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Bible Study by Dena Stevens for Oct. 11, 2012
SoVaNow.com / October 10, 2012Ezek. 22:8 “Thou hast despised Mine holy things, and hast profaned (desecrated) My sabbaths.” What does the word ‘sabbath’ mean? It means ‘rest’, and we are to ‘rest’, or abide in Him (Hebrews 4:3-5). You aren’t going to find rest anywhere else, but in Him. No matter how long or how hard you look for it, you will never find rest outside of Christ. You may mistake short periods of calm in your life for ‘rest’, but that’s not the real thing. The high sabbath of all sabbaths is Passover, and Christ became our Passover. This day falls on a different day of the week every year. Whatever day it falls on, regardless of the day of the week, it is to be the high Sabbath for Christianity. Are you thinking, “Why, for goodness sakes? That’s a Jewish holiday”. No, Jesus expects it to be a special day for all His followers because He became our Passover when He was crucified, and resurrected from the dead (I Corin. 5:7). Well, how then, are we supposed to observe it? Do we kill a lamb and pour its blood on the altar like they did in the Bible? Absolutely not! Christ shed all the blood that would ever be required for the forgiveness of sins. To offer any blood sacrifice would be sacrilegious, an abomination and an insult to Christ. Our Father has told us in the book of Hosea : “For I desired mercy” (lovingkindness; love) “and not sacrifice” (no blood-letting; no offering of animals as before) “and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (6:6). That’s what God wants from His children. The sacrifice for sin has been made once; and it is for all time. We must love Him and take advantage of the repentance He offers through Christ’s sacrifice in order to remain in good standing with Him. Forgiveness is the real beauty of Christianity because we all sin and come short of God’s expectation of us. What love it was that brought us this forgiveness! The way Christians celebrate Passover is in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross by taking communion - not the seder; not the roasted lamb; not sprinkling blood on an altar, but by taking what most call ‘communion’. He told us to remember Him, and do it throughout all the generations, until He returns and we take it with Him right here on earth. The bread in the sacrament is to remind us of His body which was broken for us, and the red wine is to remind us of the blood He shed for the remission of sins. That’s what we are expected to do on Passover day. How many Christians do that? Not many.
What does it mean to “profane My Sabbaths”? In the King James Bible, in Acts 12:4, the word ‘Easter’ is substituted for the Greek word in the manuscripts, ‘pascha’ or Passover. Easter is a heathen term, derived from the old Saxon goddess ‘Eastre’, the same as Astarte, the Syrian Venus, called Ashtereth in the Old Testament. Ever hear the phrase: ‘quick like a bunny’? Did you know that when you celebrate Easter, with its eggs that denoted fertility and bunny rabbits, it is based on sexual orgies carried out in fertility rites to a so-called ‘goddess’ that never existed? ‘Profane’ means treating sacred things with irreverence or contempt, and God says, when we do those things, we are ‘profaning’ His Sabbaths. Do you want to be guilty of that? I don’t. Dear friend, God is not happy with our traditional celebration, and that’s reason enough to not celebrate ‘Easter’, but to celebrate Passover instead, as God instructs us to do.
Ezek. 22:9 “In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood” (to cause people to lose their souls): and in thee they eat upon the mountains” (idol worship): “in the midst of thee they commit lewdness”. This is talking about the spring festivals of fertility that people in that day thought were so religious.
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