Chag HaBikkurim

This year the traditional Easter festival and the Jewish festival of Chag Habikkurim (The feast of first fruits) fall exactly on the same day (16.04.2017). This phenomenon is not just a coincidence but it is a clear indication that the day of COMING of our Messiah is fast approaching and He is standing at the threshold. The Passover (Pesach) is usually observed in the 14th of the month of Nissan(Jewish calendar). Subsequent 7 days are the days of the feast of Unleaven bread. If the first day of the week, Yom Rishon Sunday comes on one of these 7 days it is observed as the feast of first fruits. The Passover is observed to commemorate a historical event in which the sons of Israel were brought out of Egypt by the mighty power and the stretched out arms of the Lord God. (Duet: 9: 29). Immediately after the night in which the Pesach is observed, the feast of unleaven bread starts and it is observed. The children of Israel came out of Egypt in a hurried manner and they could not wait for the dough to get fermented to prepare the proper bread. Hence they were commanded to eat Matza bread (unleaven bread) which was prepared without adding yeast or leaven. It has been scientifically proved that if a man eats unleaven bread for 7 days continuously then the toxins in his body gets slowly excreted. Thus the human body becomes immune and protected against the diseases and infections.

Pesach traditionally signifies bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt by the mighty power of Lord God. But from the Messianic point of view Egypt is symbolic to SIN within us. Hence the observance of the feast of Unleaven Bread teaches us that it is not enough for the people to get out of Egypt and they should also get rid of the Egypt within them. Egypt within is symbolic to the ‘sin’ or sinful nature of man. The sacrifice of Pesach lamb represents Jesus Christ the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.(John 1: 29). While the feast of Unleaven Bread is symbolic to the burial of Jesus Christ, the feast of first fruits signifies His resurrection. “But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep.” (I Cor: 15: 20). And also the phrase, “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” in the verse Rev: 13: 8 clearly depicts the fact that Jesus Christ is the lamb of God slain even before the foundations of heaven and earth were laid. The sacrifices described in Leviticus chapters 1 to 5 are not merely rituals but they are the fore shadows to understand the living sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But for these sacrifices offered by Jewish community the living sacrifice of Jesus Christ could not have been comprehensible to the mankind. For example the observance of Holy Communion was derived from the ‘Peace offering’ performed in those days. This is the only offering in which the person who offers could eat the flesh of the animal sacrificed.
Thus the Holy Communion is akin to ‘Eating with God.’

The Hebrew word ‘asham’ is a verb meaning to be guilty or to do wrong. The guilt is usually described as the product of ‘sin’. Mostly the sin is
related to the thinking process and the guilt is the sin put into action. Hence the trespass or the transgression is the outcome of sin. 

If a person offers ‘guilt offering’ the people around him may come to know that he has committed an outward sin, guilt or transgression punishable under law.Even in the olden days man hesitated to offer guilt offering for the fear of being exposed to the public. But Jesus Christ never hesitated to offer Himself as “guilt Offering” for the sins and transgressions of the world. Prophet Isaiah has beautifully quoted this in the following verse;
“Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring,
He shall prolong His days.”(Isaiah 53: 10) Global Study Bible.

If we meditate on the word of God from the book of Genesis, we can declare that Jesus Christ died even for the sin of Adam. Let us turn to the
book the Genesis chapter 3. The craftiness of the serpent was so obvious that it can be construed from the way he started his conversation
with Eve. “He said to the woman, “Did God actually say you shall not of any of the tree in the garden?” This is the trick of the devil to make
the woman to disclose the fact from her own mouth. And woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruits of the trees in the garden and you
shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”

Here comes the first lie from the mouth of the devil. But the serpent said to the woman,”You will not surely die.” This first LIE is the root cause
of the sin of disobedience of Eve and thereafter of Adam. When they ate forbidden fruit the eyes of both were opened. They felt they were
naked. And they sewed fig 
leaves together and made themselves loincloths. The loincloths made out of fig leaves was not a permanent
solution to cover their nakedness. As the time passed by, the fig leaves got dried up and started shrinking and their nakedness was exposed
once again.

Lord God called the man and said to him, “Adam, How are you?” (This is how we read from the original Hebrew text.) Because Lord knew
where Adam was. Adam replied, “Because I was naked, I hid myself”. Lord God was pleased to hear this kind of confession from him.
And He made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin and clothed them. An animal was needed to be killed for the preparation of
skin garments. This first sacrifice was also symbolic to living sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Skin garment was durable and it was a permanent
solution to cover their nakedness..

What we learn from this scenario is valid truth. Our own efforts to save ourselves will never be successful.
Lord God can only save us and cleanse our sins.

Shalom.