Dear Readers, Beloved of God,
I pray that thus far you have enjoyed this study and received much revelation. God wants for us to understand His Word and speaks directly to us from His throne in heaven. It is not necessary for you to have a degree in Biblical studies or theology to understand God’s Word. It only requires an open heart and an attentive ear to His voice. He bids us “Come, Come up here beloved!”
God has gone to great lengths to reveal Himself to us! What may not be understood in His Word is certainly evident in the creation around us. He gently speaks to us in the course of all four seasons. He whispers in the song of a bird, and grabs our attention in a majestic mountain or waterfall. What does He say in the gentle flowing of a mountain stream? “Be still and know that I am God.” Beloved, He speaks to us each and every day. Do we choose to listen? His is a still small voice and He rarely shouts. Does He have our attention now? Are our hearts an open book and our minds as sponges ready to absorb? Then let us continue our journey into the symbolism and mysteries of the Almighty.
We shall begin our study today with prayer. If you agree with me in this prayer, just speak a simple amen within yourself: Father, I ask that you open our hearts, minds, spiritual eyes, and ears to help us understand what You desire to teach us. We ask that you reveal even more of Your precious Son Jesus and the prophetic message You have hidden in Leviticus 23. It is our desire to understand and draw closer to Jesus. It is with loving and thankful hearts we pray and receive. In Jesus name, ~Amen
The Feast of First Fruits:
“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 first fruits 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 23:9-11) NKJV
As Israel departed the wilderness and entered into the land they had been promised, God stopped providing for them “the bread from heaven”, manna. He had led them into a land “flowing with milk and honey”, a land with rich soil and plenty of water. The time had come for them to begin sowing and reaping from their land. God wanted a special feast designated during which all of Israel would acknowledge the fertility of the great land He had given them.
They were to bring the early crops of the spring planting (“First Fruits”) to the Temple priest to be waved before the Lord on their behalf. This was to be done on the morrow after the Sabbath, or Sunday. Let’s look a little closer at a key word in the above scripture, “wave.” A cursory study of this word in the original Hebrew language will give us much clearer vision of the picture being painted. In Hebrew, “wave” means “to lift up.” This presents the picture we are supposed to understand, that the offering was not waved back and forth, but was in fact “high and lifted up” by the Temple priest! Could this lifting up and waving before God be symbolically representing Jesus being presented and accepted to God on our behalf? I believe it to be so! First Fruits can be viewed as a promise of more to come!”
Okay, everyone wake up now! A little history is required in order to set the tone and see the “bigger picture!”
We have come to call this feast “Easter”, after the Babylonian goddess, Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility. We even continue to worship the objects of fertility- the rabbit, the egg, the new costumes (going to buy a new Easter ensemble), etc., but the celebration was to be over God’s replanting of the earth in the spring. The worship of false gods has its roots in Ancient Babylon.
We miss a very important biblical truth by not using the proper term given to the feast, “First Fruits.” “First” implies a second, third, fourth, and so on, and that is the real meaning of the feast. We do not only celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on First Fruits, but even more so the resurrection of the entire church! We shall all be resurrected and go to heaven, just as our Lord did! Consider the Apostle Paul’s words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit”
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits 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. But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
(I Corinthians 15:20-23) NKJV
Jesus even presented His proper First Fruits offering to the Father. Graves were opened and dead people rose and were seen after His resurrection in Jerusalem.
“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared too many.”
(Matthew 27:52-53) NKJV
The Lord, like the Jewish farmer, gratefully showed the Father the early crops of what will be a magnificent harvest later on! A real miracle is that we ordinary mortals will experience this resurrection! Jesus was resurrected from the grave on the exact day of the Feast of First Fruits therefore again fulfilling the prophecy of Leviticus 23!
“Then He said to them,” Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…”
(Luke 24:46) NKJV
Isaiah reveals the picture of the Messiah and His first coming seven hundred (700) years before His birth in chapters fifty-two (52) and fifty-three (53). The aspects of the first three feasts in Leviticus are revealed here. God’s servant would die for the sins of the world. He would be led like a “lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7). He would also be sinless, He is called “My Servant” (Isaiah 52:14 and “My righteous Servant who will justify many” (Isaiah 53:11). The Servant came to bear the sins of the world, to be the lamb for our Passover; Isaiah reveals His punishment brought us peace (Isaiah 53:5). Though He is killed (Isaiah 53:9) He shall see the light of life, resurrection (Isaiah 53:11).
If we are “in Christ Jesus”, then we have no need to be concerned if this resurrection life abides in us. Jesus was the First Fruit for many, but we have to choose to receive His gift.
“For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
(Romans 11:16) NKJV
In summary, The Passover pictures the death of Jesus, the Feast of Unleavened Bread His burial (also remember the symbolism of our water baptism), and the Feast of First Fruits His resurrection and ascension to the Father as an acceptable offering for OUR sins! First Fruits was the last feast that our Lord was seen personally fulfilling on earth. But His ministry to the church was to go on, of course, in fulfilling the ensuing feasts! The first three feasts were fulfilled by our Lord for the individual believer! In the four remaining feasts we will see His fulfilling the feasts as pertains to the “church”, comprised of the corporate body all believers in Christ!
Until we meet again beloved of the Lord, I pray for our continued understanding, peace, healing, and willingness to share the love of God. May He grant each one of you this request…!