The Seven Mayor Jewish Feasts and Jesus Part Four

 

 First Fruits Festival  

The Lord spoke to Moses: 10 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land I am giving you and reap its harvest, you are to bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. 11 He will wave the sheaf before the Lord so that you may be accepted; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12 On the day you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a year-old male lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering is to be four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil as a fire offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, and its drink offering will be one quart of wine. 14 You must not eat bread, roasted grain, or any new grain  until this very day, and until you have brought the offering to your God. This is to be a permanent statute throughout your generations wherever you live.

Through out the Torah, the first five books Old Testament God commanded Moses to offer or dedicated the first born of man or an animal or grain.

 The first fruits is the third mayor Jewish festival celebrate after the Unleavened Bread found in Lev 23:9-14. The word “first fruits” translates both resit qasir beginning off harvest usually celebrate in March or April. Note, they had to cut down those sheaves from a typical field. It could not be cut down from some special field that had been especially cared for. It had to be from a common field.

On the day after the Passover Sabbath; i.e., on the 16th of Nisan, or the first day of the week. A sheaf of new corn was to be brought to the priest and waved before the altar, in acknowledgment of the gift of fruitfulness. The offering of the first fruits to God was a statement of gratitude and a confession that the benefits of the harvest came by his grace. Also, in giving the very first of their produce to God, Israel learned not to hoard but to trust God for provision.

 The offering of first fruits described in Leviticus 23:9-14 happened in conjunction with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and focused on the barley harvest, but there was also an offering of first fruits associated with the Feast of Weeks. Num 28:26-31 in celebration of the wheat harvest. It would seem that Israelites brought the first fruits of their harvests before the Lord at various times in the course of the agricultural year, but that there was a special first fruits festival every year in conjunction with Passover, seven weeks before Pentecost Lev 23:15.  

MacArthur Study Bible stated 23:9–14 the first fruits of your harvest. This festival dedicated the initial part of the barley harvest in Mar./Apr. and was celebrated on the day after the Sabbath of Unleavened Bread week. It involved presenting to the Lord. A sheaf of barley (cf. 23:10, 11) accompanied by burnt, grain, and drink offerings (cf. Ex. 29:40). First, fruits symbolized the consecration of the whole harvest to God, and was a pledge of the whole harvest to come (cf. Rom. 8:23; 11:16; 1 Cor. 15:20; James 1:18).

The first fruits were the earliest gathered grains, fruits, and vegetables that the people dedicated to God in recognition of His faithfulness for providing the necessities of life. The Israelites were to offer to God a sheaf of the first grain that was harvested on the day after the Sabbath following the Passover feast Leviticus 23:9-14. Paul may have used the term “first fruits” in this letter to the Corinthian church to reinforce the certainty of the resurrection. Just as the term “first fruits” shows that “the first sheaf of the forthcoming grain harvest will be followed by the rest of the sheaves, Christ, the first fruits raised from the dead, is the guarantee for all those who belong to him that they also will share in his resurrection.

What is the sufficient  of this Festival? Why does it fit into the salvation plan? After Jesus arose from the grave. He conquered death by removing the curse known as sin put on curse mankind cause by the first Adam by eating forbidden fruit, did not return the grave. As scripture declares,” The last enemy to be abolished is death.” Death has been swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” 

Erich Sauer wrote concerning the resurrection,“ The present age is Easter time. It begins with the resurrection of the Redeemer and ends with the resurrection of the redeemed, between lies the spiritual resurrection of those called into life. So we live between two Easters and in the power of the first Easter; we go to the second Easter.” We understand that. We live between the resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of the redeemed, those two great Easter events.”

Jesus declaring, “I am {the God past, Present and Future} the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.  Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?” Martha uttering these words concerning Jesus, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”  John 11; 23-27. Ensuring those who believes in His atoning works on the cross will not die but live, and be resurrected like Christ did with a new body.

Eric Lyons, M.Min wrote, “One solution to this alleged discrepancy can be found in the fact that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead—never to die again. All who have ever arisen from the dead, including the sons of both the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:8-37), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:35-43), Lazarus, et al., died in later years. Jesus, however, accurately could be called “the firstfruits” of the dead because “Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). 

All others who previously were raised at one time, died again, and are among those who “sleep” and continue to wait for the bodily resurrection; only Jesus has truly conquered death. In this sense, Christ is “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; cf. Acts 26:23).

 Paul teaches that Christ in his bodily resurrection is the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” As such, he is the guarantee that all those who belong to him will be raised from the dead at his second coming. In the natural world, the first sheaf of the crop was to be brought to God (Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:11 Leviticus 23:17) as a guarantee that the rest of the harvest was coming. So it is in God’s redemption harvest.

Matthew Henry They will glory over death as a vanquished enemy, and insult this great and terrible destroyer. We are dead; but behold we live again, and shall die no more. Thou art vanquished and disarmed, and we are out of the reach of thy deadly dart.”

 NKJV Study Bible 15:20 Jesus is the first fruits of all others who believe in Him. This is an OT image of the first instalment of a crop which anticipates and guarantees the ultimate offering of the whole crop (see 16:15; Rom. 8:23). Because Christ rose from the dead, those who are asleep in Christ (v. 18; 1 Thess. 4:15, 16) have a guarantee of their own resurrection.

Chosen People Ministries wrote “Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that we too will experience the resurrection in the future. For us as believers, the resurrection is not simply an historical event, but also a foretaste of what is to come in the future, when God gives us new, redeemed bodies.

What does the First fruits do with resurrection of Christ and why is so important? 

C H Spurgeon wrote, “Now, to a harvest there must have been a sowing. If the resurrection of Christ is the first fruits, then the resurrection of the elect must be looked upon as a harvest, and death would, therefore, be symbolized by a sowing.” 

Furthermore he wrote,” The righteous are put into their graves all weary and worn; but such they will not rise. They go there with the furrowed brow, the hollowed cheek, the wrinkled skin; they shall wake up in beauty and glory. The old man totters there, leaning on his staff; the palsied comes there trembling all the way; the halt, the lame, the withered, the blind journey in doleful pilgrimage to the common dormitory, but they shall not rise decrepit, deformed, or diseased, but strong, vigorous, active, glorious, immortal! The shrivelled seed, so destitute of form, and comeliness, shall rise from the dust a beauteous flower! A green blade, all fresh and young, shall spring up where before there was the dried decayed grain. Well said the holy martyrs, when their limbs were being torn away—“We cheerfully resign these members to the God who gave them to us.” Our members are not ours to hold or lose, no torment can rob us of them in reality; for, when we wake up in Christ’s likeness, it will not be as halt or lame, but full of strength and vigor—more comely than earthly sons of men! The winter of the grave shall soon give way to the spring of resurrection and the summer of glory. Blessed is death, since it answers all the ends of medicine to this mortal frame, and through the divine power disrobes us of the leprous rags of flesh, to clothe us with the wedding garment of incorruption! 

 First, Christ is the “first fruits” has triumphed in his resurrection; then, the rest of his “crop, ” the redeemed, will be raised triumphantly at his second coming (1 Cor 15:23 ). In light of this, God’s people, as his “first fruits, ” are to have a sanctifying effect on others (1 Cor 5:6-7 ),

 Ligonier Ministries Somewhere around AD 30, the first fruits of an even greater harvest issued forth, for it was on the first day after the Sabbath that occurred in the midst of the Passover celebration that Jesus rose from the dead (Matt. 28:1–10). Lest there be any doubt that His resurrection fulfilled the Feast of First fruits, Paul tells us explicitly that Christ is the firstfruits of those who will be raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20–23). Just as the first fruits offered to God under the old covenant anticipated the fuller harvest to come, the resurrection of Jesus anticipates the bodily resurrection of His people first promised under the old covenant (Job 19:25–27 

John MacArthur wrote,” He is not a piece of grain grown in a special garden, He is not a piece of grain, a seed that falls into the ground and dies and grows up in a greenhouse. He is just a part of the whole harvest resurrection, and He was thrown into the ground in terms of the seed that dies. He springs forth to life and becomes the guaranty of the rest of us who fall into the ground and die and shall also rise in life.

 Ligonier Ministries wrote First Fruits, and Pentecostal ”Paul says Jesus was raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25), and so we often celebrate Jesus’ resurrection as proof that our sins have been fully atoned for and that we are now declared righteous in God’s sight. This is entirely appropriate, but we should also remember that our Lord’s resurrection is proof positive that we who trust in Him will be raised in like manner at the last day and dwell with Him bodily in a new heaven and earth. 

 Paul teaches that Christ in his bodily resurrection is the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” As such, he is the guarantee that all those who belong to him will be raised from the dead at his second coming. In the natural world, the first sheaf of the crop was to be brought to God ( Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:11 Leviticus 23:17) as a guarantee that the rest of the harvest was coming. So it is in God’s redemption harvest.

 Paul teaches that Christ in his bodily resurrection is the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” As such, he is the guarantee that all those who belong to him will be raised from the dead at his second coming. In the natural world, the first sheaf of the crop was to be brought to God (Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:11 Leviticus 23:17) as a guarantee that the rest of the harvest was coming. So it is in God’s redemption harvest.

 First, Christ the “first fruits” has triumphed in his resurrection; then, the rest of his “crop, ” the redeemed, will be raised triumphantly at his second coming ( 1 Cor 15:23 ). In light of this, God’s people, as his “first fruits, ” are to have a sanctifying effect on others (1 Cor 5:6-7 )

Lewis Johnson wrote, “Christ came from the dead that was the earnest of the harvest. We are the harvest. We are grain. We are one of the grains. Not only that, but there is a similarity. We are in Christ. We are united to Him. We have the life of Christ.”

Furthermore Lewis Johnson wrote, “Firstfruits have been weighed before the Lord, the third day after our Lord was crucified, he rose from the dead. The first fruits has been waved before the Lord, and now the whole harvest is being gathered, nineteen hundred years of gathering the harvest, all the grains, all the sheaves coming in ultimately into the temple of the presence of God. And God’s promises marvellously fulfilled.” 

First, fruits was a sign, mark it down in your mind, first fruits was a sign or symbol of the coming harvest. And the resurrection of Christ was a sign or a symbol of the coming resurrection of believers.

 

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/sljinstitute-production/new_testament/1Corinthians/46_SLJ_1Corinthians.pdf

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/encyclopedia-of-the-bible/First-Fruits

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/first-fruits/ 

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/firstfruits.html 

http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/15-23.htm 

http://souljournaler.blogspot.ca/2010/02/first-fruits-of-resurrection.html

https://paulthepoke.com/2014/05/18/jesus-christs-resurrection-first-fruits/

http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=783 

http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/index.php/holidays-and-festivals/599-firstfruits-of-the-resurrection 

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/  

http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs445.pdf 

 

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