Easter – First Fruits
“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.” Leviticus 23:10-11
When God gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai there were, unbeknownst to Moses, prophetic treasures therein that would be revealed by God the Holy Spirit to the minds of His children when the time was right. One such treasure was the Feast of First Fruits.
Gods instructions were that each spring they would realize again what an amazingly fertile land God had given them when, miraculously, their crops would start springing forth from the earth after the barrenness of winter. They were to celebrate the ‘resurrection’ of life by bringing the first part of the harvest to the Priest to offer before the Lord on the Sunday of the week of unleavened bread (the day after the sabbath…).
In the celebration of First Fruits the Children of Israel were symbolically celebrating the resurrection of the Messiah, on a Sunday morning still centuries away. When Christ rose from the dead after His crucifixion and burial it all came together.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).
With Christ as the First Fruits, the inference is that there would be more fruit, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fruits – an ongoing harvest, and this is the Church, the people of God. We are symbolized on the first resurrection Sunday by the other people who rose from the dead that day.
“… and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:53.
Seemingly, Jesus, our High Priest brought an offering to His Father of the early harvest of what would become the Body of Christ. This was the fulfillment of the Feast of the First Fruits, something that God has foreshadowed through the simple, annual, spring harvest. He took an ordinary thing and made it holy.
Understanding a tiny bit of this we may never look at the miracle of spring the same again. For those tender shoots remind us that Jesus conquered the long dead winter that hung as a terminal sentence over mankind, and in doing so, gathers with Him as many as will follow, sprouting forth from death into life with Christ.
Hallelujah! He is Risen!