How does the gospel apply to seasons?

Enter winter.  The season that symbolizes death and dying.  Makes you excited right?

For those who love the winter and all that comes with it, that's great.  For those who cannot stand it, here is a word of encouragement.

First of all, it's really not that cold.  There are people living in far colder and harsher conditions.  It takes time for our bodies to adapt, but over a month or so they will adapt.  They were designed to do so.  And if you are of European descent, you have a further advantage.  Your long, skinny nose, harry body, and chubbiness all help to handle colder temperatures.  If you are like me, you don't have all of those features, which is probably due to our cultural innovations to avoid the cold.

It is important for us to enter into phases of death and dying so we do not get content with the mediocrity of life, or take our many blessings for granted.  After we get through these seasons of death and dying, we will appreciate life and living to a degree that was previously unattainable.

A wider perspective on all the seasons reveal their transformative purpose.  The seasons are also tied into the festivals ordained in the Pentateuch, which will be fulfilled by the messiah.  Unfortunately, I live in the city, so I can't elaborate on the agricultural details.

It starts with the spring (maybe because there is no life in the winter?).

The Passover-14 Nisan (Fulfilled when Jesus was crucified as the Passover lamb (crucified during the day))

Unleavened Bread-15 Nisan (Fulfilled when Jesus was buried)
This was a reminder that something is wrong.  During the exodus, there wasn't enough time to properly prepare bread, so the Jews went without leavened bread for seven days while escaping from their oppressor (Pharaoh).  They were missing the ingredient that transforms the bread into something more delicious and fulfilling.  That the messiah is dead and buried, we also know that something is wrong.  We are missing the agent that will transform us, because of the attacks of the evil one.  The unleavened bread could also represent the sinless life of Jesus.

First Fruits- 17 Nisan (daytime)  (Fulfilled when Jesus Rises from death)

Pentecost- 7 Sivan (daytime) (Fulfilled when the Holy Spirit descends on and empowers Jesus' followers)

The other festivals are all during the fall, which represent change, transition, and the coming of the end (winter).

Feast of Trumpets (Will be fulfilled when Jesus returns)

Day of Atonement (Will be fulfilled on Judgment Day, when Jesus judges the living and the dead)

Feast of Tabernacles (Will be fulfilled when Jesus establishes the Millennial Kingdom) This festival, like first fruits, dedicated the harvest during the fall to God.  During the exodus, when the Jews escaped from Egypt and were no longer under oppression, they were under the jurisdiction of God alone.  During Jesus' kingdom, we also will be solely under the authority of Jesus.

The good news about winter, is that it IS a picture of death.  For followers of Jesus, it is a picture of our old self, with all its sinful lusts and desires, being crucified.  After this season, we look forward with anxious hope for the time when newness of life will come.  Spring is a reminder of our new life in Christ, but it does not end there.  The summer is a season to walk in that newness of life, working to bring the kingdom of God to the earth.  Ultimately, this will be fulfilled when the new heavens and new earth are established, and we are free to worship our Lord and King forever and ever.

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