Have you ever heard of The Feast of Firstfruits? It’s a biblical holiday first commanded by God to be observed in the Old Testament. But did you know it has a huge amount of significance to Christians?
Because God doesn’t just do things by accident. Every one of the feasts that God commands in the Old Testament are all shadows of promises to be fulfilled…through Jesus Christ. They are rehearsals for the real thing to come.
And The Feast of Firstfruits is no different. Because this is the day that Jesus actually rose from the dead. The Feast of Firstfruits was the day that God appointed to celebrate of the resurrection of Jesus to come (and now past).
In this post I’d like to explore that a little bit so you can learn more about how this amazing feast applies to you as a Christian and a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The command to observe the Feast of Firstfruits
The Feast of Firstfruits is first commanded in Leviticus 23:10-14, where God speaks about this feast being something that the children of Israel are to observe when they come into the land which God gives them:
“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:” – Leviticus 23:10
The correlation of the promised land to the Word of God (and Jesus Christ)
It’s interesting to note, because the people of Israel are to celebrate this when God fulfills his promise to give them the promised land that is flowing with milk and honey.
“And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” – Exodus 3:17
And while this land was (and is) a real place, it is also a metaphor for the promised land of redemption. Of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, the Word of God is even referred to as milk and meat:
“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” – 1 Corinthians 3:2
Jesus is the Firstfruit of the resurrection
The ultimate promised land is the promise of resurrection after death. And Jesus fulfilled this promise when He resurrected from the dead three days after being crucified. Because Jesus lives we now know that with God, the rest of the fruits (us) will come in during their time.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” – 1 Corinthians 15:20-23
So Christ is the firstfruits of the dead. And on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits we celebrate that promise that God has fulfilled (and will continue to fulfill with each one of us). Because of Jesus, the promise is validated and proven to be possible.
God’s perfect timing with the Feast of Firstfruits
As with all of the biblical feasts, they have all thus far been fulfilled by Jesus on the actual day that they are celebrated every year.
- Passover was fullfilled with Jesus being crucified as the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world on Passover day.
- The Feast of Unleavened Bread was fullfilled with Jesus being our unleavened bread (without sin) directly after Passover.
- Pentecost was fullfilled when the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples as tongues of fire.
- And the Feast of Firstfruits was fullfilled by Jesus when he became the firstfruits of the resurrection on the day of Firstfruits.
But it’s interesting to note that with the Feast of Firstfruits, the timing between Passover and that day is different every year depending on what day of the week Passover falls on. Here’s how it’s commanded as far as timing goes:
“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.” – Leviticus 23:11
You can read the whole chapter for context, but here the Feast of Firstfruits is described as happening the morrow after the sabbath following Passover. This sabbath is speaking of the weekly seventh day sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). So the morrow after would be a Sunday morning. So if Passover falls on a Sunday night, then the Feast of Firstfruits would be seven days away (the following Sunday morning). But if Passover falls on a Wednesday night, then the Feast of Firstfruits would be four days away, etc.
You following? So basically, God lined up the perfect timing of the year that Christ was crucified for The Feast of Firstfruits to be three days after Passover so that the sign of Jonah could be given. Isn’t Our God amazing?!
“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – Matthew 12:39-40
The purpose of celebrating the Feast of Firstfruits for Christians
The Feast of Firstfruits is very special and significant day for Christians. Because it’s the day that Christ rose from the dead! Our Jesus lives! And what’s more, God appointed a specific day to celebrate this promise that He would (and has now) fullfilled.
I am not going to get into the history of Easter in this post. But, I will say that unfortunately the Easter holiday didn’t originate with God. But this day…the Feast of Firstfruits DID. And it is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise that God has fullfilled and will continue to fullfill in each of us.
So I encourage you to take time to celebrate this with your family each year. It’s something special to do this on a day that God Himself has appointed as the day, and the actual day that Jesus rose from the dead.
Finding the Date of the Feast of Firstfruits This Year
If you decide to observe the Feast of Firstfruits (or any of the other biblical feasts) with your family, be sure to remember that the day of the Feast of Firstfruits is different every year because it’s based on the moon cycle. You can find accurate dates for all the Biblical feasts on this page. They even have a printable calendar that you can use to remember when they are each year.
Be leery of following any of the Biblical feast dates on the Jewish calendar because unfortunately the Jews have switched to a fixed calendar for observing the Biblical feasts. The link above is to a Christian organization that determines the Biblical feasts based on the moon cycles (which is how the dates were originally determined).
May God bless you and your family in the observance of the very special Feast of Firstfruits this year!