February 16, 2010

First Fruits Of The Resurrection - Part I: Jesus Christ

Leviticus 23:9-12 The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: "When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect..."

In Feast of First Fruits the Hebrews were to bring the first sheaves of the barley harvest and wave them before the Lord. At the beginning of the day representative leaders of the people would cut certain barley sheaves that had been set aside specifically for this purpose and bring them to the priest. The priest would then present them to the Lord by waving them back and forth. The purpose of this was to consecrate the harvest to the Lord. The first fruits were representative of the entire harvest. This act reminded Hebrews that the land and all its harvest rightfully belonged to God. The people are just stewards of the land.
Jesus fulfilled this feast when He became the first fruits resurrected from the dead. His beginning marked the beginning of the harvest of souls who have been set apart for God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming…

Jesus was the human sheaf that God had set apart for the purpose of conquering death and providing eternal life for all those that acknowledge Him as savior. This includes those that believed before and after he came because it is by faith that man is saved to eternal life.

Hebrew 11:1-3 & 6 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible…And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

In fulfilling the Feast of Passover Christ was crucified on the fourteenth day of Nisan. To fulfill the Feast of Unleavened Bread Christ as buried on the fifteenth day of Nisan. On the Sabbath Jesus rested in the tomb. On the Seventeenth day of Nisan (Sunday) Jesus Rose from the dead fulfilling the Feast of First Fruits. Jesus then ascended to the Father as a presentation of First Fruits to the Father in Heaven so that the rest of the harvest would be acceptable in the eyes of the Father. A great high priest offering the First Fruits on the exact day that they would’ve been waved in front of the Lord at the throne of the Almighty.

Additionally, just like a barley sheaf contains many stalks of barley bundled together so to the Lord offered up Himself with others that day. The bodies of many of the saints also resurrected.

Matthew 27:52-53 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.


Beckrl said...

I just googled by and found your site, And I like and agree what you have put forth, especially the first fruits [Jesus] yes, but also those saints that arose after him.

I would add one question, how do you see them raised as mortal or immortal?

Roger Beck

Andy Pierson said...

Oh boy. To answer straight: I don’t know with absolute certainty and because of this I maybe shouldn’t have put that at the end of my post but it is my belief that they were. The text is mysterious.. I don’t want to lead people astray. This pushes the limit of what can be known from the text. It also tests my ability to translate the Greek too.
This scripture in Matt 27 alone I believe tells us a lot though. The words saints in Greek translates "hagios" meaning morally blameless ceremonially consecrated; holy. From the root "hagos/hagnos" or sacred referring to something "physically pure". Which means they would’ve been acceptable to God.

Why would the resurrections of saints be mentioned at all in conjunction with Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection other than to bring glory to God by showing his power to not only resurrect Jesus but those that died in faith? There is no record of these “saints” dying again like Lazarus. If you saw someone come back from the dead would you forget who they were? Wouldn't you keep tabs on them? It would appear the Lord then took them body & soul back to heaven with Him. I believe these where physically resurrected saints. Yes immortal. Because the Bible doesn't say with certainty what happen to these saints there are many theories. This is similar to when Christ wrote in the dirt with his finger during the John 8 and the woman caught in adultery. What did he write? Who knows. Does it change doctrine? Does it stop your faith? Not for me, ya know what I mean.

Andy Pierson said...

BTW, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment Roger.

Beckrl said...

I would agree to them being immortal for one reason is they are in my opinion among the firstfruits of the barley harvest.

The sheaf is not one but a bundle of the firstfruits. Then if Christ is raised in immortality those also would be raised to immortality.

1 Cornthians 15:42
So also is the resurrection of the dead, It is sown in corruption; and is rasied in incorruption.

Now if we were to continue with the harvest seasons I think we would find more resurrections those of the Barley, Wheat and Grapes.

Thanks Andy.

Roger Beck

Anonymous said...

On the thought of Jesus in John 8:6 writing on the ground,I want to think that Jesus might have been thinking of Jer.17:13 "O LORD, the hope of Israel all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth,because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of the living waters." Could be their names were being written on the ground. Just a thought.

Amos of the 12 said...

Firstly I want to thank you for a great post. It is very informative. I know it's been awhile since this has been commented on and that I'm late to the discussion., my apologies. I Google "Jesus first fruits" found your blog.

I am confused by the Jewish festivals and recently I have been confused even more by a person who is trying to convince me the Jesus rose on the Sabbath and not the first day of the week. (I did point out the obvious "Mark 16:9 Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.")

Here is that persons reasoning. "Friday (late afternoon) to Sunday (early morning) is not three days and three nights. The correct time frame is the lunisolar calendar and keep in mind God doesn't begin and end days at midnight (Genesis 1:5). The Feasts were observed sunset to sunset. We also have to understand the difference of a normal weekly Sabbath day that falls on the same day every week and annual Sabbath days (high days) that can fall on any day of the week.

Jesus died around noon Wednesday (still Passover) and just before sundown on a Wednesday he was buried quickly before The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Sabbath, high day mentioned in John 19). The third day and night would bring us to Saturday (Sabbath) at sundown. John 20:1 The sun had not yet risen and it was still dark when Mary found the tomb EMPTY on Sunday morning. Jesus rose before she got there."

You seem to have a good understanding of Jewish tradition. If you find the time I would be grateful for your opinion on what was written.

Andy Pierson said...

It was Jewish custom that any part of a day before sundown, however small, is included as part of a full day. Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the three days and three nights' could permit a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection. We are not dealing with 3 full 24 hr days nor does the text imply this anywhere. Jesus died before sundown Friday (day 1), Saturday (day 2), Sunday morn resurrection (day 3). Additionally it says in Matthew 28:1 that the Marys came at the end of the sabbath "as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week"...thereby a new day, athird day and for Jews, a Sunday. Hope this helped.

Amos of the 12 said...

Thank you for your time. It does help.

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