17 Mar 2024

The 7 Feasts of Israel [ Leviticus 23]


The 7 feasts of Israel mark 7 special times or periods for the nation to remember God by. They help the people to rest and to remember how God saved them, led them, provided for them, & forgive them. This yearly calendrical observance also marks them out as a holy people unto God. But from another angle (informed by the New Testament authors/ apostles), we can see the 7 feasts from a Christological persepective too. In other words, these feasts are pictures that point us to Jesus Christ! Come and see how they manifest His person & work in both His 1st Coming and 2nd Coming, and learn that God honours His Son in the calendar of world history.

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We are resuming the book of Leviticus and we are now in chapter 23. I think it will be another two sermons or so before we call it a wrap in the book of Leviticus.

Now here in Singapore, we have some 11 public holidays. These are special days in Singapore whereby we remember special events, whether it be the turn of the year, New Year's Day, or the Lunar New Year celebrations, Chinese New Year, or Good Friday, or Hari Raya, or Labour Day. Every single one of them is meant to help us reflect on something important, at least according to our nation, according to our government.

But this is not unique to Singapore. Of course, every country does this and for the people of Israel during Moses' time, they also celebrate special days to remember special things about God.

And so we come to Leviticus 23 where we learn about the seven feasts of Israel. These are seven days or periods of days or time whereby they remember something about God and what He has done for Israel. Now I want to remind you why we are looking at the seven feasts in the structure of Leviticus. The overarching principle, the overarching theme of the book of Leviticus is how can a sinful man draw near to God. And in order for man to draw near to God, holiness is essential.

So after the Day of Atonement in chapter 16, we come to chapter 17 all the way to chapter 25. And in these eight, nine chapters, we actually see God calls for a holy people. You will recall the sermon in chapter 17 and 18, safeguards against idolatry. Chapter 19 and 20 are about the laws that the people of Israel are to keep so that they will be a holy people in order to draw near to God.

Before I left, for my holiday two weeks ago, we looked at a holy priesthood. For Israel to draw near to God, they must be holy and they need a holy priests. Today we are going to look at Leviticus 23, about how specific days and periods of time are to be kept holy unto God. So we learn about holy periods.

And then in chapter 25, we're going to look at the land and how there is to be a Sabbath for the land. A reminder that actually all the land that Israel would rest upon belongs to God and really must be given back to God. And we learn about holy property.

So all these things are found after the Day of Atonement, teaching us what it means to draw near to God. But today, we're just going to focus on holy periods and we come to chapter 23 with these introductory words. Moses, inspired by God or told by God, is to say, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, these are the appointed feasts that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, they are my appointed feasts.

Now, first thing I'd like you to note is the word feasts. When we think about feasts, we think about eating. We think about food, we think about parties. But actually, the word feasts here does not necessarily mean eating or feasting. The word in the Hebrew simply means appointed times. These are my appointed times.

The reason why I think that would be better is because the Day of Atonement, for example, is not a day for feasting. It's a day to afflict themselves. It's a day to fast. So, it really is not partying and eating. These are special times to remember God.

The next word is the word convocations. It can mean a gathering or a calling of people or it can mean announcements. So essentially, these are seven feasts we're going to look at or seven appointed times where Israel would gather together or remind one another of who God is and what He has done.

But before we go into the seven feasts, we read about the law with regards to the Sabbath. This is not a yearly thing, this is a weekly thing. So, six days shall work be done. But on the seventh day is a Sabbath, Shabbat, which means to pause, to stop, of solemn rest or holy convocation. So, you work for six days and on the seventh, you rest. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwelling places.

Now, I'm not going to go in depth about Sabbath today because we had a sermon recently, not too long ago, in Genesis chapter 1 about Sabbath. And I don't think the emphasis in chapter 23 should therefore land on Sabbath as well. I want to remind you, however, Sabbath is a day, one in seven, that God gives so that the people of Israel can rest, the people of Israel can remember. Remember God as their Creator, God as their Deliverer. Exodus chapter 20, Deuteronomy chapter 5. It's also a day for them to do relief. In other words, to help those who are in need, to show mercy and kindness to those around. And it's also a day for them to reveal themselves via this observance that they belong to God and they trust in God.

Every other nation probably has to work every single day, slog their guts out. But for the people of Israel, six days and seventh day I rest, because I trust in this God who provides for me. So the Sabbath is a wonderful, gracious provision for Israel to rest, to remember, to relieve, and to reveal themselves as the people of God. That's all I'm going to say about Sabbath, because the bulk of the material here is about the seven appointed times of Israel.

1. Passover

So let's look at them one by one in quick fashion. Number one, the first feast, probably one of the most well-known ones, is the feast of the Passover. What is this all about? Well, it is a time where they eat a lamb, take unleavened bread, and paint that blood of the lamb sacrifice onto their doorposts.

Now, this feast takes place on day 14 on the month of Nisan. Now, please don't guess that the subsequent months will be Toyota or Honda. Uh, it's a different spelling altogether. But the month of Nisan is the first month of the Jewish calendar that is based on the lunar system. So the first month is not January. The first month is our equivalent of March. So in their Jewish calendar, day 14 of first month is the day they keep the Passover.

So what they do is they take a lamb, without blemish, inspected for four days already. They take this unblemished lamb and they slay that lamb. They kill that lamb. And then they take the blood of the lamb and apply it on the doors or the posts, doorposts of their homes. This is a throwback, a remembrance of how Israel was spared.

You will recall when Israel was in Egypt as slaves, God wanted to punish Pharaoh for his rebellion. So God said that He's going to send an angel of death to kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. And actually all firstborn animals or human beings, they all die. Unless you take the blood of an unblemished lamb and you paint it on the doorposts, anyone who stays within the house, all the firstborn will be spared. Because the angel of death would come, see the blood and pass over this family, spare it.
So the Passover meal is a remembrance of all that took place in order for Israel to be saved. So they are to observe this meal in a very interesting manner. They are to put on their travel gear, their sandals, their staff. And they are going to eat this with haste. Chik chock lock kio, eat very fast. You cannot sit down, you got to eat really quickly. Because it is all to remind themselves of how urgent it was when God saved Israel out of Egypt.

So the Passover feast is to remember the sacrifice, the lamb, that has to be slain in order for Israel to be saved and to be delivered. Feast number one.

2. Unleavened Bread

Feast number two is the feast of unleavened bread. What is unleavened? Leavened is yeast. You know that when you eat sourdough or you have those soft breads, they all contain yeast so that they puff up. But unleavened bread is that which does not puff up. It is flat. So in Singapore we have chapati, flat breads. So the Jews are to keep the feast of unleavened bread after the Passover for another seven days.

Now, this takes place therefore on day 15 to day 21 in the first month of the Jewish calendar. This is a day or these are two days that they are not to work. Day 15 and day 21, no work is to be done. It's a public holiday for Israel.

And the basis of this, I think, we can find not in Leviticus 23 explicitly, but elsewhere in Deuteronomy chapter 16. We read seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction. This is a remembrance of your life when you were in Egypt. You were slaves. You were tortured. You were mistreated. And the bread of affliction you eat is that unleavened bread.

So it's a reminder of the affliction in Egypt. So you remember the lamb that was slain and you remember your affliction in Egypt and how God saved you. So far, that's the purpose or the purposes of these two feasts.

3. Firstfruits

The third feast is the feast of the first fruits. Now this is the celebration when the barley harvest is ready. So around March time, the barley harvest is ready to be reaped. And they will get the first fruits, the first crops. And this takes place after Israel enters Canaan because whilst they are in the wilderness, they can't grow anything. But when they enter the land of Canaan, they will have crops. And God says, when you have crops every year, the barley wheat, the barley harvest, don't eat of it. You must first offer your firstfruits to Me.

And so this takes place on day 16 of the first month of Nisan. So day 14 is Passover, day 15 is Unleavened Bread, and day 16 is Unleavened Bread plus the Feast of Firstfruits. And we read in Deuteronomy 26, there will come a day where God will bring them into the Promised Land. And they should, in the Promised Land then, always remember He, that is God, brought us into this place, gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of abundance.

And behold now, because God gave so much to us, I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which You, O LORD, have given me. And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that God, the LORD your God has given to you. And so the Feast of Firstfruits is a remembrance of God's provisions and goodness in their lives.

So far, we have three feasts. Can you remember them? Number one, Passover, excellent. Number two, Unleavened Bread. Number three, Firstfruits. Number four? Good, listen on.

4. Weeks

The Feast of Weeks, Weeks. So this takes place during the wheat harvest. So we read that this takes place seven weeks after the second day of the Passover. Or, if you do your math a little bit more, it is 49 days after Passover, which is day 50 after Passover. That's why it is also called Pentecost. Because Pentecost means 50. So 50 days after the Passover, they will celebrate the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

The first time, the firstfruits one is barley. Now it's wheat. So they celebrate the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. Again, it's a public holiday. No ordinary work is to be done. And it is to remember God's provisions and goodness. Feast number four.

5. Trumpets

Now feast number five is the Feast of Trumpets. So on this day, there will be the blowing, the blasting of the shofar, the trumpets. And this takes place a long way off from the first four. This takes place not in the month of Nisan, nor 50 days after. This takes place in the seventh month of Tishri. And on this day, people are also to rest from work. It's a public holiday.

And you ask, what's the purpose of blowing the trumpet, the shofar? Now it is not explicitly mentioned in Leviticus 23. But we read about the usages of the trumpet or the shofar elsewhere. For example, in Numbers. In Numbers chapter 10, we read that an alarm by the trumpet is to be blown whenever they are to set out. So when Israel is to move from their encampment, the trumpet will blast and they say that's a signal to get ready to go.

Or when they are supposed to gather together, when they are supposed to settle, when God calls them, a shofar is also blasted. Or when they are out in war and they are struggling perhaps, they shall sound an alarm and they shall be saved from the enemy. So a trumpet is calling upon God in times of war. Or a trumpet can also be used in a day of gladness. When they celebrate, they call upon God, they recognise God's hand in their lives.

So the Feast of Trumpets, seventh month, public holiday. I think it's a remembrance of their dependence on God. How God is their Leader. Whether they are to set out or to gather, whether they are in war or in times of festivities, they call upon God.

6. Day of Atonement

The sixth feast is what is probably most familiar to you. It's the Feast of the Day of Atonement. Now I want to emphasise again, it is not a feast like eating, because this is a day for fasting. And you'll remember that the Day of Atonement is when the great high priest of Israel makes atonement or seeks forgiveness for the nation.

So he brings along two goats. Amongst other things, we looked at it in detail. But in summary, he brings along two goats. One will be slain and the blood spilled is to make atonement for Israel. The other goat is to be laid hands upon, so that it symbolises the carrying away of sin. And when it's set free, it is a picture of how God has sent our sins as far as the east is from the west.

So the Day of Atonement takes place on the 10th day of Tishri. Again, this is a public holiday. No ordinary work is to be done. And it is a picture, a reminder of Israel's need for forgiveness from God.

7. Booths (Tabernacle)

The last feast is the Feast of the Booths or Tabernacle. This is the day where they gather the leaves and they make for themselves tents or booths. This is like staycation, uh, or I think in today's terms, glamping. You know, stay outdoors, like holiday, but very glamp. This one, their glamping version. They are to live in booths. Not in their homes, but in booths for seven days.

This takes place also in the month of Tishri, the seventh month, from day 15 to day 22. No ordinary work on the first and last day, so public holiday as well. And we are told they shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths. And this is so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.

So for all times, Israel in the future will be in the land of Canaan. They will build their own homes and houses. But every once a year, they won't stay in their homes. They will stay in this tent, so that they may be reminded of how God saved Israel out of Egypt in the wilderness. So, they shall dwell in booths for seven days and it's a remembrance of how God has led them in time past.

So, let's do a recap. What are the seven feasts of Israel? First one, Passover. Don't look at your notes, hah? Try, ah? Second one, unleavened bread. Third, firstfruits. Fourth, Weeks or Pentecost. Fifth, trumpets. Sixth, Day of Atonement. Seventh, booths. Now, I'll guarantee you there's an easier way to remember after this. But for now, if you can remember, you're very good already. Alright, so these are the seven feasts of Israel.

And there are some common threads, some common things I think we should observe before we move further. Number one, I hope you see the, the importance of number seven. Now, I don't want our church, I don't want any one of you to be overly superstitious or mystical about numerology. Like, oh, whenever you see seven, well, my house, number seven, must buy. Uh, not, don't be superstitious about things.

But we also need to be balanced and respect the fact that the number seven happens a lot in the seven feasts. So, as mentioned, there are seven feasts. Three feasts took place in the seventh month. Pentecost is seven weeks after the Passover. Uh, Feast of Unleavened Bread is celebrated for seven days. So, too, the Feast of of Booths. Seven, generally, we take it to be the number of completion or perfection. So, there's something complete about these seven feasts. I think we'll get to see that in a while.
Calendrical Holiness

Number two, I hope you are reminded. We are looking at Leviticus 23 because it deals with calendrical holiness, calendar. Holiness with regards to your schedules, to your times, to your periods, as we saw in the earlier slide. In order for Israel to draw near to God, they must be holy. They must be a holy people in the way they live. They must have a holy priesthood. They must have a holy calendar. And they must understand they live on holy land.

And so, this calendrical holiness is so that the people of Israel may rest. And that they can remember. Remember what? How God has saved them, provided for them, led them, and will forgive them.

This is also a calendrical holiness for them to reveal themselves as unique, belonging to Yahweh, when other nations would not keep any of these laws. So, they are a sacred people who observe sacred times. That's what makes them unique and distinct. That helps them to remember the LORD their God, regardless of when they live and where they live.

I suppose I don't have time to develop this too much, but I want to leave you with this question. How will you and I be marked out as God's people today in the way we observe time, in the way we observe the calendar? We often joke about this. There are many churchgoers who are very faithful. They are called CEO Christians. Why? Because they come only for Christmas and Easter. Christmas, Easter, only Christians. I think that's better than nothing. But surely, that shouldn't be what Christians should be known for.

I think there is a pattern to gather in the New Testament, once a week on the Lord's Day. I think that's what, that's what marks us out. That's what we assemble for. Not only that we may hear God's Word, worship together, get to know our brethren, serve one another, but it is a witness to a watching world. That here in Singapore and throughout the world, there is a community of people who belong to this God, who follows Jesus Christ as we gather.

But I think, clearly, not just yearly, weekly, but daily, there is a way by which we should mark ourselves out as God's people. But that's maybe something for you to think about, something for you to discuss in your small groups.

I have remaining time to move on to something deeper. Uh, for the Jews, I think this is what you can expect for the people during Moses' time. God gave us these seven feasts so that I can rest, so that I can remember how God has blessed us, provided for us, rescued us, and will forgive us. And it's a way by which we tell the world we belong to God. But later on, we read that these seven feasts represent more than just these things.

Moving from the Practical to the Prophetic lens

So I'm going to go now to a prophetic lens. What we have looked at so far is a practical lens. Practical benefits of keeping these seven feasts. But there is a prophetic lens in that these seven feasts point to something even more. I think they point to Jesus. Wow, you say, are you sure, huh?

Let me just point you to a verse. In Colossians chapter two, it says, therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. They are a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. So, we see that these festivals, this rest, this Sabbath, they are a shadow that points you to the substance who is Jesus Christ.

Now, I think it will not be reasonable to expect a Jew during Moses' time to see Jesus in these festivals. Not reasonable. But it is there, Jesus is there. He is hinted there. It is like the manna. You know the manna that fell from heaven that fed Israel? To the Israelite, manna is food from God. No one, I think, in those days would have figured it is about Jesus. But later on, Jesus said, the manna is Me. Hmm, that's interesting.

How about the bronze serpent? You know the bronze serpent that was lifted up so that when Israel would look at the bronze serpent, they would be healed from the venomous snake bites. No one would have thought that the bronze serpent is Jesus, but Jesus says Himself in John chapter 3, that the bronze serpent is a picture of Me.
So when we look at the seven feasts, we would not have figured it is about Jesus. But the New Testament authors, the apostles, saw Jesus in these seven feasts. So that's, I think, the basis by which I proceed from here.

1. Passover ---> Jesus as the Ultimate Passover Lamb

For example, the first feast of the Passover, it is very clear that the Passover points to Jesus because the apostle Paul said, for Christ, our Passover Lamb. This is not Jason Lim's words. If it's my words, it's useless, pointless, baseless. But this is the apostle Paul. He is saying that the Passover lamb, many thousands, maybe millions that has been slain throughout the generations, are just a shadow because they all point to the Ultimate Lamb, Jesus Christ.

So now, when I look at Leviticus 23, I don't look at it only as a practical means of grace for Israel. I see that it is meant to be prophetic. It is meant for us today to look back and say, actually, Jesus has always been God's plan. The killing of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, has always been God's plan in order for us to be saved from our sins. And therefore, there are great similarities between the Passover lamb and Jesus Christ. Both need to be spotless. Both need to have their blood spilled and applied. Both must not have bones that are broken. And both would die on Passover Day itself. So Jesus is the Ultimate Lamb. The Passover points to Him.

2. Unleavened Bread ---> Jesus rescues from sin's afflictions

And I think in a similar vein, the unleavened bread, which is very closely associated with the Passover, refers to how Jesus will rescue us from sin's afflictions. So we have these two feasts to remember how Jesus sacrificed Himself and how Jesus rescues us from the bondage of sin.

3. Firstfruits ---> Jesus is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, more is to come

The third feast is the Feast of Firstfruits. Again, the Feast of Firstfruits is the giving of the first crops of barley to God. But actually, the Apostle Paul sees in the firstfruits something more. He sees, I think, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because he said in 1 Corinthians 15, but now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. So the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that firstfruit to say, more is to come. Jesus is risen with a glorious resurrection body, but His followers will also be resurrected with a glorious resurrection body later on.

So the Feast of Firstfruits takes place on day 16. It's two days after day 14. Jesus died on Passover and He was raised on Easter Sunday. Two days. For us, two days, but the way a Jew calculates it, it's three days because they include part thereof of Friday and Sunday. So there is great similarity therein.

4. Weeks ---> Jesus received the gift of the Holy Spirit

The fourth feast is the Feast of Weeks of Pentecost. And you would know that 50 days after Jesus died on the Passover, on the day of Pentecost, what happened in Acts 2? The Holy Spirit came down and was poured out upon the early church. So the day of Pentecost is a celebration of Jesus receiving the reward of His perfect, meditatorial work. He died, He rose again, He received the gift of the Holy Spirit and He poured out the Holy Spirit upon the early church, commissioning them for the work of the Great Commission.

5. Trumpet ---> Jesus will come back and on that day, He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call. A reminder of the return of Jesus Christ, His Second Coming

We then go to the Feast of Trumpets. Trumpets is mentioned in Joel 2, for example. Let all the or blow a trumpet in Zion, sound an alarm on My holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. We speak about the day of the LORD. It speaks about the return of Jesus. And that is the idea in Matthew 24. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

So this has yet to happen. But it will happen. Jesus will come back. And He will come back in the clouds with great power and glory. And on that day, He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call. And they will gather His elect from the four winds from one end of the eart..., heaven, one end of heaven to the other. 1 Thessalonians 4 speaks of the same event. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of a command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. So these will follow Jesus in the resurrection. So I think the day of trumpets is a celebration, a reminder of the return of Jesus Christ, His Second Coming.

6. Day of Atonement ---> Looking forward to a day where Israel, in great numbers, will be saved, as they see Jesus and mourn over Him

Then we have feast number six, or the Day of Atonement. Now, if I were to be the one responsible for arranging the order of the seven feasts, I would have shifted the Day of Atonement earlier. Because if it's about forgiveness, it should be soon after Jesus died and paid for our sins, right? But it is not earlier. It's not higher up. It's right here. And so we have to ask ourselves, why here?

I think the reason probably is linked to what is said in Zechariah 12, where it says, and I will pour out. Now, this is something that has yet to happen. Zechariah spoke about something hundreds of years ago that has yet to happen. But there will come a day in the future where God will pour out on the house of David. There will be a day of wonderful mercy and blessing for Israel. Zechariah says, I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that when they look on Me, on Him whom they have pierced, they will mourn for me..., for Him.

On that day, future day, there shall be a fountain open for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness. So I think the Day of Atonement is looking forward to a day where Israel, in great numbers, will be saved, as they see Jesus and mourn over Him.

7 Booths ---> Celebrating the rule and reign of Jesus Christ over them

Finally, we have the Feast of Booths or Tabernacle. And I think the reference that is helpful is Zechariah 14. Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come up against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of armies or hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.

So there will come a future day after Jesus returns and saves many in Israel, where He will rule as King and His people will keep the Feast of Booths, celebrating the rule and reign of Jesus Christ over them.

So these are the seven feasts. And in typical Gospel Light style, I'll give you the seven R's. First, the Passover speaks of the redemption by Jesus Christ, the price that has to be paid to save us from our sins. The Lamb must be sacrificed. The Unleavened Bread, the bread of affliction, reminds us of the rescue, that we are delivered from the affliction in Egypt or affliction or bondage from sin. Now you can help me, right? The next R. The Resurrection. Very good. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, wonderful, that's easy. Number four. Weeks. Uh, this one, you can't lah. This one is a bit difficult. Uh, I put it as the reward of Jesus. How His finished work allowed Him to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and He poured out that Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Number five. This one is easy. Second coming, not R ah. I need a ah? The return of Jesus Christ, right? The Second Coming of Jesus, the return. Number six. A bit of a high class word, remission by Jesus. The remission of sins, the forgiveness of sins, right? The cleansing. So I think remission is the right word. Last one, the reign of Jesus as King.

So I think when you get this in your head, the seven feasts are a lot easier to remember. Because, uh, okay, first of all, I hope we are convinced and we see that the feasts are therefore a shadow that points to the ultimate substance and it's all about Jesus. That's my point. It's all about Jesus. And one more thing, these seven feasts are chronologically divided actually into two sections.

The first section takes place in springtime, from the first to the third month because of the 50 days. So it stretches quite a bit. But the second set of feasts actually are separated from the first set by about four months in the month of September. And they all take place in the seventh month. I think you can see that this points to the first and Second Coming of Jesus.

In His first coming, He accomplished redemption, rescuing us from sin. He was resurrected and He sent forth His Holy Spirit. But there comes a day, we do not know how long this gap is, but there will come a day, Jesus will return, forgive Israel and reign over His people as King. My time is up. I end with two statements as the big idea for Leviticus 23.

The first statement is, God's people must honour Him with our calendar. Think about ways we honour God in our rhythms of life, whether it's daily or weekly or monthly or yearly. Our time is given by God and it is not for us. It is for Him. So think about how you should honour God with your calendar.

But beyond that, I think, Leviticus 23 is about how God honours His Son in the world's calendar. What are the most important events in world history? World War I? World War II? The independence of Singapore? Not anywhere close. The seven most important things in world history, I think, is found in the feasts. The day Jesus died, how Jesus is going to rise, how Jesus sent forth His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, how Jesus will return, how Jesus will forgive Israel to fulfil God's promises and how Jesus will reign. That is what matters in world history. And God has laid it all out in the feasts, so that we may see He will fulfil His Word. Let's bow for a word of prayer together.

Father, we thank You today for Jesus Christ, Your Son. Indeed, the Bible is about Your Son and history, ultimately, will be about Your Son. So I do pray for friends who are gathered here today who may not be Christians as yet. Help them, please, to see that You have sent Jesus to be that Lamb, that sacrificial Lamb, to bear away the sins of the world. I pray that You grant to them repentance and faith that they might be saved.

Then I do pray for Your church, Your people, Your children here, that we would be ready for the day Jesus comes. Help us to be faithful in life and ministry. And may we, together as a church, represent You well in a watching world. Thank You again. And we pray that this morning, You will help us to make good decisions, choices in life, that we may carry on our worship from Sunday to the rest of the week. We ask all this in Jesus' Name. Amen.


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