By Todd Pekel


Seeing Christ the firstfruits in the Scriptures is great seeing spiritual realities. In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus, God initiated and ordained seven feasts that were to be kept by the Israelites. They were to be holy convocations unto God. These feasts, while in themselves a reality, pointed to or pictured an even greater truth concerning our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leviticus 23:1-2:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

One of these feasts, the third, was known as the Feast of Firstfruits. This feast was held on the Sunday after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Leviticus 23:10-11:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, 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:
11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

The firstfruits of the harvest were given to the priests and raised above their heads and waved back and forth. This was done “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” (the first day of the week) for a wave offering to the Lord.

Leviticus 23:20:
And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

As the priest waved the bread of the firstfruits and portion of lamb before God, he was in fact symbolizing the resurrection of that very sacrifice. Thus, he was symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we have read, the Feast of the Firstfruits was held on the first day after the Sabbath. Christ was raised on the first day (the morrow after the Sabbath) of the week.

Mark 16:1-6, 9a:
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him...

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week ...

What triumphant words were spoken by the angel! He is risen! In the gospel of Luke, we again read of this incident.

Luke 24:1-6a:
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen....

How can you not get excited about those words? Jesus Christ is risen. He is alive! We have a living Lord and Savior. Christianity is not about a dead, man-made religion or philosophy. Christianity is about a living reality Who is Christ Jesus the Lord. Jesus Christ was raised on the Feast of Firstfruits because he is the firstfruits.

1 Corinthians 15:20:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

What’s more, because of and by Christ’s resurrection, them that sleep in Christ and those who are alive and remain at the coming of our Lord, are guaranteed a part in the resurrection of the just.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23:
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Christ the firstfruits is the resurrection! He said so!

John 11:25:
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

This is the great truth portrayed in the Feast of Firstfruits. Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. By him, shall we be raised up also.

2 Corinthians 4:14:
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

We show forth our faith in Christ’s resurrection, even as partaking in the wine and bread makes manifest our faith in his sacrifice, when we give to God our firstfruits. In other words, we honor God and show our faith in our Lord’s resurrection when we tithe. God has ordained that the “first of the firstfruits” be brought into his house.

Exodus 22:29a:
Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits....

Exodus 23:19a:
The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God....

We honor God when we bring our firstfruits into his house.

Proverbs 3:9:
Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

This is to be done on the first day of the week because of what it represents.

1 Corinthians 16:2:
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

When we give the firstfruits of our increase unto God, we proclaim our faith in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. We witness to the fact that he lives!

Hebrews 7:8:
And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

What marvelous realities are pictured in the feasts of the Lord. The Feast of the Firstfruits witnessed to the resurrection of Christ and the subsequent resurrection of the Church. These are truly “the feasts of the Lord.”

Leviticus 23:4:
These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

Glory unto God in the Highest. Christ lives! Now is the season to proclaim it!

1 Corinthians 15:20:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Christ the Firstfruits!

Hebrews 13:8:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.



From the April 2001 issue of The Vine & Branches