The Feast of Firstfruits occured on the 1st day after the sabbath after the Passover. This would make it on the Sunday after the Passover in the English calendar. This day marked the beginning of the agricultural year with the firstfruits being the beginning of the crop harvest. Other crops would be harvested later in the spring. Some sheaves of the barley crop were to be dedicated waved by the priest in the Temple or House of the LORD at the Feast of Firstrfruits. This symbolized the dedication by God's chosen Earthly people - the people of Israel of the fruits or results of their labour to God. This was also related to the Biblical concept of tithing or giving some of our income or result of our work to God. The Feast of Firstfruits was also called by that name because at that time there was just the firstfruits or first (barley) crop harvest available for use but with promise of other crops for use later in the harvest season such as at Pentecost or even in the Harvest Fall festivals. However some of the crops of the Harvest Fall festivals might not be planted until after Pentecost. The main idea of the Feast of Firstfruits was to give thanksgiving to God for a successful first harvest, indicate dedication of some of that harvest to Him and to in faith look forward to a greater harvest of other crops later in the year. The Feast of Firstfruits was also initiated of God to indicate to the Israelites that He was the owner of the land and crops and that they were His stewards entrusted with the sowing, care and harvest and enjoying the fruit or blessed result of their labours.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye(you) 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: 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. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, and offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. Leviticus 23:9-14
A similiar idea but not necessarilty at the same time of year as the Feast of Firstfruits is the idea of the firstborn of either animals or Jewish people. The similiar idea is that God called also for the people of Israel to dedicate the firstborn of their animals or of humans in their families to Him and His service. This was to be practiced at all times and was generally faithfully practiced by the people of Israel as God expected of them. God promised to bless them when they dedicated their firstborn to Him. God also gave this command or tradition to the people of Israel to indicate to them that He owned all their animals and people and that they were just stewards or entrusted with their upbringing, care and beneficial use. A scripture reference to the original law concerning the dedication of the firstborn animals or Israelite people to God is in Exodus 13 as follows:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. ... And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee(you) into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee(you) and to thy(your) fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix(womb), and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD's. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children thou shalt redeem. Exodus 13:1-2, 11-13
In the New Testament the Feast or Firstfruits and the idea of dedicating the Firstborn to God are both used to picture the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the beginning of the harvest or the beginning of the increase in their flocks or families. Both these traditions looked forward in faith to a much greater harvest or increase later in the year or later on just as the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ looks forward to the later resurrection or transformation of the bodies of believers to go to Heaven with heavenly, glorious or spiritual bodies like that which the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead with. The New Testament application of the Feast of Firstfruits also includes thanksgiving for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead as a promising sign that God will also bless His people, the Church then Israel, with a resurrection from the dead or transformation of our bodies later on. This will be very soon for true Christians who have personally trusted with all our heart in the Lord Jesus Christ and God through Him that Jesus was God's sacrifice for our sins and the one to rise from the dead to bring us God's new life. This resurrection for Christian believers will occur at the Rapture just before the Great Tribulation. God will raise Israelites and Gentiles that trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and are killed for their faith in the Great Tribulation at the end of the Great Tribulation or 70th week of Daniel.
In 1 Corinthians 15 God very clearly reveals through the Apostle Paul that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is meant to be interpreted as the New Testament or spiritual realization of the Feast of First Fruits. The ideas of thanksgiving for the first harvest, dedication to God of the first fruits harvest and having the first fruits of the harvest looking forward to the greater harvest later in the year all apply to the Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead especially in relation to the later resurrection from the dead of the Church and then Israel and the nations at His coming for the Church then His coming. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ also occurred the first day after the sabbath (Sunday or 1st day of the week) after Passover as the original Feast of Firstfruits did. The reference to the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilling the picture of firstfruits in 1 Corinthians 15 is as follows:
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
The Lord Jesus Christ is called the firstborn from the dead in Colossians 1 in relation to His resurrection from the dead. This is also said to give Him the "preeminence" or first place in both time and importance in the resurrection from the dead. The Lord Jesus Christ as the firstborn from the dead is also said to be the reason he has the right or authority to be head of the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ as the firstborn from the dead is also said with His death on the cross to be the means of God dedicating Him and dedicating and the Church to God. Jesus' death and resurrection of which He is the firstborn caused and is still causing on a personal basis the reconciliation of the world especially believers to God. The Lord Jesus Christ as the firstborn from the dead also looks forward to other people (the Church in this age and other believers in God through Jesus in the Tribulation and the Millenial Kingdom) rising from or being born from the dead. The reference to the Lord Jesus Christ as the firstborn from the dead in Colossians 1 is as follows:
And he (Jesus) is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Colossians 1:17-20
According to Romans 8 God works all things for good for any person from the minute we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour and become a child of God. In addition this scripture passage says that God selects those who become true believers in God and Jesus but in a parallel or consistant way with our exercising our free will to choose to believe in God and Jesus. This scripture passage also says that believers in God and Jesus - the One true God in 3 Persons with the Holy Spirit will be conformed to the Son's (Jesus') image meaning His resurrection, spiritual or heavenly body as well as His godly and sinless spirit or heart although we still have our old sinfull heart or spirit as well in this life. In Romans 8 the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be the firstborn among many brethren meaning He is the firstborn from the dead among many that will later follow Him in rising from the dead with new bodies similiar to His resurrection body but I'm sure still with our own identity or individuality. The reference of the Lord Jesus Christ as the firstborn (from the dead) among many brethren is in Romans 8 as follows:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
For comments, questions, advice or more information contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Spirit and Truth Ministries