What is the correct New Testament way to observe the resurrection of Jesus Christ? The answer is different than most believe.
BT Daily - January 26, 2012: Clarification on the Resurrection and Days of Unleavened Bread
Here’s more discussion on the BT Daily of January 9th about the resurrection of Christ and the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
[Steve Myers] We had a question come in from a viewer regarding a recent program that we did on the real meaning of Christ’s birth . Here was their question, “We know the early church commemorated Christ’s death on Passover, but how did the early church commemorate the resurrection? Of course, we know you don’t commemorate it by keeping Easter.” Important questions.
[Darris McNeely] It is and since it was my program, I think I’ll go ahead and give a try to answer that Steve. We observe the death of Jesus Christ by keeping the Passover, which is the way Christ instructed the church to with the symbols, the new symbols of the bread and the wine. The resurrection of Jesus Christ which came after, of course, three days and three nights after His death, is observed as we keep the festival called the Days of Unleavened Bread .
That is a seven day festival that follows after the Passover, mentioned in Leviticus 23 (Leviticus 23:4-8 Leviticus 23:4-8 4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.
5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
7 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.
8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein.
American King James Version×). In 1 Corinthians chapter 5 we find the Apostle Paul instructed the church, a Gentile church, at Corinth and he said to them “Let us keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8 1 Corinthians 5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
American King James Version×). Very clear instruction to observe that festival, to do it with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth…
[Steve Myers] So we had to do it, that’s the amazing part to begin with.
[Darris McNeely] That’s exactly right, it was carried over. But it was carried over with a new meaning, a deeper meaning, and that meaning is anchored in the fact of Jesus Christ’s resurrection as a spirit being, as the Son of God, and His life now is in us. In John chapter 6, Christ referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. He said, “I am the Bread of Life, and whoever eats my flesh has My life within him” (John 6:22-59 John 6:22-59 22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one into where his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;
23 (However, there came other boats from Tiberias near to the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)
24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.
25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, Rabbi, when came you here?
26 Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed.
28 Then said they to him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.
30 They said therefore to him, What sign show you then, that we may see, and believe you? what do you work?
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.
34 Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you, That you also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he said, I came down from heaven?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.
46 Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
American King James Version×)
Now we understand that flesh is a symbol of the unleavened bread that Christians should eat during the Days of Unleavened Bread to picture Christ’s life within them. And so that is how we commemorate, we observe, however you want to term it, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do it for seven days through that festival, which Christ put within the church and that the Apostle Paul maintained as a prime teaching of the church. That’s how we observe the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s one of the key aspects of the Christian life today.
[Steve Myers] Yeah, so if we’re to summarize, our sins are forgiven through that recognition of the Passover, you know, Jesus Christ’s death. Well, then after that we have the Days of Unleavened Bread and we are to live with Christ in us. We have the power…
[Darris McNeely] A new life…
[Steve Myers]…A new life, the power of the resurrection. How do we overcome sin? We do it because Christ is in us. He is the hope of glory.
[Darris McNeely] Right. We don’t do it by ourselves, we do it through Christ’s power and His help.
[Steve Myers] That’s BT Daily . We’ll see you tomorrow.