Leviticus, chapter 23
1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3: Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
4: These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
5: In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's Passover.
6: And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7: In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
8: But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
9: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
10: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: 11: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12: And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
13: And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14: And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
16: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
17: Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
18: And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
19: Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
20: And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
21: And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22: And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God. 23: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25: Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
26: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
27: Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
28: And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
29: For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
30: And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
31: Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32: It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
33: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
34: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
35: On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36: Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
37: These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
38: Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.
39: Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. 40: And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
41: And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42: Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
44: And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.
* He was born in Bethlehem
The Levites (priests) raised lambs in Bethlehem. They sacrificed lambs in the temple.
Moreover, they were the shepherds who first visited Jesus when He was born.
The priests received the lambs to be sacrificed. How fascinating that the Levitical priests received the announcement of Christís birth first.† Most likely they didnít realize the great honor the Lord bestowed on them by making them the first to receive the Lamb of God.
Bethlehem is also known as the house of bread. Jesus declared He is the Bread of Life. Only our great God could work out these details of Christís birth and life on earth!
* John the Baptist
John the Baptist, a priest from the Levitical line, called Jesus the Lamb of God. The priests identified the lambs for sacrifice. John, who had authority through his priestly bloodline, announced Jesusí identity to the world.
The baptism we see John the Baptist performs in John 1 represented going down and coming up. When this announcement was made at the scene of baptism (John 1:29), the people received this word much differently than we do. Him calling Jesus the Lamb of God was infused with symbolism, including, but not limited to:
lambs as symbols of sacrifice for sin and peace offerings (Leviticus 23:19)
the messianic lamb would be led to slaughter (Isaiah 53)
the connection to the Passover Lamb in Exodus
the images of deliverance from bondage
* He fulfilled the story of Abraham and Isaac
Abraham took a donkey with two men. Two disciples went to get the donkey for Jesus when He entered Jerusalem before His crucifixion.
Abraham took his son (his firstborn and only son of Sarah). When Isaac asked where the sacrificial lamb was, Abraham answered that God would provide. God provided His own Son as the sacrificial lamb to stand in the place of each of us.
Isaac carried the wood on his back to be led to the slaughter. Jesus carried the cross on his back to his own crucifixion.
God knew Abrahamís heart was pure. God intervened and provided a ram. (Fun fact: A sheep is considered a lamb for its first year. A female lamb becomes a ewe and a male lamb becomes a ram.) In Jesus, God delivered His Son as the Lamb of the final offering for sin.
Abraham offered his son on Mount Moriah. Jesus was offered up on the same mount.
All lambs had to be brought to Jerusalem (from where they were raised in Bethlehem) and be offered to the high priest. Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey and went to the temple. He cleansed it to prepare for a true, pure, perfect sacrifice.
* The Passover Lamb
The father of the family chooses the lamb at Passover. Furthermore, our Father chose JesusÖ The Lamb of God.
The Passover instructions declare 1 lamb per family. All who are in Christ, are 1 family.
* 4 days
It takes 4 days to inspect the Passover lamb. In the same way, the people of Jerusalem tested, quizzed, and challenged Jesus for 4 days. These people include the high priest, Sanhedrin, Pharisees, Sadducees, and others.
Jesus was without spot or blemish. Spotless means pure and blameless. Physically, we see it as without sickness, disease, or skin spots. His skin was clean and clear from any disease of blemishes. Spiritually, it means without blame, harmless. He didnít harm anyone and always spoke Godís Word.
* The times of sacrifice
The sacrifices occurred in the morning and evening. These times coincide with our clocks at the times of 9 am and 3 pm. By 3 pm, the Passover lambs were killed. (Remember, 1 lamb per family, so there was a lot of sacrificing going on.)
Jesus was placed on the cross at 9 am, the time of the morning sacrifice. He died at the time of the evening sacrifice. The sun was covered from noon until 3 pm, then He died. (See Mark 15 & Matthew 27) Jesus fulfilled every instruction from Exodus 12. Everyone!
* One-year-old lamb
A lamb was considered in the prime of its life. Jesus, at age 33 and only 3 years into his ministry, was considered in the prime of His life.