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Doctrine of Feast of Unleavened Bread

January 28, 2011

Feast of Unleavened Bread
The 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus gives us an account of the 7 Great Feasts of the Lord. They were a prophecy and foreshadowing of future events, part of which have been fulfilled, and part are yet to be. They are the “shadow of things to come,” of which Christ is the “body” or substance (Col. 2:16-17). They were “holy convocations” of the people. The Lord instituted them. The people had no say in the matter. God promised that if the males went up at the appointed time to Jerusalem to keep these Feasts, He would look after their families. When the people became legalistic and arrogant, the Lord said, “I hate your new moons and your appointed feasts; they have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them” (Isa. 1:14). Therefore Jesus called them the “feasts of the Jews,” rather than the “feasts of the Lord.” The “feasts of the Lord” are 7 in number. If we include the Sabbath there are 8. But the Sabbath stands by itself. It was to be observed “weekly,” the other feasts “annually.” The Sabbath was to be observed at “home,” the other feasts at “Jerusalem.”
The 7 Feasts may be divided into 2 sections of 4 and 3. The 1st section includes the following feasts: (1) Passover (2) Unleavened Bread (3) First-Fruits (4) Pentecost. Then there was an interval of 4 months followed by the 2nd section includes the following feasts: (1) Trumpets (2) Atonement (3) Tabernacles. The 3 Great Festivals were the following: (1) Passover (2) Pentecost (3) Tabernacles. They extended from the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan) to the 22nd day of the 7th month Tishri or Ethanim.
These 7 Feasts were given to only given to Israel to be observed and not the Church. They do however dispensational implications since they mark God’s timetable with reference to human history. Each of these 7 Feasts were designed in eternity past to be literally fulfilled by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They speak of Lord Jesus Christ’s intervention into human history.
The following Feasts were literally fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ during the dispensation of the hypostatic union: (1) Passover: His voluntary substitutionary spiritual death on the cross in April of 30 A.D. (2) Unleavened Bread: His impeccability as a Person. (3) Pentecost was literally fulfilled when the Baptism of the Spirit took place in June of 30 A.D., which marked the beginning of the Church Age.
The following Feasts are eschatological in nature and thus have yet to be literally fulfilled: (1) Trumpets: Rapture or exit-resurrection of the Church terminating the Church Age. (2) Atonement: 2nd Advent of Christ ending the Tribulation dispensation. (3) Tabernacles: Millennial Reign of Christ on planet earth.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the day after the Passover, and continued for 7 days (Lev. 23:6-8). The lamb was slain on the 14th day at sunset, which ended the day. The Feast of Unleavened Bread began immediately after sunset, which was the beginning of the 15th day of Nisan. Thus there was no interval between them. The feast of Unleavened Bread immediately followed the Passover and lasted 7 days, from the 15th to the 20th Nisan (or Abib). On each of those days, after the morning sacrifice, a sacrifice in connection with the feast was presented; unleavened bread alone was eaten (Ex. 12:15-20; 13:6-7; Deut. 16:3-8).
The usual morning and evening sacrifices, with their grain and drink offerings. Two young bulls, one ram, seven lambs of the 1st year, with their grain and drink offerings. These were presented after the morning sacrifice (Num. 28:19-24). The 1st and 7th days of the feast were celebrated by a holy convocation and resting from work, with the exception of preparing food. On the intervening days work might be carried on unless the weekly Sabbath fell on one of them,
2003 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries
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2003 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries
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in which case the full strictness of Sabbath-keeping was observed, and the special feast sacrifice was not presented until after the Sabbath offering.
On the 2nd feast day (16th Nisan) the 1st sheaf of the new harvest (barley) was symbolically offering to the Lord by waving-not burning on the altar-accompanied with a lamb of the 1st year for a burnt offering, with its grain and drink offerings. Previous to this offering neither bread nor roasted grain of the new harvest was allowed to be eaten (Lev. 23:9-14). Those attending presented freewill, burnt, and holy offerings of sheep and oxen (Ex. 23:15, 19; Deut. 16:2), and sacrificial meals were eaten.
The feast closed on the 21st, with rest from work and a holy convocation. Scripture records that the Passover was kept on the evening before the Israelites left Egypt (Ex. 12:28), the 2nd year after the Exodus (Num. 9:1-5), and then not again until they entered Canaan (Ex. 13:5; Josh. 5:10). Only 3 instances are recorded in which the Passover was celebrated between the entrance into the Promise Land and the Babylonian captivity, namely, under Solomon (2 Chron. 8:13), under Hezekiah when he restored the national worship (30:15), and under Josiah (2 Kings 23:21; 2 Chron. 35:1-19). But the inference that the Passover was celebrated only on those occasions seems the less warranted, that in later times it was so punctually and universally observed.
After the return of the Jews from captivity the celebration of the Passover, like that of other institutions, became more regular and systematic; and its laws, rites, manners, and customs have been faithfully transmitted to us. These were the same as those in the time of Christ and His apostles, and therefore, of the utmost importance and interest to us in understanding the NT. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Mark 14; Luke 22). Leaven in the Bible portrays evil (1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). There was no evil present in the humanity of Christ in hypostatic union because He remained impeccable even while receiving the imputation and judgment for our sins. The application of the Feast of Unleavened Bread for us here in the Church Age is that it portrays experiential sanctification (John 17:17; 1 Cor. 5:6-9).