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Paul used the analogy of leaven's effect on dough to illustrate the effect
of sin within a congregation of God's Church (1 Cor. 5).

Paul then encouraged the Corinthians to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with a better understanding of its spiritual intent. "Let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).

He showed the Corinthians the lesson they should have learned from these feast days in the spring: the need to remove their old, habitual sins, as well as sins of malice (evil intent) and wickedness (evil behavior), and to observe the feast with the spiritually unleavened bread of sincerity (pure motives) and truth (right knowledge and understanding).

Paul used leavened and unleavened bread to demonstrate two diametric opposites: sin and righteousness, evil and holiness. Symbolically, the Feast of Unleavened Bread demonstrates these eternal truths to New Testament Christians.

Unleavened bread also represents the life-giving and life-sustaining power of Jesus Christ. "I am the bread of life," He said (John 6:48).


The Feast of Unleavened Bread represents complete freedom from sin and also allows us the privilege to worship our unleavened, pure, perfect, holy Father and His holy Son, Jesus Christ. It depicts - for the New Testament Christian - a time of fleeing from sin while actively seeking God.

That is why Christians are told to "keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).
 
Posts: 218 | Registered: 03 November 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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wopik, you've taken Paul's analogy and somehow made it seem that he was insisting on the early Christians keeping a Jewish feast day, only now with new sincerity and understanding. That's not what I see him saying; no commentary I've read makes that point either.

It wouldn't suprise me, however, that some Churches kept the old feast days, but with a Christian awareness. That's kind of what we still do during Easter week and Pentecost. Nevertheless, a lot of the older Jewish feast days aren't celebrated or even remembered. These would have had little significance for the Gentile Christians, who are still the overwhelming majority.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil, thanks for your latest comments.

The halfway death

The scourging by the Romans of our Savior was barbaric. They called this type of punishment "the halfway death" because it stopped just short of killing its victim. A trained man, called a lictor, used a wooden grip to which several strips of leather had been attached. At the end of each strip, fragments of bone or iron had been sewn in. This was called a flagellum.
 
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Very awful!

The image below is from the Shroud of Turin, and supposedly gives a good idea of what that kind of scourging was like:
(We are off-topic, perhaps we should move this discussion to this thread.

 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil, I came across Eusebius' book years ago. In it, he quotes a letter from bishop Polycrates to Pope Victor.

Two things about this letter seem interesting: first, it doesn't seem like the idea of going to Heaven - at death - had caught on yet. Second, seems as if the Paschal festival was still held on Nisan 14.


Eusebius records a letter of Polycrates (circa 280's AD) written to Pope Victor in regards to the Paschal festival:

"For in Asia great luminaries sleep [are dead] who shall rise again on the day of the Lord's advent, when He is coming with glory from heaven and shall search out all His saints -- such as Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps [is dead] in Hierapolis with two of his daughters, who remained unmarried to the end of their days......Again there is John, who leant back on the Lord's breast.....he too sleeps [is dead] in Ephesus. Then in Smyrna there is Polycarp, bishop and martyr; and Thraseas....who also sleeps [is dead] in Smyrna.

"Need I mention Sagaris, bishop and martyr, who sleeps [is dead] in Laodicea, or blessed Papirius, or Melito the eunuch, who lived entirely in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis waiting for the visitation from heaven when he shall rise from the dead[/b]?

"All of these kept the fourteenth day of the month as the beginning of the Paschal festival
........Last of all I too, Polycrates, the least of you all, act according to the traditon of my family, some members of which I actually followed; for seven of them were bishops and I am the eighth, and my family have always kept the day when the people put away the leaven."

(Eusebius, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, [23.1 - 24.8] ).
 
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Thanks all very much for your input!


Unlike most Christians, I think the Lord�s festivals are to be observed throughout all generations because God says they are His festivals and they are to be eternal ordinances.

Jesus was celebrating the Passover with the disciples when He said in Luke 22:19 "... This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." So was Jesus not saying, when you celebrate the Passover from this time forth � you not only have the deliverance from Egypt (deliverance from physical bondage: sin) to celebrate, but now you have the final sacrifice of the Passover Lamb to celebrate, who has brought you out of spiritual bondage? And, of course, with His resurrection, God showed His power to bring "life" to all believers.
 
Posts: 218 | Registered: 03 November 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Blessings, wopik! Sounds like this exchange was helpful unto clarifying for this question for you. Even though the Church has never insisted on keeping those feast days, I can see your point about why you think it's important.

Peace. Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you Phil --

My definition of a "Judaizer" is not one who follows and is obedient to God�s commandments, but one who trusts in himself (his own works, etc.) for salvation, rather than the grace of God.

Even though the Church has never insisted on keeping those feast days, I can see your point about why you think it's important.

I appreciate your understanding-ness.

The following is more rhetorical than actual questions:

Christians have their own traditions (Christmas, Easter), just as the Jews have their own traditions (things they have added to the Word). However, the celebrations that are God-ordained in Leviticus 23 are really all about Jesus, so why would they not be even more meaningful today? And why have Christians been so willing to celebrate anything but these?
 
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Hi everybody!

As the 'Holy Week' commences, I wish to take this opportunity to wish everyone a blessed week, culminating in a wonderful Easter celebration!

As a Christian I'm convinced that all of us Christians have reason to celebrate Easter everyday, with every breath because Jesus is Risen and alive! As a Catholic I believe that is what we do at Mass each time. I agree completely with WC and Phil who pointed out that the dates are so immaterial to the celebration of the Ressurection. It is important to realise that in the spiritual realm, time is of no consequence at all for there is no such thing as time. It is merely something we human beings relate to on this side of eternity. The cycles of time as we know it, gives us a reference point and as human beings we need it, that is all. It contributes to a rythm and routine in our lives and human beings thrive on it just as babies do. Easter is simply an excuse to remember what we probably don't remember the rest of the year. Easer is an excuse to celebrate at least once a year. What does it matter if the day does or not coincide with any other religious festival? As Phil pointed out, it was simply wise on the part of our Christian forefathers to have chosen a day when others were celebrating too. Besides the crucifixion and Ressurection of Jesus did coincide with the Jewish Passover.

It is wise not to mistake the finger for the moon to which it is pointing. Easter celebration is not an end in itself, the value of which is determined by the day of the year or time of the day it is celebrated. It is pointing to the Ressurection of Jesus and that is all that matters. But when all can celebrate together on one particular day in the year, how wonderful!

Happy Easter!
 
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Priya* -- you are a beautiful spiritual person.
 
Posts: 218 | Registered: 03 November 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Aren't religions about belief?

Aren't the events about which the beliefs that make a religion substantive?

Aren't celebrations remembrances or occasions to honor an event that is significant to the belief?

Aren't these celebrations metaphors or representations that are significant to the belief?

Most beliefs are the result of traditions based upon remembrances of events. And the continued transmission of that experience by ceremony.

Is it really significant WHAT day an event occurs?
Isn't it really more important to honor the event with a celebration?

2 cents worth of questions.
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: 06 April 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good to hear from you again, priya, and I echo wopik's sentiment in thanking you for your lovely reflections.

From bfulbright:

Aren't religions about belief?

Sure, and practice as well, of course.

Aren't the events about which the beliefs that make a religion substantive?

Right--although even regarding such events (like the resurrection, say), a wide variety of beliefs and practices can develop. Also, there are religions whose beliefs are based more on principles and experiences than historical events,

Aren't celebrations remembrances or occasions to honor an event that is significant to the belief?

Much more often than not, I'd say.

Aren't these celebrations metaphors or representations that are significant to the belief?

I'd call them rituals rather than metaphors.

Most beliefs are the result of traditions based upon remembrances of events. And the continued transmission of that experience by ceremony.

Is it really significant WHAT day an event occurs?
Isn't it really more important to honor the event with a celebration?


That seems the substance of the disagreement w.c. and I had with wopik on this thread. wopik has a point that speaks strongly to him, however, and that's to be honored.

2 cents worth of questions.

Good ones! Smiler
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is silly fundamentalism to me. I have heard these argument from seven day adventists and other hyper conservative groups. Historically since the 2nd or 3rd centuries christians began adopting pagan holidays christianizing them to remember important events in Christ life. One of the earliest was Lent and Easter. Everyone knew this was not the date it happened on but it was the date to remember, and reverently celebrate what he did for us. Know one nows the exact date Jesus was crucified. We have educated guesses nothing more. Lent not to get off the topic was adopted from the Roman custom by the early christians to prepare for Easter. This was never in dispute until the radical protestants dropped the Church calendar.
 
Posts: 205 | Location: McHenry Illinois | Registered: 01 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is it really significant WHAT day an event occurs?

Let the Lord answer that one, for us all (even if you don't agree with Him) --

"These are the feasts of the LORD....which you shall proclaim IN THEIR SEASONS" (Lev. 12:4)

"In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Lord's Passover" (Lev. 12:5).

"And on the fifteenth day is the day of unleavened bread...."

"Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement...." (verse 27).

What if the Israelites said, "oh, well, we can sprinkle this blood around on the door posts next week." When the death angel came around - that night - they would have been dead.

It seems to matter, at least to God.
 
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wopik,

agreed. But councils of men have also set the dates for major holidays, that may or may not have anything to do with the real date of the event being celebrated. Some have even blended dates and events from other belief systems into the Christian faith to incorporate more traditional celebrations to coincide with Christian ones. That is my point.
 
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Thought Melito's homily would be appropriate during this time of year --

A Passover Homily.

Another informative document of the Christian observance of Passover is the Sermon on the Passover (dated about A. D. 165) by Melito, Bishop of Sardis. In a highly rhetorical fashion, Melito explains how the old Passover has found fulfillment in Christ. It is significant that the Biblical setting is still the Exodus story (Ex 12:11-30), which the author reads and expands as in the Jewish Passover haggadah (narration, ritual).

"Therefore hear ye beloved: Thus the mystery of Passover is new and old, eternal and transient, corruptible and incorruptible, mortal and immortal. It is old according to the Law (of Moses), but new according to the Word; transient according to the world, but eternal through grace; corruptible as to the slaughter of the sheep, incorruptible because of the Life of the Lord; mortal because of the burial of the Lord, immortal because of the Resurrection from the dead."

http://www.intowww.org/sabbath/sun2.htm
 
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But that is just the point Christ did not say anything about when Christians and where they should worship. It was understood in Acts that Christian celebrated Eucharist on the first day of the week which became the day of Worship.
 
Posts: 205 | Location: McHenry Illinois | Registered: 01 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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brjaan

The Last Supper, that famous last supper of Jesus was a Passover. Yet you will hardly hear anyone every mention it.

Jesus said, "with desire I have desire to eat this passover with you before I suffer" Lk 22:15).

And it's strange to me that Christian people don't more often describe it that way, instead of trying to find some other way to describe what Jesus and His disciples were doing that evening.

---------------------------------------
"with desire I have desire to eat this passover with you before I die." (Lk 22)

"This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Lk 22)

"This cup is the new testaament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Lk 22)


Up to this time, the Passover had focused entirely on the Exodus out of Egypt. Now, it is going to focus entirely on JESUS.
------------------------------------------------

I think Jesus said a lot in keeping His last Passover supper with His disciples and instituting the Eucharist with them, that evening of Nisan 14 ---

My point is that Jesus was celebrating the Passover with the disciples when He said in Luke 22:19 "... This is my body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." So was Jesus not saying, when you celebrate the Passover from this time forth � you not only have the deliverance from Egypt (deliverance from physical bondage) to celebrate, but now you have the final sacrifice of the Passover Lamb to celebrate, who has brought you out of spiritual bondage? And, of course, with His resurrection, God showed His power to bring "life" to all believers.
 
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So was Jesus not saying, when you celebrate the Passover from this time forth � you not only have the deliverance from Egypt (deliverance from physical bondage) to celebrate, but now you have the final sacrifice of the Passover Lamb to celebrate, who has brought you out of spiritual bondage?

Jesus wasn't talking about celebrating the Passover in remembrance of him, but the Lord's Supper. There's just nothing in the history of the early Church to indicate that he meant for Christians to continue celebrating the Passover on Nissan 14. That's not what they did and that have never really been the understanding of the meaning of Jesus' final Passover.

How about give it a rest, wopik? You've made your point again and again, but I don't think you're coming up with anything to back it up.
 
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