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Topic: The Feast of FirstFruits

Life Through Death

by Darrel Cline

The prophetic messages of the first three Feasts of Israel set up a Messianic expectation that focused upon one fundamental truth: life comes through death. This is not life instead of death; it is not life after death; and it is not life as death. The principle is life through death. In other words, life comes only through the process we call death.

In order to understand this we might need to review what the first three Feasts of Israel are and what they signify. The first is Passover. (034) This feast commemorates the passing over of the families of Israel who put the blood of an innocent lamb on the door posts and header of the entry into their houses. The one who passed over was the angel of death sent by God to kill the firstborn of every home without the blood. Thus, escape from judgment was through the death of the lamb. Jesus was identified by the prophet John as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". This was not life instead of death; because Israel was living in death (bondage and severe hardship) before their deliverance which was not accomplished except through the death of the lamb.

The second feast is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (040) This feast commemorates the haste of the meal which was eaten on the night they were delivered. It was a meal in which leaven was forbidden--and it made the bread less than tasty. But it was designed to reveal the less than appealing method of deliverance--the death of the people to their old life. To be sure there were some things about their old life that were still appealing (it was still bread), but the bondage and slavery and hard toil were indicative of the living death they endured. The meal was a reminder that life is through death. They died to their old life in order to gain the new one.

The third feast is the Feast of Firstfruits. (044) This feast commemorates the deliverance of the nation through the Red Sea, and, ultimately, the River Jordan at flood stage. They became the historical example of the firstfruits of God's deliverance from living death. Jesus Christ is called the firstfruits of resurrection--as the fulfillment of that expectation. This issue of this idea is that the people walked through the domain of death (the Red Sea) to deliverance on the other side. This is again the idea of life through death.

Thus, all three of the first three feasts of Israel set up the expectation that the coming Messiah would establish life by means of death. This makes the death of Jesus of paramount importance to the message that Jesus is the Messiah. As we have noted before, many religious leaders have claimed that they would live after they experienced physical death, and their resurrection would validate their claims to be the deliverer, but only Jesus has historically documented evidence of genuine physical resurrection. But, He only got to resurrection life by going through death. This is the message that He brought. All men live in death (as a quality of experience) until they die to that life by being born again to newness of life. Jesus is the Messiah because He alone can bring life through death.

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This is article #045.
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