(Sabbath During Unleavened Bread)

Fred R. Coulter—March 30, 2002

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Greetings, everyone! This is the regular Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. 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. Then two more years where the Passover is in the middle of the week.

That's all according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. 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.

We need to understand that 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, reassured and have full confidence that the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is the calendar that God has given to His people!

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?

Even with all the calendars in the world, God made it absolutely clear that Saturday, the seventh day, is the Sabbath. Men are trying to change some of those things by trying to portray Sunday as the seventh day of the week. 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. That's how sneaky that Satan the devil is. He will:

  • twist
  • turn
  • malign
  • destroy

all to get the people of God confused!

The reason that he wants them confused is so that they will not meet on the days where God puts His presence. IF he can accomplish that, THEN he can gradually wean them away from God. The whole lesson of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is 'a little leavened leavens the whole lump'!

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, and sooner or later false doctrines follow. That's just the plain result of going against God, to be presumptuous and do human will instead of the will of God!

On this Sabbath, we're going to cover the things concerning this Sabbath and the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, which is tomorrow. But let's first begin on the Sabbath before this Sabbath in the chronology of the life of Jesus Christ leading up to the crucifixion.

We're going to read some things, as I have it outlined in A Harmony of the Gospels, on Sabbath.

{transcriber's note: Scriptures are from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version, which aligns with the Harmony}

This Sabbath, the 10th of Nisan, the day in which God commanded the Israelites to select their lamb for their Passovers. To keep it up until the beginning of the 14th, and then to slay it. Here then on the 10th of Nisan, we find that God selected Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb, with a special message from heaven!

John 12:20: "Now there were certain Greeks… [Hellenistic Jews] …among those who had come up to worship at the Feast. And these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee; and they asked him, saying, 'Sir, we desire to see Jesus.' 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…. [grows and produces] …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. If anyone will serve Me, let him follow Me…'" (vs 20-26). That's very important!

We have to follow Christ wherever He leads us. Following Him means

  • walking in His footsteps
  • going through the trials and difficulties that we're confronted with
  • that we may have to follow Him unto death

We're going to see that He's talking about His crucifixion!

This is a very profound thing. 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. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 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.

"…and where I am, there shall My servant be also..." (v 26).

Of course, Jesus Christ comes spiritually, and Christ is with us on the Sabbath; therefore, He is here. We ask His blessing, we ask His presence, and Christ is dwelling in us. Also, wherever Jesus is, there will His servant be. They will be teaching the way of God.

"'…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. Father, glorify Your name.' Then a voice came from heaven, saying, 'I have both glorified it and will glorify it again'" (vs 26-28).

This is a message from God the Father, because He says: "Father, glorify Your name…." 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.'…."

Remember when God gave the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai? There was:

  • thundering
  • lightning
  • dark clouds

The thunder here is indicating that this comes directly from God!

"…Others said, 'An angel spoke to Him.' Jesus answered and said, 'This voice did not come because of Me, but because of you'" (vs 29-30)—because Jesus was going to die for their sins!

This is His selection to be the Lamb of God, because He goes right on showing here in the context that He is going to be crucified.

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…. [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).

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. They didn't quite understand what was going on. Here we have on Nisan 10 Jesus selected by God the Father as the Passover Lamb!

Let's understand something very important. This is not a doctrine, but it's very interesting concerning numbers. We have with the Feast of Tabernacles, we have 7 days and then one more day, which is the 8th day. We know the 8th day pictures the 2nd resurrection. So, #8 signifies a resurrection! When you count from Sabbath, Nisan 10, inclusive counting, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, you have 8 days. And Christ was resurrected on the 8th day after He was selected.

Now another thing, we'll just jump ahead just a little bit to Pentecost to show you how #8 and the resurrection are connected! We know that in counting for Pentecost, which will start tomorrow, the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, will be day #1. Remember, to count Pentecost, it's always beginning with the 1st day of the week during the days of Unleavened Bread.

So, you count 7 weeks and then you come to the 50th day. But when you look at that last week, and you count the 7 days for the week, then you have the 50th day. You also have the 8th day of that last week. Since Pentecost pictures the first resurrection, here we have #8 associated with it. 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 #8 is associated with new beginnings and with the resurrections.

Let's look here at Christ's resurrection again. We know that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday—the middle of the week. He died at approximately the 9th hour. Let's look at this in the Scriptures. What we are going to find is that Jesus died at the 9th hour, being about 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. We know He was not put in the grave until just right at sunset.

Jesus was dead three hours before He was put in the tomb, then He was in the tomb three days and three nights. 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, one-half of eight, which may be significant, because Christ, being the Son of man, would be resurrected in half the time. But those are just interesting things to look at in the way that the calendar falls.

Matthew 27:46: "And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'"

We've already covered that, Christ and the Passover, and so we're just reviewing here just a little bit.

Verse 47: "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. Then suddenly the veil of the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom…" (Matt. 27:46-51).

We know that that was a tremendous event to take place. We've already covered that, so I'm just reviewing it here.

"…and the earth shook, and the rocks were split, so that the tombs were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had died, were resurrected after His resurrection; and they came out of the tombs. Then they 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, were filled with fear, and said 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" (vs 51-54).

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. Just before the ground shakes, there's a tremendous 'pop.' Sometimes it's like a loud bang, and then you see everything move. 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 I've got a flat tire.

Then I looked up and I saw the electric wires that were going from pole to pole were swaying back and forth. I knew that it was an earthquake. He saw the earthquake. He saw the veil rent in two, tore from top to bottom, as well as heard it. This was a tremendous thing, indeed, that took place.

Mark 15:39—he said the same thing: "…'Truly this man was the Son of God.'"

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. Yet, they testified that He was the Son of God! Isn't it interesting That God would have a Gentile do that for the Jews?

Jesus was dead three days, three nights, plus three hours, being a total of 75 hours. That brings us into four days, which is half of eight. Were going to go ahead and just carry it forward to the burial of Christ, and with Him being put in the tomb.

John 19:31: "The Jews, therefore, so that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, because it was apreparation day (for that Sabbath was a High Day)…"

Just like we had this week, the Passover, the Night Much To Be Remembered, and we had the 1st Holy Day. The Holy Day is the Sabbath. Same sequence of time during the week when Jesus was crucified and was buried. Then here we have the Passover Day, 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.

Verse 32: "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 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" (vs 32-35).

That's a very interesting thing, 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 36-37). So, we have the death of Jesus!

Verse 38: "Now, after these things, Joseph (the one from Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but having concealed it for fear of the Jews)…"

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" (v 38).

I've often wondered what it must have been like for him to take the body of Jesus. 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. But 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. Here now with the tragedy of Christ dying, politics comes to an end. I think it's interesting that John mentions both of these, because I think later that they become very important in preaching the Gospel.

Sidebar: We know Joseph of Arimathea, 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 that says Jesus went there, and there's even more tradition which says that the Apostle Paul went there. We don't know if the Apostle Peter went there, or the other apostles, but it's very likely that they did. That was one of the ways they could get around quickly and to getting into Europe.

Verse 39: "And Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus by night at the first, also came, bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took Jesus' body and wound it in linen cloths with the aromatics…" (vs 39-40).

The way they would do the bodies was that 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 wide of linen cloth. 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. Because of the preparation of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the tomb was near" (vs 40-42). 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.

Let's also understand something very important. The death of Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. As the Creator, He came and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, the sins of the world, died. It is not sufficient just to have a death, because there is more that needs to be done, 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. 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.

Let's see how it Rom. 4 about here concerning Abraham, and how righteousness was imputed to him. 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. Everywhere in the New Testament where Paul is talking about righteousness, this is the kind of righteousness that he's talking about.

Romans 4:21—this is talking about Abraham: "for he was fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness" (vs 21-22).

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 you understand that they are forgiven?

When you're done praying, don't get up off your knees and say, 'I wonder if God forgave me?' That's not belief; that is doubt! We have a High Priest in heaven above: Jesus Christ Who:

  • came to this earth to be the perfect sacrifice
  • rose and ascended to the Father
  • was accepted as that sacrifice
  • now is seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest to propitiate, or bring forgiveness, of our sins

We need to believe as Abraham believed; then that is imputed to us for righteousness!

Verse 23: "But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  rather, it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses… [our sins] …and was raised for our justification" (vs 23-25). That's why He was raised!

  • He is a living Savior
  • He is a living High Priest
  • we have a living relationship with God
  • we have a living justification that we have imputed to us

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, 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. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (vs 1-2).

This is meant to let us know that we have the greatest, absolutely the greatest relationship that can be.

  • we have a superior covenant

{note our In-Depth Study The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews.}

  • we have a superior High Priest
  • we have 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. It's really a fantastic and marvelous thing that Jesus has done to make all of this possible.

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.' 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. When He ascended back into heaven He was fully glorified, and now is our High Priest sitting at the right hand of God.

We're going to see the Wave Sheaf Offering Day is a most profound and important day for what took place.

We know that He was in the tomb three days and three nights. We know the first part of Matt. 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.

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. 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. 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.

Psa. 16—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. The two of Elohim had this agreement.

Note our In-Depth Study: Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament. There was a day when one of Elohim became the Father, and the other of Elohim became the Son.

Psa. 2 just to show that Christ believed and trusted in God the Father. They had this covenant. 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.

Psalm 2:6: "Yea, I have set My King upon Zion, My Holy mountain…. [Christ is the King] …I will declare the decree of the LORD… [God the Father decreed it] …He has said to Me, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You.'"

That was literally fulfilled on the very day that Jesus was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary. Now it 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 [God the Father] …and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance… [He's going to rule the world] …and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (vs 8-9).

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.

Verse 10: "Now therefore, be wise, O kings… [when Christ returns don't come and fight Him] …be admonished O judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for His wrath can flame up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him" (vs 10-12).

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' (Heb. 12). That's something. It also says there in that same chapter that none of us have resisted sin unto the shedding of our blood, yet. I think that that is a truism we need to understand.

After Jesus died, now He's resurrected. You know immediately:

  • He's going to communicate with the Father.
  • He's going to thank God.
  • that these things are going to be on His mind

I am sure that He praised God for this promise that we find here:

Psalm 16:5: "The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; You shall uphold my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a beautiful inheritance" (vs 5-6). He could look forward to everything now because He came back to life!

Verse 9: "Therefore my heart is glad…"

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 rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in safety" (v 9).

This was the promise, the hope that God the Father would resurrect Him. He had to believe that. They had to have a covenant. Of course, they could believe that, because God never lies. That covenant was sure and true.

Verse 10: "For You will not abandon My soul to the grave; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption."

When Peter preached the sermon in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost, he quoted this and applied it directly to Christ. I'm sure that Christ claimed this promise and thanked God that He fulfilled His promise.

Verse 11: "You will make known to Me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy…"

Of course, there would be being in the presence of God the Father after being resurrected. Great joy.

"…At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (v 11).

Here it gives us another indication of maybe some of the words of Jesus Christ after He was resurrected.

Psalm 17:13: "Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him down; deliver my soul from the wicked by Your sword."

This is talking about the crucifixion. Did God cast them all down? Yes! He sure confounded them, didn't He? 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.

Verse 14: "From men by Your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your treasure. They are full of children, and will leave their riches to their babes. As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness" (vs 14-15).

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 where did He go after He left the tomb? He didn't have to have the stone rolled away to get out of the tomb, because He could walk through matter!

We know He did not ascend to the Father until about 9:00 in the morning on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. 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 the night that He was arrested? He resorted there often for prayer!

You can be sure it was desolate that night because the disciples weren't there. No one else would be there, so it would be interesting to contemplate that Jesus probably went to the garden of Gethsemane.

  • Psa. 23 is the Resurrection Psalm
  • Psa. 22 is the Crucifixion Psalm

I wonder if His prayer followed along the lines of Psa. 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 A 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. Let's look at this as the prayer of Christ.

Psalm 23:1: "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want."

I shall not lack anything. Of course, He wouldn't because He now has fullness of everything.

Verse 2: "He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul... [which He did through the resurrection] …He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (vs 2-3).

Jesus was righteous and faithful to the Father in everything that He did. Remember that twice the voice came and said, 'This is My Son, in Whom I am well pleased.'

Verse 4: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.… [He did walk through the valley of death; He died] …for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my 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 anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (vs 5-6).

Yes, Jesus will! The House of the Lord is in heaven above. That's what's going to be brought to the earth when Jesus returns.


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 also prayed this prayer that night.

Psalm 57:5. "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; they have dug a pit before me; into the midst of it they have fallen themselves" (vs 5-6).

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. That pit was literally executed in 70A.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…"

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


  • believing God
  • believing His word
  • having your heart fixed

that nothing can turn you back from God! Christ had do that!

"…I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I myself will awake the dawn" (vs 7-8).

Isn't that interesting? What is death accounted like? Sleep! Here He's awake.

Verse 9: "I will praise You, O LORD, among the people; I will sing of You among the nations, for Your steadfast mercy is great even unto the heavens and Your Truth to the clouds. Be exalted above the heavens, O God; let Your glory be above all the earth" (vs 9-11).

Isn't that what Jesus prayed? Restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world existed! Quite a tremendous thing!

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. When the women came to the tomb early in the morning, we find that the women came back. They were carrying the spices. They were going to take care the body. They were wondering who was going to roll stone away from the tomb, and so forth.

Mark 16:2: "And very early on the first day of the weeks…"

That's a literal translation, because this is the first day of counting the weeks toward Pentecost! 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. Look, there is the place where they laid Him. 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" (vs 2-8).

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

John 20:1: "Now, on the first day of the weeks, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb; and she saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb."

As she was going to the tomb, it was getting light, so it was very, very early.

Verse 2: "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… [who 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…. [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" (vs 2-10).

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. They saw the linen cloths lying. 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! 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!

Then we have something else: We have the head napkin, which was on His head, folded up and placed by itself in another place! This tells us very clearly that Jesus was alive, because napkins don't fold themselves! We all know that.

Another thing: this tells us is that they didn't steal the body away! 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!

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! Yes, there was! That was something!

So, they went away to their home. But Mary Magdalene stayed there. She still was wondering what happened to the body of Jesus? She really didn't understand!

Verse 11: "But Mary stood outside the tombweeping; 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).

That's interesting! This tells us and 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! 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. This is a great mystery! This is because of the power of God with His Spirit, and the resurrection. This is a tremendous thing.

Verse 13: "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.'"

That's quite a thing. Of course, by this time Jesus returned to the tomb; then He appeared to Mary.

Verse 14: "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 He 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 14-17).

Here, on the Wave Sheaf Offering Day, Christ has to ascend to the Father! He has to ascend to be accepted as that perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

Verse 17:17: "Jesus said to her, 'Do not touch Me, because I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brethren…'"

I want you to understand that our relationship with God the Father is exactly the same as the relationship that Jesus Christ had!

  • 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?

"…and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God" (v 17).

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 shows that we have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ any time!Tremendous relationship with God. "…My Father and your Father, and My God and your God."

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
  • He answers our prayers
  • He loves us
  • He cares for us

Just as He loved Jesus, He loves us!

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.

Maybe that will help you and inspire you to understand why prayer and study is so important! 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 Who are:

  • working with you
  • preparing you
  • molding you
  • creating Christ in you
  • 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, when you are resurrected you will be as Christ is! This is:

  • the whole hope of God's Word
  • the whole hope of our calling
    • that's very profound
    • we need to understand that
    • that is something
    • it is awesome

There is nothing greater in your physical life that you are now living than your relationship with God the Father, 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!

Lev. 23: I've got the translation by Everett Fox: The Schocken Bible: Volume One: The Five Books of Moses. The way he translates it, I think, is very profound. It reflects the type of Christ as being the First of the firstfruits. What they were to do when they entered into the land:

Leviticus 23:10 (SB): "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…"

There's one minister out there who says they didn't do this. That 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!

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. You can read that in Josh. 5.

 "…you are to bring the premier sheaf of your harvest to the priest" (v 10).

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' the primary one. Of course, that has direct reference to Christ.

Verse 11: "He shall elevate the sheaf before the presence of YHWH, for acceptance for you… [not just wave it, but elevate it. because that's symbolic of the resurrection, rising to heaven] …on the morrow of the Sabbath the priest is to elevate it."

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. So, Mary Magdalene went and did that.

Let's understand something very important in 1-Cor. 15. That is that not only is Christ the Firstfruit, we're going to also see little later on He is also the Firstborn.

1-Corinthians 15:20: "But now Christ has 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 in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 20-23) He is the Firstborn from among the dead.

Colossians 1:16: "Because by Him were all things created…" Our Creator did this, didn't He? Amazing thing! That always leaves me in awe and amazement when I think about that.

"…the things in heaven and the things on 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" (vs 16-17). It says that He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb. 1)

Verse 18: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead so that in all things He Himself might hold the pre-eminence." That's quite a thing!

As we also saw on the first Holy Day, we are called the Church of the Firstborn.

Rom. 8:29 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.

  • we are the elect of God
  • we are the called of God

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. 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! 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.

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things… [everything, even the trials and difficulties that you go through] …work together for good to those who love God… [that's why the love of God is the most important thing] …to those who are called according to His purpose, because those whom He did foreknow… [He knows us, because He's the heart-knowing God] …He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son… [tie in  Rev. 1 and see what He looks like] …that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren" (vs 28-29).

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. 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).

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!

The Ascension of Christ

He said that He would go to the Father. Now, I'm going to do some reading out of A Harmony of the Gospels, because sometimes when things are written, it's written in such a way that it can say more and have a greater impact. I'm going to begin with His ascension. We again look at some of the things that maybe Christ was thinking when He was ascending. I wonder what that felt like? One day we're going to ascend, and we'll know what that feels like.

Excerpt from A Harmony of the Gospels, 3rd ed. by Fred R. Coulter {transcriber's note: quote material is from the PDF online version (truthofGod.org) and page numbers may differ from print version}

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 might have experienced as He looked forward to being reunited with the Father.

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory as I have seen You in the sanctuary. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You" (vs 1-3).

I think that's quite appropriate for the ascension of Christ!

Now let's also understand something here. There is a Psalm that 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.

Psalm 24:1: "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness of it, the world, and those who dwell in it, for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His Holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to vanity and has not sworn deceitfully" (vs 1-4). Christ was the Perfect One!

Verse 5: "He shall receive the blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

Remember that Jesus cried with tears and strong supplications to the Father Who was able to save Him.

Verse 7: "Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, O you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah" (vs 7-10). That must have been something!

What a magnificent scene of splendor and glory Jesus would have seen when He entered through the everlasting gates of heaven! Standing on the Sea of Glass, He would have seen 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.…

Here's what he wrote; 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 the things that 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" (vs 1-3).

Verse 4: "And around the Throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting clothed in white garments, and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the Thronewere 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 was a Sea of Glass, like crystal. And around the Throne and over 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 bull, 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 of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come'" (vs 4-8).

Verse 9: "And when 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 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'" (vs 9-11)

Brethren, we're part of the greatest will of God:

  • called
  • chosen
  • selected
  • justified
  • glorified

So 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
  • we are 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!

{continuing reading from A Harmony}:

This was the scene that Jesus would have seen 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 would see n His body the scars of the lashes that He had received when He was beaten with the cat-of-nine-tails which tore open His flesh. They would 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.

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 the vision and recorded it:

Revelation 5:1: "And in 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 its seals?' But no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book, or to look inside it" (vs 1-3).

Verse 5: "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 to open the book, and to loose its seven seals.' Then I saw, and behold, before the Throne and the four living creatures and before the elders was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes… [those are the churches] …which are the seven spirits of God that are 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" (vs 5-8).

Verse 9: "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book, and to open its seals because You were slain, and did redeem us to God by Your own blood, out of every tribe and language and people and nation, and did make us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth'" (vs 9-10)

Keep that always in mind. That's where everything is headed to!

Verse 11: "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'" (vs 11-12).

What a day that was. What an absolute marvelous day. We are the result of that. 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.

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
  • be inspired to do the will of God\
  • be inspired to love God
  • be 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 the 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.

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.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted) The Schocken Bible: Volume One: The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox

Scriptural References:

  • John 12:20-34
  • Matthew 27:46-54
  • Mark 15:39
  • John 19:31-40
  • Romans 4:21-25
  • Romans 15:1-2
  • Psalm 2:6-12
  • Psalm 16:5-6, 9-11
  • Psalm 17:13-15
  • Psalm 23:1-6
  • Psalm 57:5-11
  • Mark 16:2-8
  • John 20:1-17
  • Leviticus 23:10-11
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
  • Colossians 1:16
  • Romans 8:28-30
  • Psalm 63:1-3
  • Psalm 24:1-5, 7-10
  • Revelation 4:1-11
  • Revelation 5:1-3, 5-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Matthew 28
  • Hebrews 12
  • Acts 2
  • Psalm 22
  • Joshua 5
  • Hebrews 1
  • Revelation 1

Also referenced:

Book: A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter

In-Depth Studies:

  • Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews
  • Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament

Original transcription day unknown
Reformatted: bo—1/2022