Oh, Rapture!: What Nehemiah Reveals About Christ’s Return

by Rebecca Olmstead on May 22, 2012

in Meat & Potatoes

Blessings Friends,

Have you ever wondered what it will be like in the days preceding Christ’s return for His church, commonly known as the Rapture?

Too many Christians read Mark 13:32:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,”

and decide that they are meant to be ignorant of the facts surrounding  the culmination of God’s plan of redemption.

But Jesus made it clear to His disciples that we are to know and be watching for the signs of His coming.

Matthew 24:32-34:

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”

God doesn’t do anything randomly. He is sovereign, and though His ways may be mysterious to us, He has gone out of His way to reveal His plan for us. If you look carefully enough, God’s plan can be seen in nature, in the stars, and planets, and most obviously in His Word.

The instrument God used to reveal His plan to us is Israel.

Through Israel’s history, God gave this people seven feasts to keep. These feasts were to remind them of where they had been, and what God had done for them, but they had another purpose as well. We learn in Leviticus 23, that these feasts were a foreshadowing of God’s plan for salvation and redemption.

As we look at these seven feasts, we’ll see that four of them have already been fulfilled by events in history. These feasts include:

The three spring feasts:

Passover (Pesach):

This feast commemorated the tenth plague on Egypt, when The Angel of Death took the first born of every family, but passed over the houses that had been marked by the blood of a perfect lamb.

This feast was fulfilled by Christ’s crucifixion. The blood of The Perfect Lamb of God was shed to save us from eternal death, or hell.

The Feast of Unleavened (Chag HaMotzi:

This feast was to commemorate the haste with which Israel left Egypt. They had no time to let their bread rise. At the Passover Seder, or meal, a piece of unleavened bread, matzo, is wrapped in cloth and hidden for the children to find. This matzo is called the Afikomen. It’s important to note that, in scripture, leaven, or yeast symbolized sin.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by Jesus’ death and burial. Not only does the hiding of the Afikomen point to this, but the very appearance of matzo, is representative of Christ. It has no leaven (sin), it has stripes, and it is pierced.

The Feast of First Fruits (Reshit Katzir):

This feast was to dedicate the coming harvest to God. A sheaf, or omer of green barley, the first crop to ripen, was waved before God (a wave offering) along with the burnt offering of a lamb and unleavened bread with oil, to dedicate the coming harvest to Him.

This feast was fulfilled by Christ’s resurrection, as He is the first to be resurrected to a new incorruptible body.

This feast was the last of the spring feasts and signaled the start of the “counting of the omer,” the seven weeks leading up to the harvest festival of Shavu’ot.

The Feast of Weeks (Shavo’ut)(Pentecost):

This feast marks the culmination of redemption through the giving of The Law, as the giving of the Ten Commandments sealed Israel at Mount Sinai. (Of course, we know that the written Law does not seal our redemption.) The trip from Egypt to Sinai took seven weeks, thus, Shavo’ut comes seven weeks (49 days) from the beginning of the Feast of First Fruits.

This feast was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, when the Person of The Holy Spirit came to indwell God’s people permanently. The gift Christ promised when He fulfilled The Law.

So, there you have four Feasts of The Messiah which have been fulfilled in history thus far, through Christ’s first coming and going.

That leaves three yet to be fulfilled.

As we will discuss in the next post, these remaining feasts (fall feasts) deal with Christ’s second coming. The New Year. What clues does The Bible give us about this blessed event? More than you may think!

We will be looking into Old Testament prophet, Nehemiah, and the events surrounding the return of Judah from Babylonian captivity. If you want to read ahead and see what The Lord reveals to you, we’ll be in chapter 8.

Also, if you wish to delve further into the Jewish feasts, you can go to Hebrew for Christians.

This is very exciting news to those of us who are anxiously awaiting our Savior’s return! So, until next time . . .

God’s grace and peace be yours,

Rebecca

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