Celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits
Bikkurim - New Life
by: Robert (Bob) Somerville
The Feast of Firstfruits is a prophetic celebration of that blessed hope; the glorious power of resurrection provided through the ministry of our messiah Jesus!
These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (Lev 23:4)
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 (Sunday) the priest shall wave it. (Lev 23:10-12)
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Eccl 3:1-2)
All of the feast days celebrate Jesus! Jesus had a prophetic (pre-determined) time to be born, to die, to be buried and to resurrect. Biblical expression confirms the appointed time for his resurrection was at the festival of Firstfruits. The word firstfruits means exactly what it implies, the first ripe - fruits of a harvest. The spring harvest in Israel was the barley harvest. Other firstfruits would be required at similar times, but this was the first of the firstfruits in the year (Eze 44:30). The priest would go out into the barley field and get a sheaf of first ripened grain, to wave before God as an expression of appreciation for His wonderful bounty. The word firstfruits becomes the key word to understanding the prophetic meaning of this celebration.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (Cor 15:20)
RESURRECTION AND HARVEST
According to Strongs exhaustive concordance, the word *firstfruits, is an agricultural expression. To understand this festival in the light of the gospel of Christ, we must understand it's New Testament applications. Jesus, in Mathew 13, likened the kingdom of God unto a man who went forth to sow seed for harvest. World evangelization and winning souls to faith in Jesus for salvation is likened unto a harvest in Luke 10:2. The resurrection is also a harvest. (1 Cor 15:42-44) When Jesus our Lord resurrected from the grave [the first one to do so in glorification] he was the first of the firstfruits of the righteous dead. When we celebrate the Feast of Firstfruits, we are celebrating Jesus, the resurrected Messiah. However, Jesus was not alone in His resurrection. Like the priest of old, he too had a sheaf of firstfruits of his harvest to offer the father as evidence of the resurrection.
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Matt 27:52-53)
INNER SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION
There is also the personal, spiritual application. Spiritual rebirth also involves a mystical death, burial and resurrection in and of itself. The apostle Paul states it so clearly it needs no embellishment:
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom. 6:4,6)
WHAT ABOUT EASTER?
"And when he had apprehended him, (Peter) he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people." (Acts 12:4 - KJV)
The word Easter is the result of faulty translation of the original Greek text. New Exhaustive Strong's Concordance gives clarification; the word is pascha (pas'-khah); of Aramaic origin [compare OT; the Passover.]
The selection of the word Easter to identify the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord occurred in the fourth century. It was not only a compromise with agonistic influences but a reaction against things Jewish and Jewish terminology born of anti Semitism.
Should Christians celebrate the feast of Firstfruits? The better question is, should we not? Undoubtedly, God thinks we should:
Even these are My feasts. (Lev. 23:2)