First Fruits

 

First Fruits. - This feast occurred on the 1st day of the week (Sunday)

The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. Leviticus 23:9-11



Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of First Fruits were observed in the same season of the year and at the same gathering. Only when Israel entered the Promised Land, were they allowed to keep and celebrate this feast. It could not be kept in the wilderness, as it was the place of wandering where Lord God provided Israel with manna from heaven
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a distinct feast from the Passover. It began with the Passover meal and continued for 7 days. The first and seventh days were Holy Convocations (coming together). All leaven (a type of sin) was to be taken away from the household. The Jews went all through the house looking for any crumbs of bread that may have been made with yeast (leaven.) Failure to remove all leaven brought the death penalty. Exodus 12:15-20

Exodus 12
15
For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
16
On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do.
17
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
18
In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.
19
For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.
20
Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."


On the 14th day of the 1st month, Abib (called Nisan after the Exile) the Passover Lambs were killed at 3:00 PM and prepared for eating. At 6:00 PM the Passover began and lasted until sundown. (A Jewish day begins at sundown). At 6:00 Saturday (The start of Sunday) the day of First Fruits began. On Sunday morning a sheaf or handful of early barley harvest was reverently cut and the barley removed, filling a bowl. It was then taken to the Temple and waved before the Lord. The counting of the Omer began at the feasts of First fruits.An Omer is a half-gallon of barley. The last cereal to ripen was the wheat and the first fruits from this harvest were to be offered 50 days, later at Pentecost
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Paul commands us to purge out the least bit of leaven from our lives and from the ecclesia, for Jesus has become our Passover Lamb. I Corinthians 5:6-8

6
Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?
7
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
8
Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.

Paul states that Jesus at His resurection became the First Fruits and the hope of our resurrection from the dead. I Corinthians 15:23.

In Psalm 126, we find the Song of degrees. It speaks of him who sows in tears, but returns later rejoicing, bringing with him the sheaves of the harvest (verses 5 & 6).

Psalm 126
5
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
6
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.


This Psalm may be applied to our precious Messiah Jesus, for He is the Lord of the harvest. In His first advent, He went forth weeping bearing precious seed. At the Second Coming, He will come with rejoicing at the time of the great harvest, bringing His sheaves with Him.

The single sheaf presented to Yahvah God on Firstfruits, prophetically speaks of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. For He is the sheaf of the Firstfruits. The Children of Israel clearly understood the meaning of this feast and that which were the firstfruits of their labour. It spoke of the firstfruits of the harvest and of the firstborn of both man and beast. The firstfruits were considered the choicest. The firstfruits were holy unto the Lord. Jesus is the firstborn of Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1:23-25). He is the first begotten of the Father (Hebrews 1:6). He is the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18). He is the firstfruits of the resurrected ones. "But now Messiah 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 Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Messiah the Firstfruits, afterward those who are the Messiah's at His coming" 1Corinthians 15:20-23.

GOOD FRIDAY TO EASTER SUNDAY


At 3:00 PM Friday, Jesus died on the cross at the exact time the Passover Lambs were killed and prepared to be eaten at 6:00 PM.
John the Baptist said of Jesus "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
Jesus lay in the tomb Friday afternoon and Saturday and arose from the dead on Sunday, the day of First Fruits of the Harvest.
Fifty days later when the day of Pentecost was fully come, Acts 2:1, when the crops were ready to harvest, the gathering of the Brethren in Christ began.

Acts 2
1
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues [1] as the Spirit enabled them.
38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
40
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
41
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
42
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

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Nick Kneffler


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