In Leviticus 23 God instructs the Israelites on the seven annual feasts. As Christians we can see that the first four feasts are linked to Jesus and the work of His ministry in His first coming. The following three feasts relate to Christ and His second coming. In between these two groups of feasts there is a time of harvest for Israel. Jesus is our Passover. Unleavened bread relates to His burial. Firstfruits relates to Jesus’s resurrection. The Feast of Weeks or pentecost is connected to the birth of the church and the time of “harvest” following. The Feast of Trumpets speaks to the ultimate calling together of God’s church. The Day of Atonement speaks to the perfect Atonement that Jesus has given us, but also freedom from affliction. The feast of Booths or Tabernacles speaks to the peace and rest in the Lord from beginning to end.
The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table. At the end of this guide is a resource from www.esv.org to help with our study of Leviticus.
VISION + STORIES
Take time to connect and be reminded of our shared vision- We are a people abiding in Christ, to join His vision of transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
+ WHAT is one way you see the Lord working in the lives of those you are walking with to discover the gospel?
SING + PRAY
Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER [ Leviticus 21:1-44 ] In Large group
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 4 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord's Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 8 But you shall present a food offering to the Lordfor seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.”
9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings.20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.
22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.”
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lordyour God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.”
33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work. 37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord's Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.
39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lordseven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” 44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.
+ What are the seven feasts?
+ What must be done during each feast?
+ When does each feast take place?
PROCESS (In Breakouts of 2-3’s, guys/girls)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time? (Below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ Have you ever thought of the feasts in light of Jesus and His Ministry?
+ How can you live out the ideas and principles of these feasts in your faith?
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., spend time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
STUDY GUIDE ( ESV STUDY BIBLE - WWW.ESV.ORG )
+ Lev. 23:1–44 This chapter presents the calendar for feasts in Israel (compare Ex. 23:10–19; 34:18–26; Numbers 28–29; Deut. 16:1–17;). Keeping this calendar sets Israel apart from all the surrounding nations.
+ Lev. 23:1–3 During the appointed feasts, people are to meet with the Lord. The Sabbath is a day of solemn rest and the basis for all the following feasts. The day is also one of holy convocation, or public assembly for worship (vv. 2, 4, 7, 21).
+ Lev. 23:4–8 The Passover is also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. See Ex. 12:1–20; Luke 22:1.
+ Lev. 23:9–14 For laws relating to the firstfruits, see Ex. 23:15 and 34:18–20. The feast celebrates the harvest as a blessing from God to his people.
+ Lev. 23:15–22 The Feast of Weeks is also called the “Feast of Harvest” (Ex. 23:16) and “the day of the firstfruits” (Num. 28:26). In the NT it is called “Pentecost” (Acts 2:1). This celebration recognizes the Lord as provider of the harvest, who deserves the first of all produce.
+ Lev. 23:23–25 At the Feast of Trumpets, trumpet blasts and a solemn assembly call the people to prepare for the most sacred month of the Hebrew calendar. It also marks the end of one agricultural year and the beginning of another. Following the Babylonian exile, Jews celebrated this day as Rosh Hashanah, or New Year’s Day.
+ Lev. 23:26–32 During the Day of Atonement, the people are to humble themselves (see note on 16:29–34) and not do any work. Otherwise, they will be cut off from their people.
+ Lev. 23:33–36 The Feast of Booths was a weeklong feast celebrating the people’s salvation from Egypt.
+ Lev. 23:37–44 These six appointed feasts are to help the people worship the Lord and remember his work on their behalf. Verses 39–44 return to discuss the Feast of Booths.