The Beauty of Jesus Revealed in the Feasts
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Chapter 3 – The Feast of First Fruits
We see a division in the feasts as four of them are celebrated in the Spring and the other three are celebrated in the Fall. What do the Spring feasts point to, and what do the Fall feasts point to?
The Spring Feasts point to the first coming of Christ and the Fall Feasts to His second coming.
When was the Feast of First Fruits celebrated? What other Biblical event took place on this day?
It was celebrated on the day after the weekly Sabbath following the Passover. This would be the first day of the week.
Jesus also rose from the dead early on the first day of the week.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:1-2)
What took place in the courtyard at the Temple on the 14th of Nissan?
From 9 am until 3 pm, hundreds of sacrifices were made as people brought their lambs to the temple to be slaughtered in the presence of the priests. Once the final lamb was sacrificed at 3 pm, the High Priest would announce the end of the sacrifice ceremony with the words, “Tam ve’nishlam” which means “it is complete and fulfilled.” This Hebrew term is translated as “Tetelestai,” in Greek, and “It is finished,” in English.
What annual event took place later that afternoon?
The High Priest and his entourage went over the Kidron Bridge to the side of the Mount of Olives to bind the stocks of barley.
What annual event took place once the sun set on the weekly Sabbath?
The High Priest would come out of seclusion. He and his entourage would make their way back down to the Kidron bridge with baskets and sickles in hand, where they would be met by thousands of people who came together with their sheaves of barley to present their first fruits. The priests would harvest the ten standing stocks of barley that they previously bound and place them in their baskets. The high priest would lead the people to the temple mount, during which time they would sing, and dance, and worship God waving their sheaves in the air.
In what way, if any, was the winnowing process symbolic of Christ?
The details of this feast foreshadowed the agony and the suffering of our Lord. Once the barley was beaten, it was sifted and placed over a fire. The seeds were crushed so that only the best of the seed remained. It was then put through a sieve where it was sifted 13 times. One omer of the sifted flour was mixed with 2 cups of olive oil and a handful of frankincense. The priest would offer a prayer to God while waving this barley offering. And finally, the drink offering that we see in Leviticus 23:13 was poured out on the altar, just as Jesus poured out His life for our sins.
Why is Jesus referred to as our “first fruit?”
The word “first” signifies that there is a series to follow. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we know that we will rise too.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
What are the four ways that God proved the resurrection of Christ?
A group of women discovered the tomb was empty on Sunday morning. (Luke 24:1)
Jesus appeared to his disciples after his Resurrection, and they were able to touch him. (John 20:26-27)
He appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:4-6)
Why is the resurrection important to our salvation?
The Resurrection is of utmost importance to our salvation because as Paul said,
If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14&19)