WHAT’S SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THE NUMBER SEVEN? – Part 2
If you’ve read my last published article, this article is a continuation of that. As I was studying and gathering facts pertaining to God’s pattern for designing creation, I discovered that the number “7” was quite unique. God chose to use the number “7” as a key factor in establishing laws, decrees, and in creation as well. As I previously stated, I believe that it is impossible for man to know every detail that pertains to the many thoughts, ways, and manifold wisdom of the God (read Job 38-41). Although we do know that whatever God does, He has a reason, a plan and a purpose. Only He holds the secrets to life and death, from beginning of creation to completion. The number seven is known for being “God’s number”, and therefore, “7” represent completion.
7 ANNUAL JEWISH FEASTS
- Passover (Ex. 12)
- Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:8; 29:2; Num. 9:11)
- Feast of First Fruits (Lev. 23:9; Deut. 26:1-11)
- Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23)
- Feast of Trumpets (Num. 29:1)
- Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27-28)
- Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:43)
The Hebrew word for feast is “Moadim”, literally it means “appointed time.” God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of the seven feasts. The seven annual feasts are spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar.
Spring Time Feasts
- Unleavened Bread
- First Fruits
- Feast of Weeks
- Day of Atonement
- Tabernacles (Booths)
The Passover Feast
Points to the Messiah, Jesus, as our Passover Lamb, whose blood would be shed for the sins of the world. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at that same hour the lamb was being slaughtered for the Passover meal (1 Cor. 15; John 19:14).
The first Passover marked the Hebrews release from Egyptian slavery, so the death of Christ marks our release from the slavery of sin (Rom. 8:2). The first Passover was to be held in remembrance as an annual feast, so Christians are to memorialize the Lord’s death in communion until He returns (1 Cor. 11:26).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt” (Ex. 34:18 NIV).
On the fifteenth day of Aviv, the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. The Israelites were to eat only unleavened bread everyday during Passover as a commemoration of the Exodus from Egyptian bondage. For seven days the Israelites were to eat bread made without yeast. Unleavened bread is derived from the word “matzoh” which means “bread or cake without leaven or yeast.” The Lexicom states that matzoh is in term derived from a word which means “to drain out or suck.” Biblical references made pertaining to leaven is almost always symbolic of sin. Unleavened Bread is a foreshadow of the Messiah’s sinless life. He was the only acceptable sinless sacrifice.
(Further commands regarding eating unleavened bread are found in Leviticus 23:6-8.)
The Feast of First Fruits – Lev. 23:10
The First fruits was a Jewish feast held in the early spring at the beginning of the grain harvest. It was observed on Nissan 16, which was the 3rd day after Passover and the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. First fruits was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision. Leviticus 23:9-14 institutes the first fruits offering. The offering was made in remembrance of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, the Lord’s deliverance from slavery, and their possession of the land of Canaan. First fruits symbolizes God’s harvest of souls. It illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first and best of what He has given us.
In the New Testament the first fruit offering is fulfilled in Jesus. His body was in the grave The Messiah’s resurrection is the 1st fruit of righteousness; the Apostle Paul refers to Jesus as the “1st fruit from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20).
The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) – Lev. 23:15-22
The Feast of Weeks gets its name from the fact that it starts seven full weeks, or exactly 50 days, after the Feast of First fruits. The Feast of Weeks is also known as Pentecost (Acts 2). The spiritual significance of the Feast of Weeks are the two loaves of leavened bread that were to be a wave offering as foreshadowing the time when the Messiah would make both Jews and Gentiles to be one in Him (Eph. 2:14-15). This is also the only feast here leavened bread is used.
On the Day of Pentecost the “first fruits” of the church were gathered by Christ as some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel after the Holy Spirit empowered and indwelt the disciples of the Holy Spirit, the first fruit of God’s spiritual harvest under the New Covenant began. Today the harvest continues as people continue to be saved. It points to the great harvest of souls, of both Jews and Gentiles who were ushered into the Kingdom by God out pouring of His Spirit, and 3,000 souls were saved that day (v.41).