The Feast of Firstfruits
There is a harvest going on in this world and some are sowing and some are reaping. Jesus Christ was resurrected and risen to be our First Fruits offering. The Feast of Firstfruits is mentioned in the book of Leviticus.
Leviticus 23:9-10- And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. Learn more about the Feast of First Fruits by watching the full sermon here.
On the first day of the week during the Days of Unleavened Bread, God commanded that a very important offering of firstfruits be made to Him. In Leviticus 23:10-14, He says, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.’” Since God said you could not eat of the harvest until this offering was made, how important do you think this was to the Israelites?
For those entering the land, who regarded God and His commandments, this offering was essential to enjoying the fruits of their labor. In fact, without this offering, there would be no receiving of the harvest. For Christians today, the offering of firstfruits is one of the most vital, if not THE most vital, aspects of our faith. 1 Corinthians 15:17-22 says, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
Our whole faith is founded in the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead after three days and three nights in the grave (Matthew 12:39-40). And as Jesus was sacrificed on Passover, so he was also raised from the dead after three days and three nights in the grave, at the beginning of the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). He was the offering of firstfruits, the firstborn from the dead, that allows the rest of the harvest to be received (1 Corinthians 15:20; Colossians 1:18). On the day of His resurrection, “Jesus said to her [Mary], ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God’” (John 20:17). So as Christians today, we gather on the first day of the week during the Days of Unleavened Bread to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate because it is His resurrection that shows us His power over sin and death. His resurrection gives us confirmation that He has overcome the world and our sins. He is the firstfruits, waved for acceptance on our behalf before God (Leviticus 23:11).
And His resurrection gives us the assurance of our resurrection to life as well. Our faith is not futile. He is risen! As we celebrate the offering of firstfruits, do we believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Do we trust that He overcame sin and death, that He showed His power to lay down His life and take it up again? Do we see how His resurrection power is the very power that causes us to overcome sin and death and live in glorious, eternal life with Him? This is all part of the message of the resurrection and the Days of Unleavened Bread, during which His resurrection is celebrated.
As Christians, we look to the future and celebrate this hope for all mankind. The fulfillment of this offering is that He is the firstborn among many brethren to come (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5-6). “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end” (1 Corinthians 15:22-24). What a wonderful and joyous celebration. Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!