FIRSTFRUITS

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  I Corinthians 15:20 NIVFullSizeRender (73)

Mallory is the firstfruits of our puppies.  She is our pack leader and where she goes, the others follow or at least have her permission. Being first has its advantages and its challenges.  She forged the way for the others, paving their pathway.  Mallory was first and has earned respect and love.  She is large and in charge.

In the Old Testament, God set in place many feasts for the Israelites.  One of the festivals was the Feast of Firstfruits.  This feast required that “firstfruit” offerings would be made in the temple to express thanks to God for his provision.  The Feast of Firstfruits was celebrated at the time of Passover and the firstfruits of the barley harvest were offered to God.

Jesus rose from the dead during the Feast of Firstfruits.  I Corinthians 15:23 tells us in the New Living Translation, “But there is an order to this resurrection:  Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.” Verse 20 states, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  God accepted Jesus as the perfect offering during the Feast of Firstfruits.

Jesus spent forty days with his disciples after his resurrection.  He then ascended into heaven giving instructions for his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the gift from on high.  This gift was the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.  But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven”,  Luke 24:49.

The Feast of Weeks starts seven weeks, or exactly fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits.  It was also known as Pentecost since the word means fiftieth in Greek.  This celebration is also in remembrance of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  The law was given on Mount Sinai and Exodus 20:18 says, “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.  They stayed at a distance.”

The old covenant and the law was given to God’s people by Moses accompanied by fire on Mt. Sinai and much trembling.  The new covenant was set in place by Jesus and the Holy Spirit was given to God’s people with tongues of fire and a mighty rushing wind.  The feast of Pentecost in the Old and New Testament.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so!

God has a plan and it is all fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  Luke 24:44 states, “He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you:  Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.'”

Jesus is the firstfruits and we are his harvest.  He rose from the dead and so shall we as his followers.  He ascended into heaven and is preparing a place for us to abide with him forever.  He forged the way for us and has paved our pathway to God.  He has earned our respect and love.  Let us give him the firstfruits of all we are in thanksgiving for his great provision.

 

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