Feast of “Firstfruits”?
The day following the first day of Unleavened Bread is called Reshit Katzir (רֵאשִׁית קָצִיר) the “beginning of the harvest” (sometimes confusingly called the Feast of Firstfruits). In ancient times, on this day a sheaf (omer) of barley (the first grain crop to ripen) was waved before the LORD in a prescribed ceremony to mark the start of the counting of the omer, thereby initiating the forty nine day countdown to the harvest festival of Shavuot:
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf (omer) of the first (reshit) of your harvest (katzir) to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD.’ (Lev. 23:9-12)
It is all together remarkable that on this day a unblemished male lamb was to be offered along with the bread and the wine- the very symbols Yeshua used to recall his sacrifice.
Mashiach Yeshua our First Fruits:
Although not happening coincidentally, the Wave Offering and the Resurrection of Yeshua are linked together prophetically by the Apostle Paul:
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (1 Cor. 15:20-23)
Here the apostle clearly links the firstfruit offering with the resurrection of Yeshua our Mashiach. Yeshua’s resurrection was like a “wave offering” presented before the Father as the “firstfruits” of the harvest to come! Moreover, Yeshua presented His firstfruits offering to the Father on this day:
The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt. 27:52-53)
Our Lord offered to the Father the “early crops” of what will be an overwhelming harvest at the end of the age (acharit hayamim).
Yeshua is the first-begotten of the Father (Heb. 1:6); the Firstborn of Creation (Col. 1:15-16); the first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5) and is the Firstfruits of those who are to be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Baruch HaShem. And just as He is our Firstfruits, so “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created” (James 1:18).