“Keep the festival of matzah by eating matzah, as I ordered you, for seven days during the month of Aviv; for it was in the month of Aviv that you came out from Egypt.”-Exodus 34:18
From verse 18, the Lord is repeating several commands as a means to RECONFIRM the Mosaic Covenant.
“Reconfirm?” you may ask.
Well, yes, because of the Golden Calf incident, the Mosaic Covenant had been broken and invalidated.
Therefore, the covenant had to be reconfirmed and reinstated.
The Lord starts off by reminding them to keep the Festival of Matza otherwise known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
One important point about this festival.
Many times in the Bible when you about the Festival of Matza, more often than not it is referring to a bundle of 3 DIFFERENT festivals.
They are “Passover”, “Matza” and “Firstfruits”.
These three festivals overlap and follow one after another in rapid succession.
Passover is a ONE DAY festival when the sacrificial lamb is killed and eaten.
Matza begins one day later and lasts for seven days (during this period nothing containing yeast is to be eaten).
Firstfruits occurs midway during the Feast of Matza.
Recall that all of these feasts were commemorating the Israelites’ release from captivity in Egypt.
Passover was about God going through Egypt and killing all the firstborn but “PASSING OVER” those who trusted Him by smearing the blood of a sacrificial Ram on their doorposts.
“Those” included both the Hebrews and the non-Hebrew (the Egyptians and others) who trusted in saving blood of the Lamb.
Matza was to remind the Hebrews that since they were in such a rush to get out of Egypt, they didn’t have time to make bread with yeast (leaven) and let it rise.
And Firstfruits was the spring agricultural festival celebrating the first new year’s harvest.
So for the Hebrews, these festivals were commemorations of what happened in the past.
However, what Israel at this time may not have realized, is that this holiday period was also prophetic in that it pointed directly to the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua.
Yeshua WAS the sacrificial lamb slain.
Yeshua’s sinless body WAS represented by the unleavened bread (remember yeast or leaven represents sin).
And Yeshua was the first fruits of those resurrected from the dead.
Personally, I just find it sad that under ZERO authorization from the Scriptures whatsoever, the gentile church has decided to do away with these God-ordained holy observances in favor of man-ordained holidays like “Good Friday” or “Easter” which employes the name of the pagan fertility goddess Ishtar and uses the typical fertility symbols of rabbits and eggs.
What is the solution to this mess, that could only have resulted by departing from the Scriptures?
The answer is simple and in fact is already happening as the times of the Gentiles slowly but surely come to a close.
RETURN TO GOD’S ORDAINED FESTIVALS.
I understand that there may well be challenges in their implementation.
But as much as can be done, observe them in as close a way as possible to the original, but in the context of your culture.
If you have indeed been grafted into God’s people (which is ONLY Israel), through the shed blood of Messiah, then why not observe God’s ordained festivals which point directly to the Messiah who you claim to worship?
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“John saw Yeshua coming toward him and said,
“Look, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!”
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples came to Yeshua and asked,
“Where do you want us to make preparations
for you to eat the Passover?”
“But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
-1 Corinthians 15:20