RETURN TO EDEN is a nine post series that will look at the entire Bible – Genesis to Revelation – as a complete story of God’s passionate plan to restore humanity to Himself. If you missed post one “A Broken World,” CLICK HERE.
Our Father does nothing by accident. There is no coincidence. Before He said “Let there be light” He knew what we would become; how we would fall; that He would send His Son to fix it.
And while He is unsearchable, He doesn’t hide His plan from us. He’s been making it clear to us since He began to repair the world in Genesis 3:
And I will cause hostility between you and the women, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:14-15 NLT
Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…” Isaiah 46:9-12 NASB
He wants us to know what He’s up to. It’s not a secret. And nothing shows this more clearly than looking at the seven feasts that Israel was instructed to observe each and every year. In fact, the Apostle Paul described them this way:
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:16-17 NIV
The feasts are a shadow of things to come. Think about that for a moment. A shadow can give you the outline; you can’t see the details and the faces, but you can get an idea of what is casting the shadow. That’s what Paul described the feasts as: a way to get an idea or understanding of what was coming.
And looking back at Jesus’ first coming, it’s easy to see what was making the shadows.
Every spring, Israel was commanded to observe the Feast of Passover. This feast
commemorated the events that led to their release from bondage in Egypt. On the 14th day of the first month of their religious calendar, each family slaughtered a lamb in recognition of the lambs slain to buy their freedom from slavery.
Four days before that, each family selected the lamb that would be their sacrifice. It was brought into the home and examined up until the time of the sacrifice, to ensure that it truly was a spotless lamb, without any blemish.
And around 1,500 years after the first Passover lambs were killed in Egypt, Jesus entered Jerusalem in pomp and circumstance. He went to the House of the LORD, and spent the next four days being examined by every religious and political group in the land. He was declared faultless by Pilate. And around 3pm on the day that the lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple, Jesus completed His work as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
There isn’t any major revelation in this. We know that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb. But the story doesn’t end there. That’s only the start. The next three feasts complete the shadows of what Jesus did in His first coming.