Archive for Pharisees

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Show Bread

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is returning to God’s Law. The focus is Temple worship service. Up first is the showbread or shewbread.

Nehemiah 10:33a …for the showbread…

Simply put the term for showbread is “bread” in the original Hebrew. The Hebrew term is lechem. The word is also translated as food or meal. It is bread made from the grain of barley, wheat, or corn.

The original source for the showbread comes from Leviticus 24.

Leviticus 24:5-9 “You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the LORD regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the LORD’s food offerings, a perpetual due.”

Let’s take a look at the specifics of the verses above from Leviticus 24.

There are 12 loaves of bread, 2 piles of 6. The point of the bread is a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD.

The text makes it very clear. This is to be done every week on the Sabbath by the descendants of Aaron or the Levites. The bread is to be arranged regularly. It is a covenant forever for the priests. The bread is to be presented weekly as a perpetual due.

photo: Temple Institute

Fast forward roughly 1,440 years from Moses to Jesus. Christ is about to give the Pharisees more than they can handle. Jesus, of course, is going to choose the Sabbath to make a point.

Matthew 12:1-7 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

If one is hungry, they can eat, even on the Sabbath. The disciples were hungry. It is not illegal to eat on the Sabbath.

But yet, the Pharisees wanted to make an issue of the situation. Jesus chose to use the illegal and sinful example of King David (See 1 Samuel 21 for the incident). David lied and manipulated the situation. Christ also pointed out the hypocrisy of the priests.

Jesus is the Lord. The showbread is a food offering to the LORD. The only crime Jesus committed is He broke the “law” of the Pharisees. Jesus is not breaking the law by eating the showbread on the Sabbath. Taking care of your friends with provision is more important than following a man made tradition.

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15, Saturday, 33 AD

Posted in Gospel, Prophecy, Spring Feasts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by paulthepoke

The second of God’s holidays is Unleavened Bread or Chag haMatazt in the Hebrew. The holiday begins on the 15th of Nisan and runs for seven days.

The directions for Unleavened Bread are noted in Exodus 12:15-20. The focus of the week is to live a life without leaven, the symbol for sin. Leaven is not to be in the house. Leaven products are not to be consumed. Bread without yeast, matzah, is to be eaten.

matzah

Scripture is clear God’s appointed Unleavened Bread took place on the Sabbath. Luke 23:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Matthew 27:62-66 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

The religious leaders’ actions indicate the days of the week these events took place. Now on the next day, the day after the preparation… “The next day” is the day after the crucifixion. We know Jesus died on Friday, the day before the current day of the verse. That next day is Saturday or the Sabbath. The Pharisees were concerned with the apostles or followers of Jesus stealing His body. The Pharisees understood Jesus was talking about a resurrection of His dead body. They knew Jesus was calling for a resurrection on the third day, Sunday. The Pharisees wanted a guard at the tomb to stop any hoax. In the end, they provided eyewitnesses and verification of Jesus’ resurrection.

Because Unleavened Bread took place on the Sabbath or Saturday, Passover was on Friday. First Fruits was on Sunday.

Leaven is a symbol of sin. Jesus lived a life without sin (leaven). 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus is the unleavened bread.

He is the bread of life. John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  

Jesus was buried and in the grave on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Sabbath or Saturday.

 

The Resurrection, An Enemy’s Perspective Part 2

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by paulthepoke

Matthew 28:11-15 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ “And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.” And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.

Note the response of the priests and Pharisees. They did not try to deny or refute the claims of the soldiers. The Jews did not try to sway or change the story. The soldiers were believable. I think I would have some serious conviction if I had seen what the soldiers saw. The soldiers knew Christ’s body was missing. They had been literally shaken to their core by an earthquake. And they saw a bright, white being that was ridiculously strong. They knew better than to try and mess with it.

The Pharisee response, give the Roman guards lots of money. The soldiers are paid to lie. They could not have the truth out in the open.

Question, how many grave robbers would it have taken to pull off the job of stealing a body? There would need to be forces to take out the Roman guards. There would need to be several men to remove the sealed stone. Do you think all skilled Roman soldiers would have fallen asleep on the job knowing the consequences? Say they were asleep. Do you think the guard would have awakened with all the racket of somebody trying to steal a body?

The Jews said they would cover for the soldiers in regards to their superiors. The Jews knew the soldiers would pay a hefty price for failure when it came to their superiors, their lives. The Jewish leaders were willing to step in on behalf of the soldiers and deal with Roman leadership to quiet this talk of resurrection. Both parties just wanted “The Resurrection” to go away.

Here are some things the Jewish leaders did not do. One, they did not produce a body. Two, they did not form a search committee and go looking for Jesus. If His followers took the body, it should have been easy to find. Three, they fought the early church and the apostles at every opportunity.

The Resurrection, An Enemy’s Perspective Part 1

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2013 by paulthepoke

Let’s look at those who were hostile or indifferent to Christ. What was their response to the resurrection? Let’s set aside the hundreds of eye witness accounts of believers or followers of Christ who saw a resurrected Jesus. What does the Bible have to say about non-believers? What was their response and perspective after the death of Jesus? The religious Jews and their power base were threatened by Jesus. He was moving in on their turf. The Pharisees wanted any memory of Jesus to be completely sealed in a tomb. The Romans wanted political and military control of the region. The last thing the Romans wanted was upheaval and a social uprising. They were interested in “keeping the peace” as they saw it.

Matthew 27:64-66 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.

The Pharisees have a request after the death of Jesus. To kill Him was not satisfactory. The Jews were bent on squelching any “resurrection”.  Pilate was likely agreeable to the Jews’ request just to get them out of his hair. He washed his hands of Christ’s pending death and claimed innocence of His blood (Matthew 27:24).

Pilate issued a Roman guard to protect the tomb. A guard was usually four men. These men were skillfully trained. Failure to perform their duty resulted in torture and death in front of their peers. The size of the average stone used to seal a tomb during Jesus’ day was approximately 1.5-2 tons. This would have taken several men to complete the job.  The tomb was sealed by the Roman Empire. If the Roman seal was broken, death by upside down crucifixion was the penalty. McDowell, J., Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1972, 1979.

Matthew 28:2-4 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

These were Roman soldiers. These were the most skilled, deadly, and armed military men of their day.  But they had an encounter with something they had not seen before, a being capable of moving a sealed, two ton stone. This thing was bright, white hot and came with an earthquake. It dropped out of the sky. It was a picture of eerie calm. The angel sat on the grave stone it moved, not exactly a hostile or defensive posture.

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