Class Notes: 4/12/2009
Resurrection Sunday corresponds to the Wave Sheaf Offering Lev 23:9-14
Since we are in the Easter Season that started with the vernal equinox on March 20 that was followed by the new moon on March 26, for the past several weeks we have been studying the Jewish Calendar and Holy Days that are Regulated by the Moon and Stars that are used to determine the time of our Lord's crucifixion, burial, and his resurrection that we celebrate on Resurrection Sunday that is aka Easter.
We have seen that the Spring Feasts that relate to the First Advent of TLJC are:
Passover (Pesach): Nisan 14, This year is on Wednesday (April 8, 2009) (the crucifixion of TLJC)
Unleavened Bread: Nisan 15. This year is on Thursday (April 9, 2009)
First Fruits: Nisan 18. This year is on Sunday (April 12, 2009) (the celebration of the resurrection of TLJC)
Pentecost (Shabuoth): Sivan 6, This year on Sunday (May 31, 2009) (The Holy Spirit was sent, beginning the Church age)
Picking up where we left off last time where we left off at the Wave Sheaf offering that was the Jewish observance that occurred on the First Day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that correlates with our Lord's Resurrection on Resurrection Sunday. -
We have seen that all of the Feasts given to Israel are found in Lev 23. This one is described in Lev 23:9-14;
v 9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
v 10 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.
v 11 ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
v 12 ‘Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the Lord.
v 13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the Lord for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.
v 14 ‘Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
God decreed that the first fruits of all agricultural produce belonged to Him. This included all seven major crops of the land of Israel that were barley, wheat, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. Also included was the firstborn male of all animals and It even included the firstborn male children of the people Israel.
Exod 13:2; "Sanctify to Me (set apart for special service to God) every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel … it belongs to Me."
Numbers 18:15-16; (the Lord addressing Aaron, the high priest) "Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours (the priesthood); nevertheless the first-born of man you shall surely redeem …
v16 "And as to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver …"
At the age of one month, every firstborn male was to be presented to the priest. This child was to be dedicated to the service of the Lord for his entire lifetime. However, the child could be bought out of service with the redemptive offering of five pieces of silver.
The lesson behind this is expressed in: Num 3:13; "For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel. They shall be Mine; I am the Lord."
Jesus Christ's parents kept this mandate of the Law when the Lord was one month old according to:
Luke 2:22; And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
v. 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord").
This was a form of "first fruits" that was incorporated into the Mosaic Law. But there was also a Feast of First Fruits that was to be observed annually during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was observed on the Day after the 7th Day Sabbath that occurred during the Days of Unleavened bread.
This causes the event to always occur on the first day of the week and it therefore aligns with the day that TLJC was resurrected that we now refer to as Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday.
The idea was that the "first issue" of any particular blessing from the Lord was considered sanctified and was to be brought to Him as an offering.
The "first issue" emphasized in the Feast of First Fruits is the first ripened grain that as we have seen indicated the beginning of "the Abib" or the barley harvest in Israel.
Jesus Christ described Himself as the "Bread of life," a reference to the fact that He was the source of all true spiritual nourishment.
In fact, the five loves of bread that were the objects of His miracle of feeding the five thousand and the four thousand were barley loaves. The miracle was designed to teach the principle that the Lord is an inexhaustible source of provision to those who put their faith and trust in Him.
The typology of the Feast of First Fruits identifies the first sheaves of barley with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose impeccable human body is transformed into a resurrection body.
His resurrection is the first in a harvest that will by the beginning of his millennial kingdom total an unknown number of souls that have believed in Him for eternal life.
In the days of Solomon's, Zerubbabel's, and Herod's temples, preparation for the observance of First Fruits in Jerusalem began several days before Passover.
Representatives of the Sanhedrin would mark and bundle specially marked sheaves in the Temple's barley field located across the Kidron in Ashes Valley at the base of the Mount of Olives.
This barley field was cultivated according to rabbinic traditions; their constant oversight guaranteed that the crop was grown naturally so there was no artificial watering or fertilization.
As sundown approached on the Sabbath day that occurred during the annual Feast of Unleavened bread, three representatives from the Sanhedrin would leave the Temple, each taking with him a sickle and a basket. They would cross the Kidron over to the previously marked sheaves in the barley field.
Precisely at sundown (on the first day of the week that was the exact time of our Lord's resurrection) they would reap the sheaves until they had accumulated two-thirds of a bushel, equal in Hebrew standards to one ephah, and then take the sheaves back to the Temple. This was the national First-Fruits offering.
Citizens of Israel would also bring their own baskets containing an omer, or about five pints of barley to the priests at the Temple. The priest would place his hand under the basket and slowly wave it before the Lord while the one bringing the offering would recite:
Deut 26:9; "The Lord has brought us to this place, and he has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
v. 10 "And now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord have given me."
The offering of First Fruits served as a guarantee that the remainder of the harvest would be realized in the days that followed.
As a type it pointed toward the resurrection of Messiah Who will be the first Person in the human race to be resurrected.
Since the wave offering at First Fruits was a guarantee of the future harvest of the barley crop, so also it was a type for the guarantee of the harvest of believers into resurrection bodies.
There is a specific order to the resurrections in human history. Paul referred to Jesus Christ as the first fruits of our resurrection in:
1Cor 15:20; Christ has been raised from the dead (resurrection), the first fruits (guarantee of a resurrection harvest) of those who are asleep (believers who are physically dead).
1Cor 15:21; For since by a man (Adam), came (physical) death, by a man (Jesus Christ) also came the resurrection of the (physically) dead.
v. 22 For as in Adam all die (spiritual death resulting in physical death), so also in Christ (baptism of the Holy Spirit: current positional truth) all shall be made alive (eternal life resulting in resurrection).
v. 23 But each in his own order (there is a protocol for resurrections): Christ the first fruits (guarantee of resurrection harvests), after that (next in the order of resurrections) those who are Christ's (the rapture of Church Age believers) at His coming (the Church returns with Christ at the Second Advent when Old Testament believers and Tribulational martyrs are resurrected),
v. 24 then comes the end (of the millennium), when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father (the eternal state), when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power (victory in the Gog-Magog rebellion).
v. 25 For He must reign (1,000 years) until He has put all His enemies under His feet (victory in the appeal trial of Satan).
v. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death (end of time and of procreation in the human race).
Jesus Christ is the first human being to be resurrected. He, therefore, is the First Fruits of all future resurrections, a series of harvests that will occur at the conclusion of this and all future dispensations.
In the agricultural economy of Israel the offering of First Fruits was a salute to the undiminished love of God.
The offering of First Fruits was an act of reciprocity. It showed awareness of the fact that Israel's annual supply of food came from the love and grace of God.
God, in turn, guaranteed a harvest at the end of the growing season. However, if the Feast of First Fruits was not kept it indicated national reversionism and brought about discipline by the reduction of or the withholding of the harvest.
This indicates that the Israelites keeping of their Sabbaths is what determined the kind of weather they had in Israel. This principle is shown in the following passages:
Col 1:16; For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created (The Greek word " ktizo" that means to create out of nothing, all that exists), both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things (ta panta) have been created by Him and for Him.
v 17 He is before all things (eternity past before the creation) and in Him all things (matter, energy, time, and space) hold together (laws of physics).
Rev 2:23b; "… I am He who constantly inventories the emotions and the stream of consciousness, and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds."
Rev 7:1; I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind should blow on the earth, sea, or any tree.
v. 2 I saw another angel ascending from the rising sun, having the seal of the living God; and he commanded with a loud voice to the four weather angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
v. 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads."
This concept is communicated in the Mosaic Law with regard to the Lord's mandate for keeping the Sabbaths, First Fruits being one of the seven major festival Sabbaths among many others.
Lev 26:2; "You shall keep My sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am the Lord.
v. 3 "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out,
v. 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.
v. 5 "Indeed your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land."
This passage guarantees a good harvest if the ritual plan of God including the First Fruits is kept, as a display of reciprocity for God's logistical grace support. Failure to observe the mandates would result in the withholding of the harvest:
Lev 26:14; "But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments,
v. 15 if, instead, you reject my statues, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant,
v. 16a I, in turn, will do this to you:
What follows is the warning of five cycles of discipline that will be inflicted upon client nation Israel if it should go into spiritual decline. Spiritual decline always results in psychological, cultural, economic, and military decline.
Israel had an agricultural economy, and a drought would damage or destroy crops and reduce or eliminate harvests. so, the second cycle of discipline has to do with economic disaster in an agricultural economy:
Lev 26:19; "I will break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.
v. 20; "And your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land shall not yield its produce and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit."
The Lord's resurrection is the First Fruits of all future resurrections which amount to harvests. The Lord illustrates this concept in the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matt 13:24-30; Matt 13:36-43;.
We have seen that Paul explains in 1Cor 15:20-26; that there are several "harvests" in what is classified in the Bible as the "First Resurrection."
The Resurrection of Christ is the first fruits of all future resurrections of believers.
Jesus Christ prophesied His own death, burial, and resurrection.
Matt 12:38; Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
v. 39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
v.40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The Lord references the experience of Jonah who was swallowed by a great fish and remained in his body for three days and three nights before being vomited upon the shore.
Jonah 1:17;The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah 2:10; Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.
We recently studied in Genesis 1:5 the Hebrew grammatical principles that enable the reader to distinguish between a literal twenty-four-hour day and a figurative day. Here are a couple of those principles and their sources:
The Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Vol. 2. Pages 526-528: regarding the Hebrew word ""yôm" that is translated as "day" and states the following:
In the Pentateuch's creation account its distinction between "day" and "night" is overlaid by the later seven-day pattern that enumerates the days of the week.
The book Creation, Chaos, & Restoration. by R. B Thieme Jr. on Page 16 states that:
When the word "yom", or "day," occurs in the Old Testament with a numeral, this grammatical construction always describes a twenty-four hour solar day.
Therefore our Lord's prophecy concerning His death, burial, and resurrection referenced the experience of Jonah's 72-hour voyage inside of the great fish and asserts that His burial will last for that very same period of time.
All four of the Gospels tell us that the women arrived at the Lord's tomb following the Sabbath (Saturday) just before dawn on the "first day of the week" (Sunday). Matt 28:1; Luke 24:1; Mark 16:2; and John 20:1;
If the Lord was in the tomb for three days and three nights, or 72-hours, then we can determine when he was crucified by counting backwards from Sunday, the day of the resurrection.
When calculating this, two things must be kept in mind:
First, our calendar days are divided into three parts: (1) six hours of darkness, from midnight to 6:00 a.m., (2) 12 hours of light, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and (3) six hours of darkness, from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.
Secondly, the Hebrew calendar days are divided into two parts: (1) twelve hours of darkness, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and (2) twelve hours of light from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Remember that the "first day of the week" on the Hebrew calendar starts at 6 o'clock on what we call Saturday night.
We can now discover the day of the crucifixion by counting backwards on a Hebrew lunar calendar for a period of 72 hours.
Day 3 is from sunset Saturday evening back to sunrise Saturday morning. Night 3 is from sunrise Saturday morning back to sunset Friday evening.
Day 2 is from sunset Friday evening back to sunrise Friday morning. Night 2 is from sunrise Friday morning back to sunset Thursday evening.
Day 1 is from sunset Thursday evening back to sunrise Thursday morning. Night 1 is from sunrise Thursday morning back to sunset Wednesday evening.
Consequently, the crucifixion began on Wednesday morning and ended Wednesday afternoon. Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross at 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25;) The imputation and judgment of our sins occurred between 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. (Luke 23:44;)
The Lord died physical death shortly thereafter as described in John 19:30; His body was taken down and buried by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus just before sundown or slightly before 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday afternoon. (John 19:38-42;)
Constantly seeking to discredit Jesus as Messiah, the scribes and Pharisees were incessant in their attempts to catch Him in a violation of the Mosaic Law or the traditions of the Talmud.
They sought to have Him perform miracles calculating that if He could not His failure would disprove His claims to Messiahship. This is why they request a sign in:
Matt 12:38; Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."
v. 39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
v. 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
At some point after sunset on Saturday and midnight, Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. However, during those three days the true humanity of our Lord experienced a trichotomous separation of body, soul, and human spirit.
David wrote a Psalm about the physical death of the Messiah. In it he prophesied the separation of His soul to Hades and the burial of His body in the grave:
Psa 16:10; - You will not abandon my soul in Sheol, neither will you permit Your Holy One to undergo decay. The word " Sheol" is Hebrew and its original meaning was "the deep parts of the sea." The Greek equivalent is the noun " Hades".
They both refer to anything that is subterranean and large. They came to refer to the place where the dead of the human race and certain fallen angels reside during certain phases of the Invisible War.
David distinguishes between the soul which is in Sheol and the body which is in the grave. Prophetically David makes reference to the fact that the soul of Messiah will go to Paradise at physical death.
David understands that although his body will undergo decay, the body of the true humanity of Messiah will be buried but will not remain in the grave long enough to decay.
This is why it was necessary for the Lord's burial to last three days and three nights. The thinking of first-century Israel regarding the status of corpses was developed by the teachings of the Rabbis.
The Companion Bible by E. W Bullinger states the following regarding this: The Rabbis taught that the spirit wandered about for three days, seeking re-admission to the body, but abandoned it on the fourth day, as corruption began then.
If the body of Jesus had remained in the tomb for less than three days and three nights, critics would be able to assert that he never experienced physical death and simply revived.
If the Lord's body stayed in the grave longer than three days and three nights it would have decayed.
The three-day, three-night period affirms death and simultaneously fulfills the prophecy of David in Psa 16:10b; "…neither will you permit your Holy One to undergo decay."
David knows his body will enter the grave and decay. He is prophesying about the human body of Messiah.
Peter uses David's quote as an illustration to confirm the resurrection of Jesus in:
Acts 2:24; - "God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him,
v. 27 - 'You will not abandon my soul to Hades (Paradise compartment), nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay (resurrection after 3 days and 3 nights).'"
Paul also quotes David during his exhortation before the officials in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch:
Acts 13:30; "God raised Him from the dead;
v. 31 and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people.
v. 32 "And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,
v. 33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, "'You are My Son; today I have begotten You.'
v. 35 "Therefore, he also says in another Psalm, 'You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.'
v. 36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers, and underwent decay;
v. 37 but He whom God raised did not undergo decay."
At physical death the soul of our Lord entered into the Paradise compartment of Hades, joining the souls of all Old Testament believers who were already there.
This would also have included those who died during the Incarnation including John the Baptist, Lazarus, the thief on the cross.
At His physical death, the Lord's soul arrived in the presence of these believers whose souls and human spirits were waiting to be transferred from Paradise into heaven.
This transfer had been on hold awaiting the resurrection of Jesus Christ who would personally escort them into heaven.
Upon his arrival in Paradise, the Lord organized this transfer which took place at His ascension some forty days later.
There are quite a number of things that took place during the three days and three nights while the Lord's soul is in Hades. During that time He instructed all believers gathered in Paradise about the events that would take place over the next 40 days.
We will look at the sequence of events that occurred and then study them in chronological order:
The Lord informs all believers that following His resurrection they will become qualified to execute a permanent change of station from Paradise to Heaven.
This transfer will take place at His ascension in exactly 40 days.
Following His resurrection in three days, some of them will be resuscitated in order to testify to this upcoming transfer throughout the city of Jerusalem.
He will go to the compartment of Tartarus to deliver a victorious proclamation to the imprisoned demons who were incarcerated there because of their violation of the rules of engagement in the Invisible war these demons were court marshaled and withdrawn from active participation in it. One of the main causes of this incarceration was the their sexual assault on the line of Christ during the ante-deluvian period as described in Genesis 6.
At the conclusion of the third day, Jesus Christ is resurrected, His soul returned to the tomb by the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit and His human spirit returned to the tomb by the omnipotence of God the Father.
Immediately following the resurrection the souls and human spirits of a number of Old Testament saints are resuscitated and they scatter throughout Jerusalem to evangelize and inform others of the upcoming transfer from Paradise to heaven.
Forty days later at the ascension of Jesus Christ, all the souls and spirits of the entire population of Paradise are permanently transferred to heaven. From that point on, whenever a believer dies, their soul and human spirit are instantly absent from the body and present with the Lord in heaven.
In order to develop this sequence of events between the physical death and the ascension of our Lord we will analyze a passage in Ephesians.
There are several passages that give us information about the Lord's three days in Hades. The first that we will note in detail is found in Ephesians 4:8-11 where Paul uses as a teaching aid the illustration of a Roman Triumphal Procession to describe the transfer of the souls and human spirits of Old Testament saints from Paradise to heaven.
In Rome's millennium-long history there were about 350 occasions when a victorious general was recognized and celebrated with a Triumphal Procession. The Triumphus was the highest honor bestowed, in the Roman Republic, upon a victorious general. To triumph in republican times a man must have been a magistrate cum imperio: one holding supreme and independent command, and who had won a major land or sea battle. The Senate granted and paid for the honor.
The victorious general assembled his troops outside the Gate of Triumph and delivered an oration commending his army on its victory. He then decorated the heroes and issued monetary rewards to all the soldiers.
The triumphant general then mounted his chariot and moved out from the Campus Martius, the Field of Mars which was a grassy plain used by the Romans for various contests, military exercises, and a general assembly such as the one just completed. He rode up to the Gate of Triumph where he was met by the Senators and magistrates of the city who welcomed him in the name of Senatus Populusque Romanus, the Senate and the People of Rome.
As the Procession moved through the Gate of Triumph it was led by the Senators, magistrates, and counsels followed by bands who played martial music. The streets of Rome, decorated with garlands and banners, were lined with people shouting, Io Triumphe!: Hail, God of Triumph! Then followed a long train of carriages on which were displayed various works of art captured from the enemy's museums and cultural centers.
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