Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 23
This is a remarkable chapter of God’s festivals. The holy holidays were times of joy. There was mourning on the great Day of Atonement, but all of the others were about times of joy and rejoicing. God never wanted a weeping people to come before Him; He wanted a rejoicing people. These festivals provide God’s calendar for all time.
Like most of our old testament teachings, they lead to Jesus and symbolize a future that is to come. To summarize all the the festivals for example:
Passover—the crucifixion and death of Christ
Unleavened Bread—the fellowship we have with Christ because of His death
First fruits—the resurrection of Christ
Pentecost—the beginning of the church
Trumpets—Israel brought back into the land (future)
Great Day of Atonement—the work of Christ upon the cross for us
Tabernacles—the time when Israel is in the land (future)
In a bigger, broader perspective, I appreciate that God is not some big, old fuddy-duddy. He’s a hip, cool cat. Think about it. God put all of these festivals together that have great significance and He is giving the Isrealities a calendar that they can recognize His handy work in all of it. In addition, there continues to be a great emphasis on the Sabbath, which started in the very beginning with Adam and Eve and reminds everyone of the importance of rest.
This is one of those chapters that make me want to be more of a bible scholar. I can only imagine what incredibly deep meanings and origins this chapter would unveil. As a simple-minded God-loving blogger, who is benefiting from the daily discipline of reading and summarizing God’s Word everyday, I am thankful for a God who beings festivals into our lives to celebrate Him.
Thanksgiving is next week. I know we shouldn’t need a day or a date to be thankful, but I see how God’s festivals and our holiday of thankfulness have parallel meanings. God truly deserves all of our thankfulness, joy and rejoicing.