell the week Jesus died as our Passover Lamb. Keep in mind that the days began and ended at sunset:




Most People



10th Nisan

Passover lambs brought in to homes. (Palm "Sunday")

Jesus entered Jerusalem from Mount of Olives.


11th Nisan


12th Nisan


13th Nisan  

Preparation for Passover

Tuesday night

13th Nisan  

Celebrates LAST SUPPER with disciples, then is betrayed and arrested.  


14th Nisan

Jesus tried and sentenced to death.

Wednesday night

14th – 15th of Nisan Passover begins.

Passover lambs slaughtered in Temple 9am  to  3pm. Official Passover meal.

Jesus crucified 9am and dies 3pm. Jesus buried before sunset.


15th Nisan

Special Sabbath  - HIGH Holy Day. (1st Day of UB)

Jesus rested


16th Nisan

2nd Day of Unleavened Bread

Jesus rested


17th Nisan

Weekly Sabbath – 3rd day of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus rested

Saturday night - begins First Day

17th -- 18th Nisan


Jesus resurrected


18th Nisan

 Feast of First fruits

4th Day of Unleavened Bread

Empty tomb discovered and Jesus seen by Mary in the garden.


19th Nisan

5th Day of UB



20th Nisan

6th Day of UB



21st Nisan

Special Sabbath  - HIGH Holy Day. (7th Day of UB)




In order to make the commands of God as to when to get the Passover Lamb (10th day of month), and when to kill it (the evening or at the end of the 14th day), fit the events as recorded in the gospels, we must put aside some of the traditional assumptions. Here we see the likelihood that "Palm Sunday" was a Saturday, for John says that it was 5 days before Passover. (see John 12:1 and 12:12) Jesus was also likely crucified on that Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. This preserves the three days and three nights between His crucifixion and the Sunday He was raised.


Note that "the Sabbath" which, in the gospels, is said to be the next day AFTER the crucifixion, was likely not a Saturday, but the first day of Unleavened Bread, which was always a special Sabbath. John verifies that the day after the crucifixion is a holy day, and not the weekly Sabbath, by calling it "an High Day," (Jn. 19:31) which was a term never used for the weekly Sabbath, but only for a holy day Sabbath. It is remarkable that this fact is lost on most who assume that Friday had to be the day of the crucifixion because the next day is said to be "the Sabbath!"


Note also that "The Last Supper" must have been a Passover meal eaten the night before the "official" Passover meal was eaten. Jesus died AS the Passover Lamb at the exact time the "official" Passover Lamb was to be slain. He therefore could not have been eating the "official" Passover Lamb the night before He was slain. In short, Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples, but did it a night early. According to tradition, this was acceptable to do in some cases.


Incidentally, to argue over these days is unnecessary. It is better to focus on Christ. Getting the days right helps in that it shows us how Christ not only fulfilled the meaning of the days, but did so on the days themselves.


The following shows a typical year and how the spring feast days fell:


Wednesday  Thursday Friday   Saturday Sunday      Monday Tuesday


(in evening)

1st Day of Unleavened Bread



Feast of First Fruits



7th Day of Unleavened Bread








Days of Unleavened Bread


The Passover was celebrated at sunset and during the rest of the evening -- as the 14th of Nisan ended. (The days ended and began at sunset.) The 15th, which began at that same sunset, was the first day of Unleavened Bread. The feast of Unleavened Bread lasted seven days. The first day of Unleavened Bread, and the last day, were High Holy Day Sabbaths. An High Day Sabbath is to be distinguished from the weekly Sabbath, which always fell on Saturday. An High Holy Day Sabbath could fall on any day of the week, depending on when the annual Holy Days fell in a given year.


The relationship between the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread – as far as the days go – is significant. The Passover stands for the death of Christ. The feast of Unleavened Bread stands for what His death did: Set us free from sin. Unleavened bread begins with the Passover meal itself.


Most places in the Bible, leaven stands for SIN. (There are a couple of places where it doesn’t stand for sin.) During the days of unleavened bread, God said Israel must eat no leaven, or have it in any of their dwelling places.


Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. (Ex. 13:6-9)


And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (Lev 23:6-8)


Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor 5:6-8)


Feast of First Fruits


The feast of first fruits was always the Sunday during the days of Unleavened Bread. It marked the beginning of the harvest season – the first season being the barley harvest. On that day the priest was to "wave" the first fruits of that harvest unto God. This resulted in a blessing upon the entire harvest.


Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a male lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savor: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (Lev 23:10-14)


Jesus was raised from the dead on the very day of First Fruits. He was THE first fruits of those risen from the dead.


But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (I Cor. 15:20-23)


As the first of those risen from the dead, Jesus was also THE "wave sheaf" which inaugurated the great harvest of the Lord.


And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. (John 12:23-24)


Jesus was the corn, or seed, which fell into the ground and died. Because He did, much fruit is brought forth – namely US. In effect, first fruits leads us directly into the next harvest season – Pentecost.




Pentecost is the only annual feast that is not grouped with any others. It occurred fifty days after the day of first fruits, and about a hundred and twenty days before the feast of trumpets. It is sometimes called a "feast of first fruits" – in addition to the actual day, fifty days before, which goes by that name. In Israel’s harvest season, this feast day coincided with the beginning of the wheat or grain harvest. Pentecost was unique in a number of other ways as well:


From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, (which was the feast of first fruits, the day Christ was raised) count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of a fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of first fruits to the Lord. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the first fruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live" (Leviticus 23:15–21).


Central to the offerings on Pentecost were the TWO LOAVES. These loaves were not a type of Christ, since they were to be baked with yeast, or leaven. Rather, they stood for the fact that within the fulfillment of Pentecost, there would be TWO groups: Jews and Gentiles. The leaven shows that both are imperfect, but nevertheless accepted by the Lord, on the basis of the accompanying blood sacrifices, which do stand for Christ.


Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Eph 2:11-22)


We see in this that God always intended to offer salvation to all. In the Bible, we here only about TWO groups – Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were God’s original chosen people – His original "elect." The Gentiles were excluded. But after Christ, we never hear about anyone being excluded from the "elect." We hear only about "the elect" -- that BOTH Jew and Gentile are elected.


If God had a "new elect" group, into which only a few were invited, we must imagine that it could be comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. But if that were the case, we might expect to see ONE loaf – or a piece of each of two loaves being offered. But instead, we see two whole loaves. This is a clear indication that ALL Jews and ALL Gentiles are invited unto salvation.


The Bible calls believers "first fruits:"


Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)


These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Rev. 14:4)


Pentecost is often referred to as a harvest of first fruits. This often causes some confusion with the actual feast day of First Fruits. Part of the reason for the confusion is that in the Jewish mind, Pentecost "begins" after that day of First Fruits, on which Christ was raised. So the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, is actually the culmination of the whole season.


What this means is that Christ is THE first fruits, and completely fulfills the feast of First Fruits. Believers are first fruits as the term applies to the Pentecostal wheat harvest.


Just as Christ both historically and spiritually fulfilled the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and the day of First Fruits, so does Pentecost find fulfillment in the New Testament. We read in Acts:


And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)


The OT day of Pentecost marked the BEGINNING of the wheat harvest. So many times in scripture Jesus uses the picture of not only a harvest, but a WHEAT harvest, to talk about saved souls. Pentecost pictures God’s harvesting of souls during this church age. Pentecost is the INGATHERING of those God has called, in this age, to be part of His Body.


The Good News - Home

Hit Counter