Fred R. Coulter - March 30, 2002

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And greetings, everyone. This is the regular Sabbath during the feast of Unleavened Bread. And it’s very unusual how this sequence in the calendar runs. It’s in a five-year period. We had two years with the Passover in the middle of the week, and then we have one year with the Passover on a Tuesday. And then two more years where the Passover is in the middle of the week. And that’s all according to the calculated Hebrew calendar. And I’m happy to report that Carl Franklin and Dwight Blevins have been working on the calendar situation, and they are ready to answer Frank Nelte. And we have absolute, unequivocal, historical, and scriptural proof that the calculated Hebrew calendar is the calendar that God gave to His people, and the one that we should use.

And we need to understand this: just like the Scriptures are of no private interpretation to any man, so likewise, any man who takes upon himself to change the calendar that God gave for his own version of the calendar, is taking upon himself, very presumptuously, something that God never gave them to do. So you can be happy, you can be reassured; you can have full confidence that the calculated Hebrew calendar is the calendar that God has given to His people. Now it just stands to reason when you think about it, would God commanded us to keep the holy days and not provide a means, or a method, whereby we know when to keep them?

Now, you see, with even all the calendars in the world, God made it absolutely clear that Saturday, the seventh day, is the Sabbath. Now men are trying to change some of those things by trying to portray Sunday as the seventh day of the week. And as a matter of fact, in Europe they portray Sunday as the seventh day of the week. So it’s going to be very hard for some of those people when they start coming to understand about the Sabbath, to realize that it’s not Sunday.

But you see, that’s how sneaky that Satan the devil is. He will twist, he will turn, he will malign, he will destroy, all to get the people of God confused. And the reason that he wants them confused is so that they will not meet on the days where God puts His presence. And if he can accomplish that, then he can gradually wean them away from God. Because the whole lesson of the feast of Unleavened Bread is what? A little leavened leavens the whole lump. And I’ve seen it happen over and over again. When you start messing with the calendar, then other things take place. Other difficulties come in. Sooner or later false doctrines follow. And that’s just the plain result of going against God - to be presumptuous, to do human will instead of the will of God.

Now on this Sabbath, we’re going to cover the things concerning this Sabbath and also the Wave Sheaf Offering day, which is tomorrow. But let’s begin first on the Sabbath before this Sabbath in the chronology of the life of Jesus Christ, leading up to the crucifixion. Now let’s come to John 12:20. And we’re going to read some things here, and as I have it outlined in The Harmony of the Gospels, this is on Sabbath. And this Sabbath it is the 10th of Nisan. And the 10th of Nisan is the day in which God commanded the Israelites to select their lamb for their Passovers. And to keep it up until, that is, the beginning of the 14th, and then to slay it. So here then on the 10th of Nisan, we find that God selected Jesus Christ as the Passover lamb, with a special message from heaven.

Let’s begin in John 12:20 (Harmony of The Gospels, Authors Translation, p. 221), “Now there were certain Greeks…” And these are really Hellenistic Jews. “…Certain Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. And these [they] came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee; and they asked him, saying, ‘Sir, we desire to see Jesus.’ [And] Philip came and told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The time has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’” (John 12:20-24, AT). That is, it grows and produces the fruit.

“‘The one who loves his life shall lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life.’” Now, I’m reading out of my translation from the Harmony, so that we can follow along in the time sequence here. Verse 26 (p.221), “‘If anyone will serve Me, let Him follow Me;…’” Now that’s very important. We have to follow Christ wherever He leads us. And following Him means walking in His footsteps. Following Him means going through the trials and difficulties that we’re confronted with. Following Him also means that we may have to follow Him unto death. Because we’re going to see that He’s talking about His crucifixion. So this is a very profound thing. And that’s why when we die the death at baptism, as we covered on the first holy day, that our lives are dead and they’re hid in Christ. And so therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. So whatever God has in store for us, whatever the circumstances may be that confront our lives, we must follow Christ. Regardless of what it is.

Now continuing in verse 26, “‘…And where I am, there shall My servant be also.’” And of course, Jesus Christ, we can say, comes spiritually, and Christ is with us on the Sabbath. So therefore He is here. We ask His blessing, we ask His presence, and Christ is dwelling in us. Now also, we have this that wherever Jesus is, there will His servant be. And they will be teaching the way of God. Verse 26, “‘…And if anyone serves Me, him shall the Father honor. Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this very purpose I have come to this hour’” (vs. 27-27, AT).

Now, verse 28 (p.223), “‘Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’” Now, this is a message from God the Father, as we will see. Because He says, “Father glorify Your name,” and then comes the answer from the Father, which then was probably communicated by an angel.

Verse 29, “Then the people standing there, who heard it, said, ‘It thundered.’” And of course, thunder - remember when God gave the ten commandments at Mount Sinai? There was thundering, there was lightning, there were the dark clouds. And so the thunder here is indicating that this comes directly from God. “Others said, ‘An angel spoke to Him.’ [And] Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice did not come because of Me, but because of you’” (vs. 29-30, AT). Because He was going to die for their sins. This is His selection to be the Lamb of God. Now let’s see, because He goes right on showing here in the context that He is going to be crucified.

Continuing now, verse 31, “‘Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.’ But He said this to signify by what death He was about to die.” In other words, that He would be crucified on a cross. “The people answered Him, ‘We have heard out of the law that the Christ lives forever, and why do You say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?’” (vs. 31-34, AT). Because they understood that being lifted up means that you were nailed to the cross while it’s down here and then the cross is raised up, and you are lifted up. So they didn’t quite understand what was going on. So here we have on Nisan 10, we have Jesus selected by God the Father as the Passover lamb.

Now let’s understand something very important. Now this is not a doctrine, but it’s very interesting concerning numbers. Now we know that we have, with the Feast of Tabernacles, we have seven days and then one more day, which is the eighth day, don’t we? Now we know the eighth day pictures the second resurrection. So number 8 signifies a resurrection. Now when you count from Sabbath, Nisan 10, inclusive counting, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, you have eight days. And Christ was resurrected on the eighth day after He was selected.

Now another thing - we’ll just jump ahead just a little bit to Pentecost to show you how number 8 and the resurrection are connected. Now we know that in counting for Pentecost, which will start tomorrow, the Wave Sheaf Offering day, will be day number one. And remember, to count Pentecost, it’s always beginning with the first day of the week during the days of unleavened bread. So you count seven weeks and then you come to the 50th day. But when you look at that last week, and you count the seven days for the week, then you have the 50th day. You also have the eighth day of that last week. And since Pentecost pictures the first resurrection, here we have number 8 associated with it. Now this is not a doctrine, or it is nothing cast in stone. But it’s just analyzing the numbers and figures that God has, so it’s interesting that number 8 is associated with new beginnings. Number 8 is associated with the resurrections, and let’s look here at Christ’s resurrection again.

We know that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday in the middle of the week. He died at approximately the ninth hour. Now let’s go ahead and see this. Let’s look at this and let’s look at the scriptures. Let’s come to Matthew 27:46. And what we are going to find is that Jesus died at the ninth hour, being about 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. And we know, as we’ll see, He was not put in the grave until just right at sunset. So Jesus was dead three hours before He was put in the tomb, then He was in the tomb three days and three nights. So here we have three full days and three full nights, plus three hours. Which means that from the time Jesus died until He was resurrected, that happened on the fourth day. Which is one-half of eight. Which may be significant, because Christ being the Son of man, would be resurrected in, as we would say, in half the time. But those are just interesting things to look at in the way that the calendar falls.

Now let’s begin here, Matthew 27:46 (p. 304). “And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ That is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Now we’ve already covered that, Christ and the Passover, and so we’re just reviewing here just a little bit. “And some of those who were standing there heard and said, ‘This one is calling for Elijah.’ And immediately one of them ran and, taking a sponge, filled it with vinegar and put it on a stick, and gave it to Him to drink. But the rest said, ‘Let Him alone! Let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.’ Then another took a spear and thrust it into His side, and out came water and blood. And after crying out again with a loud voice, Jesus yielded up His spirit. And suddenly the veil of the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom…” (Matt. 27:46-50, AT). And of course, we know that that was a tremendous event to take place. We’ve already covered that, so I’m just reviewing it here.

“…The earth shook, and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had died arose. And after His resurrection, they came out of the tombs and entered into the holy city, and appeared to many. Then the centurion and those with him who had been keeping guard over Jesus, after seeing the earthquake and the things that took place, where filled with fear, and said, Truly this was the Son of God!’” (vs. 51-54, AT, p. 305).

Now I’m sure they could see the effects of the earthquake. You could hear the effects of the earthquake. Now I know what that’s like, because I live in earthquake country down in Hollister, California. And just before the ground shakes, there’s a tremendous “pop.” Sometimes it’s like a loud bang, and then you see everything move. And I remember one time I was driving down the street and there was an earthquake. I didn’t know it was an earthquake at the time. But my car started going like this, and I thought, “Boy, I’ve got a flat tire.” And then I looked up and I saw the electric wires that were going from pole to pole were swaying back and forth. And I knew that it was an earthquake. So he saw the earthquake. He saw the veil rent in two, tore from top to bottom, as well as heard it. So this was a tremendous thing, indeed, that took place.

Now here in Mark 15:39, he said the same thing, that “Truly this man was the Son of God.” Now isn’t this interesting - isn’t it interesting the Jews rejected Christ as the Son of God. Here is this centurion guarding Christ, the soldiers there. Their mission was to kill Him. Crucify Him. And yet, they testified that He was the Son of God. Very interesting, isn’t it? That God would have a Gentile do that for the Jews.

Ok. Let’s continue on here. So Jesus was dead three days, three nights, plus three hours, being a total of 75 hours. And that brings us into four days, which is half of eight. Now let’s come down here to John 19:31. Were going to go ahead and just carry it forward to the burial of Christ, and with Him being put in the tomb. Verse 31 (AT, p. 305), “The Jews therefore, so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was a preparation day (for that Sabbath was a high day),…” Just like we had this week. We had Passover, we had Night Much To Be Remembered, we had the holy day. The holy day is the Sabbath. Same sequence of time during the week when Jesus was crucified and was buried. Then we have the Passover day here, the day portion of the Passover, was the preparation for the high day, or the Holy Sabbath. Being the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread.

“Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first one, and the legs of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers had pierced…” Because that’s an error - it’s past tense in the Greek, “…had pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water had come out. And he who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that what he says is true, so that you may believe.” Now that’s a very interesting thing, isn’t it? Because this is part of the canonization of the New Testament. John was the only apostle to stay and witness the whole thing. All the others left. All the others fled. All the others went to take care of themselves. But John stood there and watched the whole thing. Verse 36, “For these things took place so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘Not a bone of Him shall be broken.’ And again another scripture says, ‘They shall look upon Him Whom they pierced’” (vs. 31-36, AT). And so we have the death of Jesus.

Now let’s continue right on in verse 38 (AT, p. 307), “Now after these things, Joseph (the one from Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but having concealed it for fear the Jews)…” Now it’s a political thing. He undoubtedly decided at this time, now’s the time to get rid of being political. So he made himself openly known as a disciple of Jesus, “…Asked Pilate that he might take Jesus’ body away; and Pilate gave him permission. Then he came and took away the body of Jesus.” Now I’ve often wondered what it must have been like for him to take the body of Jesus. Now we don’t know how the cross, if the cross were put down on the ground again after He died, or whether he had to get a ladder to climb up there and take Him down or what. I would assume that the cross was down. So he came and took the body.

Verse 39, “And Nicodemus, who had came to Jesus by night…” Also a little political, wasn’t he? He didn’t want to come in the daytime and be seen. So here now with the tragedy of Christ dying, politics comes to an end. And I think it’s interesting that John mentions both of these, because I think later that they become very important in preaching the gospel, either in Jerusalem - and we know Joseph of Arimathaea, if the traditions are true, was an importer of tin from England. And he also had a residence there in the British Isles. There’s even a lot of tradition which says Jesus went there, and there’s even more tradition which says that the apostle Paul went there. Now we don’t know if the apostle Peter went there, or the other apostles, but it’s very likely that they did. Because that was one of the ways they could get around quickly and to getting into Europe. So just a little side-note here.

So Nicodemus, the one who came by night, “…also came, bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds [weight]. Then they took Jesus’ body and wound it in linen cloths with the aromatics,…” (vs. 39-40, AT). Now the way they would do the bodies was this: they would have the aromatics, or whatever the herbs were, and then they would start winding at the feet, and as they would wind it, they would put the aromatics in and so it was wrapping it with, I would say, about this wide of linen cloth. And wrap the body. So this absolutely precludes that there was ever a shroud.

Have you ever heard of the Shroud of Turin? Well, the Catholics claim that that was Jesus’ burial cloth. That is a hoax; that is a fraud; could not be. Because Jesus did not have one big piece of linen laid over the top of Him. He was wrapped. It says right here - He was wrapped and wound in linen cloth, so they wound it around Him, all the way around Him. We’ll see a little later on that He also had a napkin, which was a separate covering for the head.

“…As is the custom among the Jews to prepare for burial. Now there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. [And] Because of the preparation of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the tomb was near” (vs. 40-42, AT). And that ends the Passover day. The first day of Unleavened Bread begins, and Jesus then begins His three days and three nights in the tomb. So we find, just this little review, because this will help us understand the events that will take place on the Wave Sheaf Offering day.

Now let’s also understand something very important. The death of Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Because as we have seen, as the Creator, He came and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. And for sin, the sins of the world, died. Now then, it is not sufficient just to have a death. Because there is more that needs to be done. There is more that needs to be accomplished. Yes, you have your sins forgiven. But what has to happen after that? You have to be put in right standing with God. So Christ had to be resurrected to present Himself as that sacrifice. And He had to become the High Priest in heaven above so that we can have our sins not only forgiven, but be made justified before God the Father.

Now let’s come to Romans 4, and let’s see this. Let’s see how it talks about here concerning Abraham, and how righteousness was imputed to him. Now we’ve already covered that on the first day of Unleavened Bread, about the imputed righteousness that God gives to us; which He makes us in right standing before Him. And everywhere in the New Testament where Paul is talking about righteousness, this is the kind of righteousness that he’s talking about.

Now let’s come here to Romans 4 please, and let’s pick it up here in verse 21. Now again, I’m going to read out of my translation. And this is talking about Abraham. “And he was fully persuaded that what He had promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to Him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:21-11, AT). Now this is very important for us to understand. When you go before God and repent and ask for your sins to be forgiven, do you believe and know they’re forgiven? Do understand that they are forgiven? Now, when you’re done praying, don’t get up off your knees and say, “Well, I wonder if God forgave me?” Because, see, that’s not belief. That is doubt.

Now we have a High Priest in heaven above, Jesus Christ, Who came to this earth to be the perfect sacrifice, Who rose and ascended to the Father, was accepted as that sacrifice, and now is seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest to propitiate, or bring forgiveness, of our sins. So we need to believe as Abraham believed, and then that is imputed to us for righteousness.

Now, verse 23. Here’s the key. “But it was not written for His sake alone, that it was imputed to Him; rather, it was also written for our sake, to whom it shall be imputed; to those who are believing on Him Who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was delivered for our offenses [for our sins], and was raised for our justification” (vs. 23-25, AT). That’s why He was raised. He is a living Savior, a living High Priest. And we have a living relationship with God. And we have a living justification that we have imputed to us. And therefore, therefore as chapter 5:1 says, “Therefore, after having been justified by faith,…” Because we believe in the sacrifice of Christ, we believe in the resurrection of Christ. “…We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by Whom also we now have access by faith into this grace in which we now stand, and we ourselves are boasting in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2, AT).

And so this is meant to let us know that we have the greatest, absolutely the greatest relationship that can be. We, brethren, have a superior covenant, as we are going to learn, as we finish up the series on the book of Hebrews. We have a superior covenant, a superior High Priest, a superior way of worship, of faith, of truth, of love. Not of religious works of law of “Do this, do that, and don’t do the other.” But faith in the living God. Faith in His Son Jesus Christ as our living Savior in heaven above, Who is there to intercede for us, as we have seen. And it’s really a fantastic and marvelous thing that Jesus has done to make all of this possible.

Now we know that when Jesus prayed, just before He was arrested, He said, “Father, give Me the glory that I had with You before the world existed.” And so when He was resurrected, He ascended to the Father. Yes, He came back to the earth and was here for 40 days showing many miracles and signs to the apostles. And then when He ascended back into heaven He was fully glorified, and now is our High Priest sitting at the right hand of God. And so we’re going to see the Wave Sheaf Offering day is a most profound and important day for what took place.

Now we know that He was in the tomb three days and three nights. And we know the first part of Matthew 28, that the women went down just as the weekly Sabbath was drawing to a close to look at the tomb. Now they went down there to see if anything had happened. They went down there to see if, maybe the soldiers took the body away, or whatever. Because they were going to come the next morning, and they were going to, again, anoint the body of Jesus and put spices and so forth and take care of the body of Jesus even more.

Now when Jesus was raised from the dead toward the end of the weekly Sabbath, He was raised just right as the Sabbath was ending, but before the first day of the week began. Now let’s look at some scriptures which give us an indication of some of the things that Jesus thought when He was raised from the dead. Now we know that He could not have stayed in the tomb very much longer after He was resurrected; but rather He had to leave as quickly as possible, otherwise He would of been in the heart of the earth more than three days and three nights.

Now let’s come to Psalm 16 and let’s see, maybe these are the words of Christ. You know, because He went and did what He did. Christ divested Himself of being God to become a human being, because He trusted in the Father. They made a covenant. One of them would become the Son, and one of them would become the Father. And the two of Elohim had this agreement. Now if you don’t have my series, “The Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament,” by all means write for it. We’ll be happy to send it to you. It’s about 12 or 13 tapes. But there was a day when one of Elohim became the Father, and the other of Elohim became the Son.

Now let’s come to Psalm 2 just to cover this, just to show that Christ believed and trusted in God the Father. And they had this covenant. That, since He was going to become human and die for the sins of the world, because He was the one Who created mankind, He was the one Who gave them the law of sin and death within every human being so that we have human nature, He took the same thing upon Himself. He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by God the Father.

Now let’s read it here in Psalm 2, and let’s begin in verse 6. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” That is, Christ. Christ is the king. “I will declare the decree:…” And so God the Father decreed it. “…The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” And that was literally fulfilled on the very day that Jesus was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary. Now then, it goes in and shows how this is going to result in the Kingdom of God coming to the earth when Christ comes a second time. So it moves on ahead very rapidly. Verse 8, “Ask of Me [that is, ask of Me, God the Father], and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,…” He’s going to rule the world, right? Yes. “…And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” And of course, that’s exactly what it says in the book of Revelation that Christ is going to do. He’s going to rule them with a rod of iron. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings:…” That is, when Christ returns. Don’t come and fight Him. “…Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psa. 2:6-10, KJV).

Now this was the covenant that they had. Christ died, and He willingly went. We know in the book of Hebrews that “…He endured the shame of the cross for the joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2, paraphrased). Now that’s something. And it also says there in that same chapter of Hebrews 12, that none of us have resisted sin unto the shedding of our blood, yet. And I think that that is a truism we need to understand.

Now let’s come to Psalm 16. After Jesus died, now He’s resurrected. You know immediately He’s going to communicate with the Father. You know immediately He’s going to thank God. You know immediately that these things are going to be on His mind. Now, I am sure that He praised God for this promise that we find here in Psalm 16. Now let’s begin here in verse 5. “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” And so He could look forward to everything now because He came back to life.

Now let’s come down here to verse 9. “Therefore my heart is glad…” And I imagine so. I imagine that there was such joy when Christ was resurrected, not only joy of God the Father and the angels, but also of Christ after going through all of that. “…And my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Because this was the promise, the hope that God the Father would resurrect Him. He had to believe that. They had to have a covenant. And of course they could believe that, because you see God never lies. So that covenant was sure and true.

Verse 10, “For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither will Thou suffer [allow] Thine Holy One to see corruption.” Now when Peter preached the sermon in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost, he quoted this and applied it directly to Christ. So I’m sure that Christ claimed this promise and thanked God that He fulfilled His promise. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy;…” And of course there would be, being in the presence of God the Father after being resurrected. Great joy. “…[And] At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (vs. 10-11).

Now let’s look at Psalm 17, because here it gives us another indication of maybe some of the words of Jesus Christ after He was resurrected. Let’s pick it up here in verse 13. “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down; deliver my soul from the wicked, which is Thy sword.” Now this is talking about the crucifixion. And did God cast them all down? Yes. Boy, He sure confounded them, didn’t He? You know some of the things that took place right after the resurrection, and then right after Pentecost, and the things that the apostles preached, and how they stood right before the Sanhedrin and just told them things right to their face, that “Christ is the only one, Whom you crucified.” So yes, that’s a fulfillment of it.

“From men which are Thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly Thou fillest with Thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness” (vs. 14-16). Now these had to be some of the words of Christ after He was resurrected, claiming the promises, thanking God, praising God, coming before Him and just… I’ve often wondered this: where did He go after He left the tomb? See, He didn’t have to have the stone rolled away to get out of the tomb. Because He could walk through matter.

Now we know He did not ascend to the Father until about 9:00 in the morning on the Wave Sheaf Offering day. So where did Jesus go? Well, it doesn’t tell us. But perhaps, we could say, do you suppose that He went back to the garden of Gethsemane where He prayed, the same place where He prayed the night before He was arrested, or the night that He was arrested, rather? Because He resorted there often for prayer.

Now you can be sure it was desolate that night because the disciples weren’t there. And no one else would be there, so it would be interesting to contemplate that Jesus probably went to the garden of Gethsemane. And when He went there - let’s come to Psalm 23 now. And I’ve likened this Psalm to the “Resurrection Psalm” because Psalm 22 is the “Crucifixion Psalm.” Now Psalm 23 is the Resurrection Psalm. And I wonder if His prayer followed along the lines of Psalm 23. So let’s read it with that in mind. Christ is there in the garden of Gethsemane, maybe by that ancient olive tree that we have a picture of in the Harmony of the Gospels. It is well over 2000 years old. So it may have been right there. We don’t know. But it’s possible. And let’s look at this as the prayer of Christ.

 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” That means, “I shall not lack anything.” Of course He wouldn’t, because He now has fullness of everything, doesn’t He? Yes. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul...” Which He did through the resurrection, didn’t He? “…He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psa. 23:1-3, KJV). And of course, Jesus was righteous and faithful to the Father in everything that He did. And remember, twice the voice came and said, “This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil…” And yes, He did. He walked through the valley of death. He died. “…For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies…” Yes indeed. Right in front of their face, He was resurrected. They didn’t see it. They didn’t believe it. They didn’t know it. Yet He came back and showed Himself to the disciples, you see. “…Thou annointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (vs. 4-6). And of course, yes, Jesus will. And the house of the Lord is in heaven above. And that’s what’s going to be brought to the earth when Jesus returns.

Part 2

Now let’s look at another Psalm, which perhaps could be something that Jesus also prayed after He was resurrected, before then He ascended to the Father. Maybe He prayed this prayer also that night. Let’s come to Psalm 57, and let’s begin in verse 5. “Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst where of they are fallen themselves” (Psa. 57:5-6). And that’s a good description of the crucifixion. Though they came after Him and killed Him, what did they do? They dug a pit and they fell in it. And that pit was literally executed in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple and the dispersion of the Jews.

Verse 7, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:…” Now you see, Jesus didn’t waver at all. Now sometimes we may waver. So we have got to come to the same attitude that Jesus had, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.” That you have the kind of belief and the kind of faith that is there permanently in you. Not vacillating because of men. Not doubting because of lack of faith. But believing God, believing His word, and having your heart fixed that nothing can turn you back from God. And of course, Christ had do that. Yes. Absolutely.

“…I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.” Isn’t that interesting. What is death accounted like? But asleep. So here He’s awake. “I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto Thee among the nations. For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds. Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let Thy glory be above all the earth” (vs. 9-11). And isn’t that what Jesus prayed? “Restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world existed.” Quite a tremendous thing.

Now let’s come to John 20, and again I’m going to read out of my translation. And let’s see what happened after they came to the tomb. Let’s see how the events took place, and just exactly how these things occurred. John 20.

Now when the women came to the tomb early in the morning, we find this. Let’s come back to the book of Mark. Let’s come to Mark 16:2. Let’s go ahead and cover this. The women came back. They were carrying the spices. They were going to go ahead and take care the body. They were wondering who was going to roll stone away from the tomb, and so forth. So here’s Mark's account, beginning in verse 2 of Mark 16 (AT, p. 336).

“And very early on the first day of the weeks,…” Now that’s a literal translation, because this is the first day of counting the weeks toward Pentecost. And in the Greek, it is plural. “…At the rising of the sun, they were coming to the tomb; and they were asking themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ For it was a massive stone. But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. And after entering the tomb, they saw a young man…” Who was an angel, no doubt, who had rolled away the stone. “…Sitting on the right, clothed in a white robe; and they were very frightened. But he said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. You are seeking Jesus the Nazarene, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here… But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goes before you into Galilee; there you shall see Him, as He said to you.’ And they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them; and they did not say anything to anyone, because they were afraid” (Mark 16:2-8, AT, p. 336-337). I imagine they were. I imagine that it was just like total electricity in their body because of what had happened.

Now let’s look at the account of Mary Magdalene in John 20. Now let’s go there. It says in the first verse, while it was yet dark Mary Magdalene went out and she was going to the tomb. Well, as she was going to the tomb, it was getting light. So it was very, very early. Now let’s pick it up here in verse 2. She came and found that the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’ As a result, Peter and the other disciple…” Now this other disciple was John. “…Went out and came to the tomb. Now the two ran together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and he stooped down and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not enter. Then Simon Peter came following him, and he went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin that had been on His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also went in and saw these things; and he believed” Very interesting. It didn’t say that Peter believed. John believed. “For they did not yet understand the scripture which decreed that He must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their home” (John 20:2-10, AT, p. 336-337).

Now let’s examine this and see what this tells us. This is a very interesting thing. Remember, Jesus’ body was wrapped with that linen. Much like you would say a mummy is wrapped. Now they saw the linen cloths lying. Now I assume that that means that they saw the cloths still wrapped in the same shape as Jesus’ body, only with no body in it. And with no body in it, it probably, with the weight of the spice and everything, fell down together. That would show that He was resurrected right out of it. Now then, we have something else. We have the head napkin, which was on His head, was folded up and placed by itself in another place. Now this tells us very clearly that Jesus was alive. Because napkins don’t fold themselves. We all know that.

Now, another thing: this tells us that they didn’t steal the body away. Now why? Because if they had stolen the body away, they just would have picked it up and carried it all wrapped up and with the napkin still on His head. So this is a tremendous witness and proof that Jesus rose from the dead, and that’s why the apostle John, when he saw it, believed it because he connected the two together, that this couldn’t happen by someone stealing the body away. There had to be a resurrection. And so yes, there was. So, boy that was something.

So they went away to their home. But Mary Magdalene stayed there. Because she still was wondering, what happened to the body of Jesus? She really didn’t understand. So, let’s continue on, verse 11. “But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white who were sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid” (vs. 11-12). Now that’s interesting. This tells us that the cloths, again, verifies that the cloths that He was wrapped in, were still in the form that He was wrapped in, because one of the angels was where the head was, and the other one was where the feet were. Now then, if it weren’t that way, you wouldn’t be able to tell the head from the foot, would you? No. If Jesus took all the wrappings off and just wrapped them up and a big ball, you wouldn’t be able to tell head from feet would you? So this again is a verification that there were the cloths there. Now this is a great mystery, you know. This is because of the power of God with His spirit, and the resurrection. And so this is a tremendous thing.

Now continuing on, “And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’” Well, that’s quite a thing. So, of course, by this time Jesus returned to the tomb. And then He appeared to Mary. Now let’s pick it up here and let’s continue on in verse 14, and see what happens here. “And after saying these things, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Thinking that it was the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him off, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ Turning around, she said to Him, ‘Rabboni’; that is to say, ‘Teacher.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father…’” (vs. 13-17, p. 337 –338).

So here, on the Wave Sheaf Offering, Christ has to ascend to the Father. He has to ascend to be accepted as that perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. So He said, verse 17, “‘Don’t touch Me… But go to My brethren…’” Now listen to this. I want you to understand that our relationship with God the Father is exactly the same as the relationship that Jesus Christ had. I mean, do you understand how important that is? Do you grasp the significance of that? Do you really let it sink into your mind the greatness of what God has called you to? Now listen to these words: “…I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”

Now just as an aside, maybe this will help you understand why God hates hierarchy, where men place themselves between the brethren of God and God the Father. Listen - the whole book of Hebrews, as we’re going to see, shows that we have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ any time. Tremendous relationship with God. Let me read that again. “‘…My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” Now I don’t know about you, but that makes chills go up and down my spine, that God would put us in this kind of relationship with Him, that we can call, “Abba, Father,” and He hears us. And He answers our prayers, and He loves us, and He cares for us. Just as He loved Jesus, He loves us. And that’s why He’s provided the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so we can be justified and in right standing with God the Father in heaven above. The greatest thing that could happen in your life is that very thing in this physical life. Nothing greater can be.

Now maybe that will help you and inspire you to understand why prayer is so important; why study is so important. Because you have a relationship with the Sovereign of the universe, God the Father with Jesus Christ at His right hand, and as our High Priest. And Who are working with you, and preparing you, and molding you, and creating Christ in you, and creating the character of God in you through the power of His Holy Spirit, to have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, so that when it comes time for you to die, then when you are resurrected you will be as Christ is. And so this is the whole hope of God’s word. The whole hope of our calling. Now that’s very profound. We need to understand that brethren. That is something! It is awesome!

There is - let me just say this: There is nothing greater in your physical life that you are now living than your relationship with God the Father, than your relationship because of what Christ has done for you in dying for your sins and being resurrected to be your High Priest and your older brother. He calls us “Brethren”. That’s something. That is amazing!

Now what we need to do is go back to Leviticus 23:10-11. Now let’s read it here. Now I’ve got in the Harmony, I’ve got the translation by Everett Fox from The SchockenBible: Volume One – The Five Books of Moses. And the way he translates it, I think, is very profound. Because it reflects the type of Christ as being the first of the first fruits. And this is important. Now, what they were to do when they entered into the land, verse 10, “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, and you harvest its harvest,…”

Now there’s one minister out there who says, “Well, they didn’t do this. They didn’t eat of the crop until the second year they were there. They didn’t wave the wave sheaf offering until the second year they were there, because the Canaanites planted the harvest, and they couldn’t possibly use that because that is ‘unholy’ wheat.” Well, it really doesn’t matter who harvested it, because God gave it to them.

But notice this. It says, “…you harvest its harvest…” Showing that, yes, it was in the very first year that they crossed, right after they crossed the Jordan River, there they had it. Ok? You can read that in Joshua 5. Continuing now, verse 10, “…you are to bring the premier sheaf of your harvest to the priest.” That is, the first of the first fruits, and it is the “premier.” Meaning, “the principal one,” or “the first one”. In the Greek, this would come from protos, meaning “the primary one”. And of course, that has direct reference to Christ. “And he shall elevate the sheaf…for you…” Not just wave it, but elevate it. Because then, that’s symbolic of the resurrection: rising to heaven. “…[And] elevate the sheaf before the presence of YHWH, for acceptance for you; on the morrow of the Sabbath the priest is to elevate it.”

Now this means on the first day of the week during the feast of unleavened bread. That’s when it was to be waived. This is symbolic of Christ, Who on that first day of the week after He was resurrected on the Sabbath, then He appeared to Mary Magdalene first, and said, “Don’t touch Me. For I have not yet ascended to My Father, and to your Father and to My God, and to your God. But you go tell the disciples that I’m alive (John 20:17, paraphrased).” So Mary Magdalene went and did that.

Now then, let’s come to 1 Corinthians 15:20, and let’s understand something very important here. And that is that not only is Christ the firstfruits, we’re going to also see little later on He is also the firstborn. Now let’s pick it up beginning in verse 20. “But now has Christ been raised from the dead; He has become the firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, at His coming, those who are Christ’s” (1 Cor. 15:20-23, AT). So He is the firstfruit.

Now let’s come to Colossians 1, and let’s understand that He is the firstborn from among the dead. Now let’s read it here beginning in verse 16. “Because by Him were all things created…” Isn’t that something? Our Creator did this, didn’t He? Amazing thing. That always leaves me in awe and amazement when I think about that. “Because by Him were all things created, the things in heaven and the things upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist” (Col. 1:16-17, AT). Now in the first chapter of Hebrews, it says that He upholds all things by the word of His power.

Now continuing on here in Colossians, verse 18, “And He is the Head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, that in all things He might hold the preeminence.” Now that’s quite a thing. Now as we also saw on the first holy day, we are called the church of the firstborn.

Now let’s come to Romans 8:29, and let’s see something also important, which shows that we are in a family relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. But also, that we are in a special relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, in relationship to the rest of the world. You see we are the elect of God. We are the called of God. You know, let that sink in. We haven’t been called to some ne’er-do-well, stupid religion, run by men, to try and control your lives, and take your money, and take your lands, and make a mess out of your life! That’s happened too many times. And that’s why the Worldwide Church of God does not exist. He said, “Away with it!” Because He wants contact with each one of us directly, and individually.

The minister’s job is to teach you how to worship God, teach you how to have a relationship with Him. Not run your life for you. You learn from God. You run your life. Let Christ control it. Be led of the Holy Spirit. That’s what’s important. Because we’re going to be in a family relationship. Listen - Christ can do much more for you through the power of the Holy Spirit than any minister telling you what to do. Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need some advice from time to time. Listen - Romans 8:29… now let’s go back to verse 28. I do this quite often. But let’s go back to verse 28.

Remember this: “And we know that all things…” Now I want you to underscore that: “all things”. Everything. Even the trials and difficulties that you go through. “…Work together for good to them that love God,…” That’s why the love of God is the most important thing. “…To them who are the called according to His purpose.” Which you have been. “For [Because those] whom He did foreknow,…” And he knows us, doesn’t He? Because He’s the heart-knowing God. Yes. “…He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son,…” Now, read Revelation 1 and see what He looks like. “…That He [that is, Christ] might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:28-29, KJV). So that’s why we’re the church of the firstborn. Christ is the first of the firstborn. We’re the firstborn church, He’s the first of the firstfruits, and we are the firstfruits.

Now notice, here is a promise, an absolute promise from God. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified [which we are through Christ]: and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (vs. 30). Because God is looking at you as how you’re going to be when you are resurrected and a glorified spirit being. That’s what the imputed righteousness of Christ is all about. Now let’s also understand something else. We have already been glorified a little bit. Because we have the Holy Spirit in us by begettal. That is a little bit of glorification. So these things are profound, brethren. This is something. This is an amazing thing. What God has done is just absolutely an amazing, an amazing thing.

Now let’s see about the ascension of Christ. Because He said that He would go to the Father. Now, I’m going to do some reading out of the Harmony, because sometimes when things are written, it’s written in such a way that it can say more and have a greater impact. So I’m going to begin reading on page 333 about His ascension. And here, we again look at some of the things that maybe Christ was thinking when He was ascending. And I wonder what that felt like. You know, one day we’re going to ascend, and we’ll know what that feels like.

Now: “As He was ascending to the Father, Jesus must have been filled with great joy and anticipation. He would see the Father face to face for the first time since He had become a pinpoint of life when He divested Himself of His power and glory as God to be born of the virgin Mary. Again, the Psalms help us comprehend some of the thoughts and feelings that Jesus may have experienced as He looked forward to being reunited with the Father.”

Now let’s turn to Psalm 63, let’s begin in verse 1. “O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.” Yes, and to see the power and glory of God the Father again. “Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.” (Psa. 63:1-3, KJV). And I think that’s quite appropriate for the ascension of Christ.

Now let’s also understand something here. There is a Psalm which shows how Christ entered, when He came up to the sea of glass and was received by the angels before He was received of the Father. Now let’s come to Psalm 24. “The earth is the LORD’S, and fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity,…” Now this here is… is this Psalm 15? Anyway, I’ve got it here. “…Nor sworn deceitfully.” Christ was the perfect one. “He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (Psa. 24:1-5, KJV). And remember, Jesus cried with tears and strong supplications to the Father Who was able to save Him.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. [He was victorious over human nature, and sin, and Satan the devil, and death]. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psa. 24:7-10, KJV). That must have been something.

“What a magnificent scene of splendor and glory that Jesus saw when He entered through the everlasting gates of heaven! As He stood on the sea of glass, He saw the resplendent glory and awesome majesty of God the Father seated on His throne with the heavenly host round about. The apostle John, the one whom Jesus loved, saw a vision of God’s throne and recorded it in the book of Revelation” (Harmony of the Gospels, p. 333).

And here’s what he wrote. Let’s come to Revelation 4:1. “After these things I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what things must take place after these things.’ And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone: and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance” (p. 333).

“And around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding out from the throne were lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, were burning before the throne; and before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And before the throne and around the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind; and the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a calf, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full eyes; and day and night they ceased not saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come.’

“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him Who sits on the throne, Who lives into the ages of eternity, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne; and they worship Him Who lives into the ages of eternity, and cast their crowns down before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: because You did create all things, and for Your will they were created and exist’” (Rev. 4:1 –11, AT, Harmony of the Gospels, p. 334).

And brethren, we’re part of the greatest will of God. Called, chosen, selected, justified, glorified, that we also can share the same thing that Jesus did. That one day we are going to appear before the throne of God the Father. One day we’re going to see Him just like Jesus Christ saw Him. But Christ had to be the firstfruit. Christ had to be the first one, because He had to come to be our High Priest, to propitiate our sins; to send the Holy Spirit, to lead us, to guide us, to prosper His word. To build His church. Tremendous thing.

“This was the scene that Jesus saw as He walked forward to present Himself to the Father as the perfect sacrifice for sin. He was the first of the firstfruits and the firstborn from the dead. As He walked on the sea of glass toward the Father sitting on His throne, the angels, the twenty-four elders and God the Father could see on His body the scars of the lashes that He had received when He was beaten with a cat-of-nine tails which tore open His flesh. They could see the scars in His hands and feet where the soldiers had nailed Him to the cross. When the Father’s beloved Son greeted His Father, They must have opened their arms and embraced each other in profound love and tears of joy. Thus Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was accepted by God the Father on the Wave Sheaf Day” (Harmony the Gospels, page 334).

“After He was accepted of the Father, Jesus was selected to open the seven seals. He and He alone was qualified, because He had overcome all. The apostle John saw this tremendous scene in a vision and recorded it for us.” And here’s what it says, beginning in Revelation 5. “And at the right hand of Him Who sits on the throne I saw a book, written within and on the back, which had been sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals of it?’ And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth had the power to open the book, or to look inside it. And I [John] was weeping greatly because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, or to look inside it.

“Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion Who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome and isable to open the book, and to lose the seven seals of it.’ And I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders, was standing a Lamb that looked as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes,…” And those are the churches. “…Which are the seven Spirits of God that have been sent into all the earth; and He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him Who sits on the throne.”

“And when He took the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having harps and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they were singing a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to open its seals; because You were slain, and did redeems us to God by Your own blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and did make us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign upon the earth.’” And brethren, keep that always in mind. That’s where everything is headed to.

Now continuing, “And I saw, and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne, and the voices of the living creatures and the elders, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,…” On this day that Christ was accepted, “…‘Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.’ And every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and those that are on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing, and honor, and glory, and sovereignty into the ages of eternity.’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’” (Rev. 5:1-12, AT, Harmony of the Gospels, p. 334 –335).

And so what a day that was. What an absolute marvelous day. And brethren, we are the result of that. And we are going to be a part of that. Now let me just conclude with this: “This is the glory and majesty that Jesus Christ received when He was accepted by God the Father as the Savior and Redeemer of mankind on the Wave Sheaf Day. Jesus had overcome sin in the flesh and gained complete victory over death, opening the way for the redemption and salvation of all mankind through faith in Him. Now He lives in eternal glory, as the first of many sons of God who will be resurrected at His second coming to share His eternal glory and immortality. Those who are Jesus Christ’s are now being perfected through the love, grace and power of God the Father” (Harmony of theGospels, p. 335).

So let Christ work in you. Let this feast of Unleavened Bread be a powerful turning point in your life, that you can have a greater spiritual relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That you can understand more fully what Christ has done for you. That you can be inspired to do the will of God, inspired to love God, inspired to believe God. Let Christ be in you. Then you are perfectly unleavened. And you stand before God righteous and pure. Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

“They will be granted the identical spiritual existence that the Father and Son have. They will be the sons and daughters of God the Father, and the brethren of Jesus Christ. Jesus shared human existence with mankind in order to become the sin offering for the world, so that all who believe in Him may ultimately share His eternal existence and glory in the Family of God throughout the ages of eternity” (Harmony of the Gospels,p. 335).

And so brethren, when we have the Passover in the middle of the week and then we have the Sabbath and then the Wave Sheaf Offering day in the same sequence as it was during the week when Christ was crucified it has great meaning for us. So continue to have a great feast. We’re only halfway through.