Christ our first fruit
We can better understand the celebration of Easter from the Seven Feasts God gives Israel.
The New Testament reveals the Old Testament whereas the Old Testament conceals the New Testament. The Old says Jesus is coming and the New says He is here. We will not understand or enjoy reading the Old Testament until we realize who Christ is. The Old Testament scriptures are revealed by Jesus to His disciples in order for them to recognize Him as the promised Messiah.
Easter occurs during the first three of the four spring feasts. Jesus repeatedly states, “…my time is not yet come,” and at the time of Passover He declares, “…my time is at hand.” The death of Christ occurs at 3 p.m., which is the first offering of Passover. His death is illustrated by the Passover Lamb as a substitute on behalf of another. The Feast of Unleavened Bread occurs for the following seven days illustrating Jesus is the Bread and Water of life.
The Feast of First Fruits on the third day after Passover illustrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The priest sends a Levite into the field to gather and bind a sheaf of wheat. This is then waved before the Lord as a First Fruit of the spring harvest to pledge that the rest of the harvest will follow 50 days later in the Feast of Pentecost.
The New Testament refers to Jesus as the First Fruits. There are other resurrections in the Bible. However, they all die again. Christ’s resurrection is the first to receive a glorified body. This is God’s promise to us there will be a resurrection, which is also inferred by the word cemetery.
We get the word dormitory from the same Latin root word. Those who live in a dormitory know it is temporary housing until their tasks are completed. Our physical bodies will not require the use of a cemetery forever. One day we will move out due to the resurrection and the cemetery will be vacant.
Death is not part of God’s original plan for humanity. It is the result of sin entering the human race. As we know, the wages of sin is death, which is something we earn. Easter, however, is God’s gift of life through Christ’s substitutional death and bodily resurrection. The empty tomb is the evidence that God is satisfied with Christ’s death for our sins, and He is now preparing a place for us to spend eternity with Him.
The Feast of First Fruits illustrates Jesus as the first resurrection, and we will follow. Rising from the dead is His guarantee to both Christians and non-Christians that we will rise as well. They will, however, not be resurrected at the same time or to the same destination. God’s Word says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.”
Rev. Steve Conwell, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church, is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” He can be reached at SteveConwell@outlook.com.