May 17 – One of the many reasons I believe in God is because I firmly believe that no human being was smart enough to write the Bible. It is simply too complex, too wise, and too prophetic. The more I study, the more I am amazed at how it fits together – even more incredible since it was written in three languages, by 40 authors, over a span of 1500 years. Which brings us to our topic. . . the feasts of Israel were established around the agricultural cycle which had a spring and a fall harvest. The first barley ripened during the time of Passover – a holiday that falls within the weeklong Feast of the Unleavened Bread. In the Bible, yeast represents sin, and the Passover recalls the time when God saved Israel from destruction. So, this was a time when sin was supposed to be purged from your household and when God was remembered for passing over. There was no more symbolic time for Christ to die for us. And, even more astounding, during the Feast of the Unleavened bread, the first sheaf of grain (the first fruit) from the harvest was cut on Saturday evening and offered in the Temple on Sunday morning. Do you see the analogy? In 1 Corinthians, Jesus is called the first fruit of the dead – he rose on the same day the wave sheaf was offered as a first fruit! And this Sunday we remember Pentecost, a day that is part of another feast called Shavuot. This was a time when Israel thanked God for the harvest and when the giving of the Law was commemorated – when Moses descended with the tablets from Mount Sinai (no, not the hospital in NYC!!). God chose this day to impart the Holy Spirit to the disciples. What is the connection? In giving the Holy Spirit, God gave the Law a second time and wrote it on our hearts and minds as prophesied in Jeremiah 31:33 over 600 years earlier. You just can’t make this stuff up. Either God is real, or 40 authors with IQs ten standard deviations higher than the norm wrote the Bible. Which is more probable?
Associate Pastor Emeritus, Greg Zehner
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