I am not a mathematician, and don’t want to be. But let me ask you a question? What are the odds that Yeshua died on a Jewish holiday, rose on a Jewish holiday and birthed the New Testament congregation on a Jewish holiday?
Just so we are all clear as to what I am referring to:
- Yeshua died on Passover. The very day when all Israel commemorates the first Passover, when they sacrificed an innocent lamb and took its blood and applied it to the doorpost of their homes.
- He rose on the Feast of Firstfruits (Lev. 23:9ff).
- And the Spirit of God was poured out in Jerusalem on the last day in which we count the Omer, the 49 between Firstfruits and Shavuot (What you may call Pentecost).
So, imagine that we took the 365 days that comprise a year and laid them out on a roulette wheel. Next we marked Passover, Firstfruits and Shavuot. The first ball you throw MUST land on Passover. The next, on Firstfruits. And the final ball must land on Shavuot.
One in Forty Eight Million
Okay, as I said, I am no mathematician or oddsmaker, but I think the chances of that happening 3 times in a row are 365 to the third degree. Or 1 in 48,627,125. In fact, the only way it could conceivably happen would be if someone were planning it. And of course, that is what I am maintaining—that God purposely had these events fall on Jewish feast days to emphasize to generations to come that salvation is of the Jews.
Of course the Good News of Yeshua is for every nation, but God would have those nations remember their roots and honor their elder brother Israel, who for the most part, has fallen away. It was Jews like Simeon and Anna who interceded for the Messiah to come the first time and Jewish prophets who foretold His appearing. Now God is looking to the Church to pray for Romans 11:26 to come to pass—which says “all Israel shall be saved.”
Now, let’s take a deeper look at these days.
Yeshua died on Passover
The last supper was actually the last Seder (meal on the first night of Passover). In fact, the practice of communion, the drinking of wine and eating of bread, symbolizing the body and blood of Yeshua was instituted on Passover. It was during the Seder that He took the third cup of wine, the Cup of Redemption and instituted the tradition. While many churches use bread for this practice, there was a reason that Yeshua used Matzah, bread without leaven. Leaven symbolizes sin. Yeshua was pure, without sin and therefore Matzah would have been the only appropriate type of bread to use.
Yeshua rose from the dead on Bikurim, Firstfruits.
The Bible teaches that the first Sunday, after the first Shabbat, after Passover begins would be the feast of Firstfruits. It was a time to thank God for the firstfruits of the Harvest. This is why Paul referred to Yeshua as the “firstfruits from among the dead” (1 Cor. 5:20). How fitting that God choose this day of all days to bring forth the Messiah from the grave.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first Jewish believers happened on Shavuot
If you look at just about any English version of the New Testament it will tell you that this great event took place on the “day of Pentecost.” Pentecost is a Greek word that means fifty. Jews would count the days from First Fruits to Shavuot. Shavuot means weeks, as in seven weeks or forty-nine days. Most Christians when they read their Bibles have no idea that this was an ancient Jewish feast day.
How interesting that God chose three Jewish Feast days for the sacrificial death of His Son, the resurrection of His Son and the outpouring of His Spirit, thus birthing the first assembly of believers in the Messiah (Acts 2).
(Photo D.C. Atty)