Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

The Woman, Blood and the Risen Lamb

Within the apostolic books, Matthew, Mark and Luke each write from their unique perspective about the woman and the issue of bleeding. Each one adds details to the event creating a full picture of what happened to the woman.

“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe. For she said to herself, “If I can only touch his robe, I will be healed.” Yeshua turned, saw her and said, “Courage, daughter! Your trust has healed you.” And she was instantly healed” (Matthew 9:20-22).

“As he went, with the crowds on every side virtually choking him, a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind him and touched the tzitzit on his robe; instantly her hemorrhaging stopped. Yeshua asked, “Who touched me?” When they all denied doing it, Kefa said, “Rabbi! The crowds are hemming you in and jostling you!” But Yeshua said, “Someone did touch me, because I felt power go out of me.” Seeing she could not escape notice, the woman, quaking with fear, threw herself down before him and confessed in front of everyone why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. He said to her, “My daughter, your trust has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 8:43-48).

“Among them was a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years and had suffered a great deal under many physicians. She had spent her life savings; yet instead of improving, she had grown worse. She had heard about Yeshua, so she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his robe; for she said, “If I touch even his clothes, I will be healed.” Instantly the hemorrhaging stopped, and she felt in her body that she had been healed from the disease. At the same time, Yeshua, aware that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”  His talmidim responded, “You see the people pressing in on you; and still you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman, frightened and trembling, because she knew what had happened to her, came and fell down in front of him and told him the whole truth. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your trust has healed you. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:25-34).

None of the accounts describe the woman: her name, her age, her marital status, or whether she had children because those details were of no consequence to the event. Matthew writes that she had a hemorrhage for 12 years and touched Yeshua’s tzizit in order to be healed. Mark adds that she had seen many physicians and spent all of her money, but never got any better. Luke, a doctor, says that she could not be healed by anyone.

Her only hope was touching the Messiah’s tzizit, his garment. According to Luke, the woman felt her body healed the moment she touched him. Yeshua called her out from among the crowd because he felt power leave him. In front of everyone, he called her a ‘courageous daughter’ and told her that her faith healed her.

Touching the Unclean

According to Leviticus 15:19-25, every woman was unclean during her time of niddah (menstruating) or other flow of blood. Unclean meant ‘ceremonially impure’ and the normal state of niddah lasted seven days. Whoever, especially a man, touched the woman would be ritually impure until evening or the beginning of the next day. Everything she laid or sat on also became ritually impure. Anyone touching these things would be ritually impure until evening after ‘he’ washed his clothes and bathed in water. If a man had sexual relations with a woman during her time of niddah, he would also become ritually impure for seven days. If a woman had a discharge of blood for many days (weeks or years) that is not considered her monthly niddah, she would be ritually impure throughout the entire time of the blood flow.

It is not clear from Scripture whether this woman had female friends who touched her, but according to Leviticus, no man could touch her. For her to push herself into a crowd of men (and women) to touch Yeshua would have been contrary to Levitical law and she could receive severe reprocussions.

When Yeshua called her out, she had already been healed, but still trembled with fear. She had no idea the consequences that Yeshua would put on her even though she knew she was immediately healed. She fell down at Yeshua’s feet and told him the entire truth of what had happened. Mark writes that Yeshua called her ‘Daughter,’ and that she should go in shalom and be healed of her disease. This suggests there was more to her illness than just a hemorrhage. From living a life of isolation for 12 years, she also needed emotional and even psychological healing. By bringing her into public view, he could make her healing complete. No one would doubt her healing and she could re-enter society as a healthy restored woman.

Talit and Tzizit

“Adonai said to Moshe,“Speak to the people of Isra’el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai’s mitzvot and obey them, so that you won’t go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves;but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God.I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your God. I am Adonai your God” (Numbers 15:37-41, Deuteronomy 22:12).

The tzitzit, commanded by Elohim, were meant to remind Isra’el to faithfully follow Elohim by obeying His commandments.  In the tzizit, there was to be a blue or techelet thread. The blue thread was made from the secretion of a small snail that has either become extinct or is unknown today. Because of this, having a blue thread is considered by some Orthodox Jews as wrong while others say that Elohim commanded a blue thread and therefore must include a blue thread.

In Ashkenazi (Russian/Ukranian Jewish) tzizit custom, there are four sections of winding the threads with knots which comes to a total of 39. This number relates to the numerical equivalent of the words: “The LORD is One (Echad)” which comes from the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4.  In the Sephardic custom (Jews from the the Iberian Peninsula which includes Spain and Portugal and those who eventually settled in South America, a combination of 26 windings and knots is used to spell the numerical value of the Tetragrammaton yod-hey-vav-hey or the “I Am that I Am,” Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.  

Orthodox and some Conservative Jews wear a talit katan or a type of under garment with the tzizit hanging from the four corners in order to fulfill the command.  Most other Jews today use a talit or prayer shawl with the tzizit on the four corners.

The Greek word for ‘hem’ in the gospel verses with the woman with the issue of bleeding is kraspedon meaning ‘a tassel of twisted wool.’  In Numbers 15:38, the word translated ‘border’ or ‘corner’ is the Hebrew word kanaph. This word means ‘wings’ and is used 76 times in the Biblical text.  Kanaph is used in Malachi 3:20 (4:2) that describes the ‘sun of righteousness’ that rises with ‘healing in its wings.’ For this reason, the corners of the garment with the tzizit are often called ‘wings.’

“But to you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break out leaping, like calves released from the stall” (Malachi 3:20, 4:2).

This verse in Malachi was also understood as representing the Messiah who would ‘come with healing in his wings.’  When raising his arms with the tzizit on the four corners of his garment, it would appear as if he had ‘wings.’ As a Jewish woman, the woman with the hemorrhage would have known about this verse from the prophet Malachi. Through faith as one who ‘feared the name of the LORD’ and believed Yeshua was the promised Messiah, she reached out and touched his tzizit.

Daughter of Tziyon

Yeshua called the woman ‘Daughter,’ however, in reality, this woman was his ‘sister’ as she was Jewish. Calling her ‘Daughter’ refers to ‘Daughter of Tziyon’ which is an endearing term used for Isra’el and Jerusalem. Jeremiah 6:2 says that the ‘daughter of Tziyon is beautiful and delicate.’ Yeshua is perhaps using this term to allude to the the physical nature of this woman: beautiful and delicate. Yeshua speaks a prophetic word over this woman as Mount Tziyon is where the faithful ‘daughters’ will gather when Yeshua rules as King in Jerusalem over all the earth. Publicly, he not only declares this woman healed and acceptable to the community, but she is commended as one of the faithful who will have a place in his coming Kingdom.

“Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Tziyon! Shout out loud, daughter of Yerushalayim! Look! Your king is coming to you. He is righteous, and he is victorious. Yet he is humble — he’s riding on a donkey, yes, on a lowly donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9).

Adonai has proclaimed to the end of the earth, “Say to the daughter of Tziyon, ‘Here, your Salvation [Yeshua]  is coming! Here, his reward is with him, and his recompense is before him‘” (Isaiah 62:11).

“Sing, daughter of Tziyon! Shout, Isra’el! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Yerushalayim!” (Zephaniah 3:14)

Though this woman waited 12 years to be healed from her issue of blood, as a woman in Isra’el, she had waited millennia to see and ‘touch’ the One who would bring the restoration of Isra’el and the liberation of Jerusalem.  Through her healing, Yeshua confirmed to the crowd that healing was also coming to Jerusalem, Isra’el and the nations.  

The Nations

Zechariah prophesies that in the last days many from the nations will come to Jerusalem to ask the favor of Elohim.   Ten men speaking the languages of the nations will grab hold of the tzizit of one Jew because they will suddenly understand that Elohim is with His chosen people. It will be an awakening to the reality that ‘salvation does come from the Jews’ and those of the nations who wish to know that ‘salvation’ will to cling to the Jewish people. This is a significant event because over the centuries church doctrines have taught that Jews must convert to a religion called Christianity while Scripture teaches that non-Jews will embrace the Jewish people to understand their own faith.

“Yes, many peoples and powerful nations will come to consult Adonai-Tzva’ot in Yerushalayim and to ask Adonai’s favor.’ Adonai-Tzva’ot says, ‘When that time comes, ten men will take hold — speaking all the languages of the nations — will grab hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, “We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:22-23).

The Number 12

Hebrew Word Picture

Hebrew numbers are written with Hebrew letters. The number 12 is written with the yod and the bet.

Yod is a closed hand and means ‘finished work’

Bet is a house and means ‘house,

The number 12 means in Hebrew word pictures: ‘finished work of the house.

The number 12 in Scripture symbolizes Elohim’s power and authority. This power is evident in Yeshua healing the woman and publicly declaring his divinity through his power to heal; he is the Rafa’el, the Healer.

The number 12 also symbolizes completeness. There are 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 stones in the High Priest’s breastplate representing those tribes, 12 loaves of the Bread of Presence in the Temple for the priests. Twelve spies searched out the Promised Land. Yeshua was 12 years old when he taught at the temple, he had 12 disciples, and collected 12 baskets of bread and fish after feeding five thousand. The New Jerusalem has 12 gates, 12 foundations, and one tree of life bearing 12 different fruits. The woman with the issue of blood was completely healed and Yeshua raised a little girl 12 years of age from the dead.

The Raising of the Little Girl

Again each of the writers of the gospels give a different perspective of the raising of the little girl. Jairus was a leader in the synagogue. His daughter was 12 years old and dying. He comes to Yeshua and asks that he ‘lay hands on her.’ This word in Hebrew is shmikah and references a sacrifice in the Temple. When an animal was sacrificed the offerer laid hands on the offering in order to transfer the sins from the person to the animal. It would seem that Jairus had an understanding that by laying hands on his daughter the ‘Giver of Life’ could impart the ‘breath of life’ through shmikah. He had great faith.

“When Yeshua arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute-players, and the crowd in an uproar,  he said, “Everybody out! The girl isn’t dead, she’s only sleeping!” And they jeered at him. But after the people had been put outside, he entered and took hold of the girl’s hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region” (Matthew 9:23-26).

Matthew’s account has Yeshua demanding everyone leave. Once they are gone, he goes into the girl, takes her hand and she gets up. News of this event spread through all that region.

“While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house came, saying, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?” Ignoring what they had said, Yeshua told the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.” He let no one follow him except Kefa, Ya‘akov and Yochanan, Ya‘akov’s brother. When they came to the synagogue official’s house, he found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. On entering, he said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead, she’s just asleep!” And they jeered at him. But he put them all outside, took the child’s father and mother and those with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand, he said to her, “Talita, kumi!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). At once the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed. He gave them strict orders to say nothing about this to anyone, and told them to give her something to eat” (Mark 5:35-43).

Mark’s account goes into greater detail. The little girl is no longer dying, she is dead. Only Kefa (Peter) and Yochanan (John) are allowed to go with Yeshua. While the crowd is in an uproar outside the house in Matthew’s account, the people are wailing and mourning loudly in Mark’s. As with all three accounts, Yeshua tells everyone she is not dead, only sleeping.

He takes Kefa, Yochanan, the girl’s mother and father and goes into the room. He says, Talitha kumi. Though most Bibles translate this ‘little girl rise,’ in the Hebrew it may have two other meanings. Talia means ‘little lamb.’ After healing the woman who is a ‘Daughter of Tziyon,’ this ‘daughter’ could be a reference to the little lambs of Isra’el or the ‘children of Isra’el.’

“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs, And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” 

The other meaning for Talitha kumi is ‘rise to my talit.’ Once again Yeshua uses his talit, his tzizit for a miraculous restoration to life. This concept of the tzizit is found even to Mark 6:36 when “They begged him to let them touch even the tzizit on his robe, and all who touched it were healed.” 

“While Yeshua was still speaking, a man came from the synagogue president’s house. “Your daughter has died,” he said. “Don’t bother the rabbi any more.” But on hearing this, Yeshua answered him, “Don’t be afraid! Just go on trusting, and she will be made well.” When he arrived at the house, he didn’t allow anyone to go in with him except Kefa, Yochanan, Ya‘akov and the child’s father and mother All the people were wailing and mourning for her; but he said, “Don’t weep; she hasn’t died, she’s sleeping.” They jeered at him, since they knew she had died. But he took her by the hand, called out, “Little girl, get up!” and her spirit returned. She stood up at once, and he directed that something be given her to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened” (Luke 8:49-56).

Luke is a doctor. In neither account of the woman with the issue of blood or the little girl is Dr. Luke consulted. I personally believe this is because Yeshua wants us to come to him first and foremost. Before going to every doctor and spending every cent for medical advice and treatment, it is important to go to the Healer. Many diseases have spiritual roots and can only truly be healed by the Rafa’el. I personally believe the woman with the issue of bleeding had deeper rooted spiritual issues that needed more than touching Yeshua’s tzizit. She needed to be told she was healed and called a ‘Daughter’ for complete healing body, soul and spirit.

In Luke’s account, Yeshua reminds Jairus not to be afraid when he hears his daughter has died. Part of the process of restoration will be the father’s faith overcoming his fears. Ya’akov (James) is also present for the event along with Kefa, Yochanan, and the girl’s parents. In each account, the group of people at the house ‘jeer’ at Yeshua. This word hitah means to scoff, sneer, and ridicule. The people at Jairus’ home were scoffing and ridiculing Yeshua. This is another reason why Yeshua told Jairus to have faith!

In Luke’s account Yeshua takes the girl’s hand and tells her to ‘get up.’ Her ‘spirit’ returned to her. This word is ruach and is the ‘spirit’ that Elohim placed in Adam at creation. It is the ‘breath of life.’ Her parents were astonished, though Jairus had asked for this very thing! They were told not to tell anyone what had happened, however, according to Matthew, word spread around the region.

Consolation of Isra’el

With the events surrounding the woman with the issue of bleeding and the little girl rising to Messiah’s tzizit, the Jewish people were seeing the beginning of the redemption of Isra’el. They were being shown great signs from from the Messiah that their time of cleansing from evil deeds and blood-covered hands was nearing (Isaiah 1:15-16, Isaiah 59:3).

While the woman with the issue of bleeding was a prophetic picture of the Daughter of Tzyion because of her great faith; the little girl pre-shadowed the lamb who would die and be resurrected from the dead. The healing of the land of Isra’el, their nation, and the Jewish people was upon them in the Lamb of God who would restore the “Daughter of Tzyion.”

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Sign of Jonah: Three Days and Three Nights

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

Many people wonder about the three days and three nights of Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection.  Let’s face it, Friday night to Sunday morning is NOT three days and three nights no matter how you interpret the days, the hours, the times, the kingships or even the Jewish and catholic traditions.  Yet, Yeshua’s own words prophesied that he would be in the grave three days and three nights, no less, no more. 

Creating a Timeline

Using Scripture along with the Feasts of the LORD is the perfect way to determine when Yeshua died, was buried and rose from the dead.  To create the timeline,  it may be more effective to work backwards from Yeshua’s Resurrection and the Sabbath day, to Unleavened Bread and to Passover in order to understand the timing of the events.  All ‘days’ go from evening to morning as established by God at Creation.  The sunset time of 6:00 p.m. is an arbitrary time that I chose to make my timeline and may not have been the actual time of sunset in the year that Yeshua died and rose from the dead.

The Resurrection – The Feast of Firstfruits

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Tell the people of Israel, ‘After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.  He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you will be accepted; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:9-11).

Paul says that Yeshua is  ‘the firstfruits of those who have died’  using the same terminology as the Feast of Firstfruits found in Leviticus.  The Feast involved the waving of a sheaf of grain on the ‘day after the Sabbath’ or ‘the first day of the week’ (Sunday).  In agreement with the LORD’s ‘appointed times,’ the evidence in the gospels, and the explanation in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Yeshua rose from the dead as a firstfruits on the day after the Sabbath.

“But the fact is that Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Day After the Sabbath

“After Sabbath, toward dawn the first day of the week, Miriyam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave” (Matthew 28:1).

The details surrounding the tomb are recorded in Matthew 28 and Luke 24.   On the first day of the week, after the Sabbath, before dawn, some women found Yeshua’s tomb empty.  It wasn’t until AFTER the Sabbath that the women found the tomb empty because they rested according to the commandment regarding the Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11). Only the seventh-day Sabbath command comes before the ‘first day of the week.’

“On the Sabbath, the women rested, in obedience to the commandment; but on the first day of the week, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb, and found the stone rolled away from the tomb!” (Luke 24:1).

Sometime before the light of dawn on the first day of the week, Yeshua must have risen from the dead because he was not in the tomb.    In other words,  during the hours between Saturday’s sunset (ending of Sabbath) and Sunday’s sunrise, Yeshua rose from the dead.  There is no specific time given for his Resurrection so for sake of explanation, let’s say the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) ended at a 6:00 p.m. sunset.  It is possible that at 6:01 p.m., the beginning of the first day of the week, Yeshua rose from the dead.  However, it is also possible that he rose at 5:59 p.m. which will become clear.

Sabbath: Big ‘S’ or little ’s’

In Leviticus 23, when the LORD gave His ‘’appointed times’ to the Israelites, the first festival commanded is the weekly Sabbath.  It is the only ‘appointed time’ that He called ‘Sabbath’ – all of the other ‘appointed times’ were given specific names: Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacles.  Though several of the commanded Feasts included ‘no regular work’ like the seventh-day Sabbath, the LORD did not call them Sabbath with a Capital S.    It is only when the  Jewish tradition designated the LORD’s ‘appointed times’ as ‘sabbaths’ that confusion with the holy days began. 

For example, Leviticus 23:15 outlines the timing of the Feast of Weeks or  Pentecost, “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.”

If this verse is read with the Sabbath being the seventh-day weekly Sabbath given only 12 verses earlier, then the counting of seven full weeks would begin on the ‘day after the Sabbath’ or Sunday.   Counting this way would allow for Feast of Firstfruits to consistently fall on a ‘first day of the week’ which has tremendous prophetic significance for the Resurrection.

However, when the first day of another festival like Unleavened Bread is referred to by traditional Judaism as a sabbath, confusion  begins.  Depending on which day of the week the Unleavened Bread ‘sabbath’ falls, counting from the ’day after that sabbath’ makes  the day of Firstfruits change yearly and there is no recognition to the Feast of Firstfruits Resurrection.  Also according to Jewish tradition,  some ‘sabbaths’ are considered ‘higher’ than others; some weekly Sabbaths more important when they fall during a festival week.  Though these delineations may not be departing from God’s commands to keep His ‘appointed times,’ it does cause disunity between the Jews and the Body of Messiah regarding the celebration of  the Resurrection of  Messiah.

Yeshua followed many Jewish traditions because he was Jewish and lived as a Jewish man.  However, when those traditions nullified the commands of God, he refuted them and taught the correct view.  It would follow that if a Jewish or even Christian tradition nullified the ‘’appointed time’’ of a feast, Yeshua would celebrate it correctly and so in regards to Firstfruits, Scripture should be used over Jewish tradition.

Unleavened Bread – Day 3, Day 2, Day 1

“In the first month … on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of matzah (Unleavened Bread); for seven days you are to eat matzah (unleavened bread).  On the first day you are to have a holy convocation; don’t do any kind of ordinary work.  Bring an offering made by fire to Adonai for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work” (Leviticus 23:6-8).

Counting backwards from the time of the Resurrection,  we need three nights and three days for grave time.

Once again, let’s use 6:00 p.m. as the beginning time for each day. 

Day 1 would be from 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening to 6:00 p.m. Friday evening.  This would be the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday), Day 3 of Unleavened Bread, Day three in the tomb.

Day 2 would be from 6:00 p.m. Friday evening to 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening.  This would be Friday,  Day 2 of Unleavened Bread, Day two in the tomb.

Day 3 would be from 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.  This would be Thursday,  Day 1 of Unleavened Bread, Day one in the tomb. 

Using this timeline,  Yeshua would have been put in the tomb sometime BEFORE 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening which began the first of the prophesied three nights and days  in the tomb (Thursday,  Friday, Saturday).  As mentioned earlier, by being buried in the tomb before 6:00 p.m., three days and three nights would have him rise  sometime before the Sabbath day ended.  It was only after the Sabbath day and the command to rest that Mary and the others went to the tomb to find it empty. 

The first day of Feast of Unleavened Bread was and is considered by Jewish tradition ‘a sabbath day.’  In the year of Yeshua’s death,  this Unleavened Bread would begin, according to the three days outlined above, on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m.  Before it began at sunset, the daytime hours were known as Preparation Day.   It was on Preparation Day of Unleavened Bread that Yeshua’s body was removed from the cross.   He needed to be buried before the start of the Unleavened Bread, ‘a special sabbath’ which began at sunset, the 15 day of the first month.

Yeshua was placed in the tomb as the unleavened, sinless bread from heaven.  He was wrapped in linen and placed in the tomb of a rich man from Jerusalem. He was in the tomb for the first three nights and days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

“There was a man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin.  He was a good man, a righteous man, and he had not been in agreement with either the Sanhedrin’s motivation or their action.  … This man approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body.  He took it down, wrapped it in a linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, that had never been used.  It was Preparation Day, and a Sabbath was about to begin” (Luke 23:50-54).

Passover

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between sundown and complete darkness, comes the Lord’s Passover” (Leviticus 23:5).

According to the timeline, the LORD’s Passover on the ’14 day of the month’ would begin at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening and end at sunset,  6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.  After sunset, between twilight on Tuesday evening and complete darkness, the Passover meal was celebrated. 

“He [Yeshua] replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My ‘appointed time’ is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house’” (Matthew 8:29).

According to Luke 22:15, Yeshua had a great desire to celebrate this  Passover seder with his disciples.   This specific Passover was God’s ‘appointed time’ for Yeshua and he had to fulfill its purpose as the Lamb of God.    

The Passover celebrated by Yeshua was only a memorial to the Passover that occurred in Egypt.  No one put on sandals or carried staffs.  No one prepared for a great exodus from Egypt into the wilderness.  No one went outside their door to sacrifice a  lamb and put its blood on their doorposts.   Israel was no longer a people enslaved by Egypt and they celebrated their freedom with a traditional meal called a seder.

The Passover seder included four cups of wine and matzah or  unleavened bread.  During this unique seder, Yeshua would turn the focus from the past to the present and future.  He used one cup of wine to offer a renewed marriage covenant to his disciples.  As they shared the cup of wine together, they became his betrothed bride.   With the second cup of wine, he took the unleavened bread and explained the bride price would be his broken body and blood.   His death would be ‘the death of the firstborn’ and his blood would bring in the new covenant promised by the prophet Jeremiah. 

Matthew records that ‘when evening came Yeshua reclined with his disciples.’ He had a lot to tell his disciples and his words are recorded in Matthew 26, Mark 14 , Luke 22, and John 14-16.  After the Passover meal, they went to the Mount of Olives.  Yeshua prayed.   He asked that the final cup of Passover be removed, but submitted to the will of His Father.  While his disciples slept,  he prayed for all who would believe in him through the testimony of his followers.    Soldiers arrive in the darkness with the high priest.  They arrest him,  take him to the Sanhedrin and to Pilate.  Before sunrise, Peter denies Yeshua three times.  The crowds want him crucified.  Yeshua is beaten, bruised, mocked, and condemned to death.  He goes to Golgotha where he is nailed to the cross and dies quickly without having any of his bones broken.

The events of the 14th day of the first month, (Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening) were completed.  Yeshua gives up his spirit with the words “It is finished.”  The Passover’s final Cup of Completion, the death of the Lamb of God, was poured out at the exact same time the priests were offering the last Passover sacrifice at the Temple before sunset on Wednesday.

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life” (Matthew 27:51-52).

Two Feasts with Matzah

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (Matthew 26:17).

Though this verse suggests that Passover and Unleavened Bread start at the same time, Yeshua would have celebrated the actual dates of Passover and Unleavened Bread exclusive of Jewish tradition.  Even though unleavened bread was eaten at Passover, the two ‘’appointed times’ have different dates, memorials and purposes. 

The LORD’s Passover was the 14th day of the first month.  It began in the evening at twilight and lasted until the next evening.  Historically, the Israelites did not kill the Passover lamb and then suddenly leave Egypt.  They had to wait throughout the night for the ‘death of the firstborn’ until the next morning when they prepared to leave Egypt and plundered the Egyptians. On the fifteenth day of he first month,  Israel left Egypt.  For both festivals, unleavened bread was eaten. 

“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.  From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah” (Exodus 12:17).

Some say that Yeshua could not celebrate Passover AND be the Passover lamb at the same time, however, one must understand the sacrificial system.  Every day, there were evening, morning and afternoon sacrifices. At the evening sacrifice, the beginning of Passover, Yeshua celebrated the seder with his disciples telling him that he would be broken and bleed for them.  By the morning sacrifice, he had been arrested, judged and condemned to death.   By the final afternoon sacrifice, he had walked to Golgotha, been nailed to the cross and died. He was buried quickly before the evening sacrifice that began the Feast of  Unleavened Bread.

Because our modern-day calendar differs from the Biblical one,  Passover will fall on a different day each year.  This means there needs to be unity when celebrating the most significant event of all time, the Resurrection of Messiah on the Feast of Firstfruits.  According to Scripture, the Feast of Firstfruits must come after Passover and it has to fall on a ‘first day of the week’ after the weekly Sabbath.  It’s that simple.  If Passover falls on any day of the week except Sabbath, the following Sunday will be the Feast of Firstfruits because there is a weekly Sabbath between the two.  If Passover falls on the Sabbath, then Firstfruits is the next day. 

The Biblical Three Days and Three Nights

In the year that Yeshua died, was buried and then resurrected,  he celebrated the Passover (14th day of the first month) with his disciples on a Tuesday evening.  Tuesday, during the night, he prayed for his disciples and those who would believe in him through their testimony.    He sweat drops of blood and submitted himself to death.  He was arrested before sunrise, beaten, hung on a cross and died late afternoon Wednesday at the exact time of the final Passover sacrifice.  The Temple curtain was torn in two; many who saw the events of the darkened sun and earthquake, knew he was the Son of God. He was taken from the cross, buried before the sun set while it was still Preparation Day for Unleavened Bread.

Wednesday evening to Saturday evening, the first ‘three nights and three days’ of Unleavened Bread,  his followers mourned.  A Roman centurion pondered why he felt the earth shake and knew at that moment that Yeshua was truly the Son of God.  Mockers who had seen the sign, “The King of the Jews”  were wondering why many who had died were walking around Jerusalem.    Peter and John and the rest of the disciples went into hiding for fear of their own lives.  The women who followed Yeshua went home grieving.  They prepared spices knowing they had to wait three days until after the Sabbath to prepare Yeshua’s body. The soldiers anxiously guarded the tomb hoping no one would steal the body.  All Israel rested on the seventh-day Sabbath day according to the command.  For the followers of Messiah, it was a long three days and nights.  It seemed like an eternity.

After resting on the Sabbath, before dawn on the first day of the week,  as the time for waving the sheaf in the Temple approached, several women went to the tomb.  They carried spices and walked through a garden wondering who would roll away the huge stone.  They could hear the whoooosssshhhhhhh of the sheaves being waved back and forth by the priests at the Temple nearby.  It was the Feast of Firstfruits.    After a long, confusing, heart-wrenching week of Passover, and then a seemingly endless Sabbath, could they endure another  ‘appointed’ of God?

“Yeshua said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you’re the one who carried him away, just tell me where you put him; and I’ll go and get him myself” (John 20:15).

“Yeshua said to her, “Miryam!” Turning, she cried out to him in Hebrew, “Rabbani!” (that is, “Teacher!”)   “Stop holding onto me,” Yeshua said to her, “because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father. But go to my brothers, and tell them that I am going back to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:15-17).

The sorrow of the women turned to joy at seeing Yeshua risen and alive.  They were so excited they wanted to touch their Rabbi, but he needed to return to his Father.    The women obeyed his command and went to the disciples with the amazing news that ‘He is Risen.’  While the priests in the Temple waved the firstfruits grain offering, Yeshua went to his Father and offered himself as the Firstfruits of those who are raised from the dead.  The counting of the weeks began.

Yeshua’s Last Week Chart

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author (Julie Almanrode) or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.  

For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive. 

The Feast of Firstfruits – Yom Habikkurim

Sheaf Offering

“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. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil—a food offering presented to the LORD, a pleasing aroma—and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live” (Leviticus 23:9-14).

The Offerings

When Israel entered the Promised Land, they were to celebrate the day of Firstfruits by offering an individual sheaf of grain from their harvest.  The sheaf was to be waved by the priest along with a burnt offering of a lamb, a fellowship offering of fine grain mixed with olive oil and a drinking offering of wine.

For the burnt offering, a lamb without defect was presented to the LORD.  Laying hands on the animal’s head was called semichah. It implied a physical ‘leaning’ on the animal so that the weight of the person was transferred to the animal.  This was symbolic of transferring the identity of the person onto the lamb. In effect,  the lamb represented him/her before God.  The lamb was sacrificed and its blood was splattered on the sides of the Altar.  Then the lamb was completely burnt up on the Altar as a food offering and a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 

The grain offering was a free will offering.  It was to be fresh kernels, dry roasted and covered in olive oil and frankincense or, it could be a fine flour mixed with olive oil and frankincense poured over it.  A grain offering could be baked in an oven like bread, cooked on a griddle like a pancake or boiled in a pot like a dumpling. 

A hin of liquid was equal to about 1.5 gallons or 5.7 liters.   The drink offering was a quarter of a hin of wine or close to one liter – the size of a modern-day Coke.    It was to be poured out at the foot of the Altar as part of the burnt and grain offering. 

These three firstfruits offerings of the lamb, the grain, and the wine were Yeshua’s reality within the Passover that had occurred several days earlier:  the Lamb of God, his broken body and poured out blood.  These offerings were presented to God by the priest bringing individual atonement for sin.

The Sheaf of Grain

“Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them” (Psalm 126:6).

There was another offering on firstfruits, a sheaf of grain.  According to Zondervan’s Bible Dictionary, sheaves are the stalks of grain left behind by the reaper.  It is gathered by the handfuls and bound by women or children in a joyful manner.  Collected sheaves were carried by donkeys or on heavily loaded carts to the threshing floor.  Some sheaves were left behind for the poor.  The sheaves that were offered as Firstfruits were only the amount that an individual could hold or just a handful.

According to the Biblical command, a handful of sheaves from the spring harvest was to be brought to the priest.  He became the intercessor between the individual and God as he waved it before the LORD as an acceptable offering. Until the Firstfruits sheaf was accepted by God,  no one could eat any roasted or new grain.

Yeshua, the Firstfruits

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).

In the beginning, eternal fellowship with God was cut short by sin and death.  God promised a Seed who would have victory over death and restore fellowship with Him.  In order to have a sheaf of grain, there has to be a planting of one seed.  Once put into the ground, it dies and then produces a harvest.  Yeshua is the promised Seed.  He was buried in the ground and rose to life producing a Firstfruits sheaf of grain becoming the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

“But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Notice that he is the plural Firstfruits of those raised from the dead, not the singular.  According to the gospel of Matthew, at the moment of Yeshua’s death, when the temple curtain was torn in two, the bodies of holy people who had died were raised to life.  A Firstfruits  resurrection of the dead had occurred. 

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs after Yeshua’s resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52-23).

The Day After the Sabbath

Over the centuries, confusion has developed over the meaning of the ‘day after the Sabbath’ because the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are also called ‘sabbaths.’ God never called these days ‘sabbath’ even though He commanded complete rest.   This subtlety is a manmade tradition that has caused the Feast of Firstfruits to occur on whatever day of the week the ‘day after the sabbath’ of Unleavened Bread begins.  This rendering has blurred the tremendous differences between the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits and put much less emphasis on the day of the Firstfruits and the resurrection of the dead.  If the sheaf were to be waved by the priest on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the week of Unleavened Bread, this would always put Firstfruits on the ‘first day of the week’ and create a powerful reality of Yeshua in another of God’s ‘appointed times.’

“When the Sabbath was over, on the first day of the week when it was still dark, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they might go anoint Yeshua’s body.  Just after sunrise, they were on the way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’ When they arrived at the tomb, they saw the stone had been removed from the entrance.  They entered, but they did not find the body of Yeshua.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.  ‘Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead….’ They told this to the apostles, but they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.  He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Yeshua’s head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed” Matthew 28:7-10, Mark 16:1-3, Luke 24:1-8, John 20:1-8 15-16).

Yeshua’s Sheaf

“Yeshua said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17). 

In order for the sheaf  of grain to be accepted on Yom Habikkurim, the high priest had to wave it before God. After being raised from the  dead, our High Priest, Yeshua, ascended to his Father to offer his sheaf of Firstfruits.   Once his sheaf of grain, filled with innumerable seeds was accepted, the spiritual harvest of souls could begin.  Yeshua’s family would not only include his brothers and sisters in Israel, but those brought forth in a harvest from the nations.

“…Because those whom he knew in advance, he also determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers…” (Romans 8:29). 

While the priests were preparing for the Firstfruits offering in the Temple, the women found the empty tomb, met with angels, and spoke with their risen Lord.  While the women ran to tell the disciples that Yeshua was alive, the men of Israel began to offer their lambs, grain and wine.  As the individual sheaves of grain were taken by the priests, Yeshua ascended to his Father and presented himself as a sheaf offering.  As the sheaf of grain was being waved, a gentle breeze drifted throughout the Temple.  Yeshua’s offering to His Father was accepted.  The disciples entered the empty tomb and saw the strips of linen and  the cloth that had been wrapped around Yeshua’s head separate from the linen.  They knew and believed he had risen from the dead. Yom Habikkurim, the day of Firstfuits had been become reality.  It was time to begin counting the days to the celebration of the final spring harvest.

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.