Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Leviticus: Fellowship With A Holy God
Part III: Acceptable Living Before A Holy God, Leviticus 11:1-27:34
M. Honoring God's Great Works In History
3. Honoring The Joyful Hope Of Christ's Resurrection
(Leviticus 23:9-14)
  1. Introduction
    1. Christ's resurrection is a cornerstone belief of our Christian faith, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14-19.
    2. Thus, it is imperative that we hold firmly to this belief, and, wonderfully, Leviticus 23:9-14 strongly supports it, prefiguring Christ's bodily resurrection, and its implications for the believer's life (as follows):
  2. Honoring The Joyful Hope Of Christ's Resurrection, Leviticus 23:9-14.
    1. When they reaped the barley harvest, the people of Israel were to bring a sheaf of its firstfruits to the priest before partaking of any of the grain, Lev. 23:9-10, 14; Ryrie St. Bib., KJV , 1978 ed., ftn. to Lev. 23:10-14.
    2. This sheaf was waved before the Lord to prefigure the resurrection of Christ as the Firstfruits, Lev. 23:11:
      1. The Sabbath in the Leviticus 23:11 phrase "the morrow after the Sabbath" refers to the first day of Unleavened Bread in Leviticus 23:6-7 that was a Sabbath Day, Nisan 15th; Ibid., ftn. to Lev. 23:10-14.
      2. Now, Christ died on Passover, Nisan 14th, as our Passover Lamb, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:7.
      3. [Since the day after the Passover was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15th, it was also the Sabbath when the women were unable to take embalming spices to Jesus' tomb, Lk. 23:55-56.]
      4. Thus, the third day after Christ's death, Nisan 16th, which was also the second day of Unleavened Bread, as the women returned to anoint Jesus' body, it was the Feast of Firstfruits, Lev. 23:11; Lk. 24:1.
      5. However, on that Feast of Firstfruits morning, Jesus had already risen from the dead, Luke 24:1, 2-10!
      6. Thus, Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits in His resurrection, a fact noted in 1 Corinthians 15:20!
      7. Indeed, the firstfruits amply picture Christ's resurrection: they spring up from the seed that has died in the ground, so Christ first arose in newness of life after His death and burial, 1 Cor. 15:35-38, 20, 23.
    3. As such, the observance regulations of the Feast of Firstfruits supplied in Leviticus 23:12-14 typologically gives us God's directives on how we are to respond to the belief in Christ's resurrection (as follows):
      1. Since the firstfruits were to be waved before the Lord as the basis of the offerer's acceptance, Christ's resurrection is the firstfruits of the believer's own coming resurrection from the dead, 1 Cor. 15:20-23!
      2. Similarly, as the people of Israel were forbidden to eat bread or grain, being either parched or fresh, until they had given the firstfruits offering to the Lord (Lev. 23:14), so Christ would be the F irstfruits of believers, the Forerunner in resurrection of their own bodily resurrections!
      3. Since a burnt offering of consecration was to be given the day of the firstfruits offering, believers are to be consecrated to God's will, Lev. 23:12; Rom. 12:1-2; Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Lev . 1:3.
      4. There was to be a grain offering unto the Lord with the offering of the firstfruits, Leviticus 23:13a, an offering signifying the need for the believer to dedicate what remained of his mortal life to be lived for the Lord in view of his hope of the resurrection to come, Ibid., ftn. to Leviticus 2:1; 2 Cor. 5:8-11.
      5. The drink offering was a libation, consisting of two pints of unmixed wine, and it was poured on the grain offering to symbolize joy, Ibid.; Leviticus 23:13b. The joy that Christ's resurrection brings the believer in that it signifies the reality of the Christian faith, not to mention his own future resurrection, should motivate him to live in joyful dedication to the Lord's will in his life, 1 Thess. 5:16; Phil. 3:1.
Lesson: (1) Jesus bodily arose from the dead on the third day after His death on the cross as prefigured in the Feast of Firstfruits. Thus, (a) His resurrection is true, being typologically predicted in the Old Testament, so (b) the Christian faith is also true! (2) This Feast teaches us believers to anticipate our own resurrection that is based on Christ's resurrection, and thus to (a) commit ourselves to do God's will (b) in this mortal life (c) in joyful anticipation of our resurrection and accounting before the Lord!

Application: May we (1) be assured that our Lord arose from the dead, making our faith valid and our hope real, and may we thus (2) joyfully consecrate the rest of our lives to do God's will in view of our coming accounting to Him in heaven!