My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
For the rest of Christian Joy 105 we’ll open with another image of Christ’s purpose on the video below. It illustrates the “P” of God calling us in to adore Him and the “P” to which He sends us for others as we’ll see in Christian Joy 106.
The 4th part of Purpose in Christ is seen in the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): “Rejoice in Me”. Let’s review what we’ve seen so far. God’s purpose calls us in for communion (intimate relationship) with Him and His people through His Son, Jesus the Christ. And we’re to trust and obey Jesus because of His specific works and promises foreshadowed in Israel’s required observances outlined in Leviticus 23: 1st, the Sabbath (rest in Christ); 2nd, the Passover and Feast of Unleavened bread (follow Christ); 3rd, the Feast of Firstfruits (wait on Christ); and 4th, the Feast of Weeks, also described in Leviticus 23:16 as the “fiftieth day” after Passover, “rejoice in Christ”. Pentecost was the second of only three festivals in which all Israelite men were to return to the temple with a gift according to God’s blessing. (Deuteronomy 16:16-17) Note how Christ fulfills Pentecost and relates to Passover and Firstfruits.
Passover marked God’s release of His people from slavery. The angel of death “passed over” Israel because they trusted in the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12:1-28), so Christ’s death begins the life of His people. (Luke 22:7, 1 Cor 5:7, Rev 5:6 and 21:9) Firstfruits marked their long awaited arrival in the Promised Land to receive its free fruits from God, but only after their time in the wilderness. It was a picture of free life in Christ after certain death in this world. (Rom 8:23, 1 Cor 15:20 and 23, 2 Thess 2:13, James 1:18, Rev 14:4) Fifty days after Passover, Israel celebrated Pentecost as His harvest: physical wheat and spiritual “wheat” He had blessed through their labor. (Exo 23:16, Matt 13:12-30, John 12:24, Acts 2:1-21, 1 Cor 3:3-6, 1 Peter 1:23) All three celebrated God’s grace, but Pentecost annually pictured His ongoing, gracious partnership to bring an abundant spiritual harvest by His people sowing the ‘seed’ of His Word. But don’t take my word. See this for yourself.
And the 4th part of Christ’s Purpose – rejoicing in Him – has practical and specific joys, too. Lauren and I discuss this below. In this video, we’re candid about the tendency of our sinful nature to rejoice in God’s “stuff” instead of His Son. Although Pentecost pictures the good news of eternal life by His supernatural, spiritual “harvest”, we must guard against the temptation to see salvation in Christ merely as a means to continuing self-indulgence. This false “prosperity gospel” is not a new problem, for it was a primary idolatry in biblical times, too. (Deuteronomy 8:1-20, Proverbs 30:7-9, Haggai 1:1-11, Malachi 3:13-15, Matthew 19:22-23, 1 Timothy 6:1-10, James 4:1-17, etc.)