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I encourage believers to watch the above service before or after you read my “commentary” below. The sermon begins about one hour and nine minutes into the broadcast.
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
“‘These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. Passover is followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts seven days. Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work'” (Leviticus 23: 4-9 NASB).
Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5: 7-8 NASB).
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath'” (Leviticus 23: 10-11 NIV).
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (I Corinthians 15: 20-23 NIV).
FIRSTFRUITS (Resurrection Day), not EASTER
Firstfruits falls on the *Sunday after the weekly Sabbath during the week of Passover. In addition, to the weekly Sabbath, two special sabbaths occur: one on the first and one on the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The late Zola Levitt explains this well in his article at http://www.levitt.com/essays/first-fruits.
Easter is often confused with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. How you ever wondered what egg-laying bunnies have to do with the Resurrection of our Lord? Nothing. But they have everything to do with Easter. Easter is another name for Eostre, the goddess related to spring, according to the OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIC ENGLISH DICTIONARY (Oxford University Press 1991, 1995, 1996).
For an extended explanation of Easter versus Resurrection Sunday and how the timing of each is calculated see my post “Easter, Eostre, Resurrection Sunday.”
*On the Biblical calendar, Sunday begins after sundown Saturday. In the same way, the Biblical Sabbath begins Friday after sundown through Saturday at sundown.