Jesus in the Feast of Firstfruits
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
The Feast of Firstfruits falls on the second day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thus, the first three feasts are on three consecutive days. It celebrated the beginning of the barley harvest, the first crop to be planted during the previous winter. God’s purpose behind the concept of Firstfruits was this: If the people gave the first of their crops to Him, acknowledging that they came from Him and belonged to Him, He would guarantee to provide the remainder of the harvest. The offering of the firstfruits thus became an “earnest” or pledge of what was to follow.
The ultimate fulfillment of this feast is unmistakable. It was to be celebrated two days after Passover. If Passover points to Jesus’ death, Firstfruits points to His resurrection two days after His death (on the third day as the Jews count time and days). To Christians, Good Friday represents this Passover, while Easter corresponds to the Feast of Firstfruits. As God pledged to provide the rest of the barley crop (the grain of the common or poor person), Jesus’ resurrection promised a coming resurrection for believers. The hope of the believer was tightly wrapped around the reality of Jesus’ resurrection.
The Apostle Paul went to great lengths to combat the Gnosticism of the first century, which taught that the material universe, including our bodies, is inherently evil. Resurrections, they reasoned, would yield evil bodies. The Gnostics, therefore, rejected the whole idea of being raised from the dead. Paul argued that, if there was no resurrection, then Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected either. The facts, however, indicated otherwise. (Those who have set out to disprove Jesus’ resurrection by examining the evidence have become some of the greatest defenders of the faith.) His response was: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [died] (1 Corinthians 15:20). You may argue that the Bible contains accounts of people being raised from the dead before Jesus’ resurrection (1 Kings 17:17-23; 2 Kings 4:18-37; Luke 8:54-44; John 11:43-44). They, however, ultimately died again. Jesus was the first to be resurrected, never to die again. He alone is the “Firstfruits.”
AS I SEE IT
When God ordained the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23) during the days of Moses, it was nearly 1500 years before His Son would fulfill it by His resurrection. Yet, it happened right on schedule, to the month, day, and hour. This should be very comforting to believers today. Nothing can or will deter God from completing His plans right on schedule. He outlined the time of Jesus’ resurrection and boom! It happened, just as He said. Likewise, the time of the resurrection of believers is set. Some will die and be resurrected at the Rapture. Some will be alive at the time of the Rapture, suddenly disappearing from earth. While we don’t know when it will happen, we need reminders that it will happen. When it does, it will be too late to say what we meant to say, or to do what we meant to do. We will be present with the Lord with our life on earth completed and unalterable.
Since we don’t know how much time we have left, shouldn’t we live like today may be our last? Maybe it will. What if you knew that tomorrow you would be with the Lord? Would it make a difference in how you would live the rest of today? What will you do with the rest of today?
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Sign in Funeral Home yard:
DRIVE CAREFULLY WE’LL WAIT