Feast of First Fruits... Is that even a Feast?
By Mia Kashat
- First Fruits is all about bringing in the very first harvest of your fields and giving it to Adonai (God).
God told the Israelites to give or dedicate to Him the first of everything they had - their crops, animals, money and even their children. God told them over and over, "the first that opens the womb, or the first grains harvested, belong to Me" and we are to treat them as such. The "first" always belongs to God.
God did not stop there though. He created a specific day, "First Fruits", to commemorate that the first of everything belonged to Him.
In the originality of First Fruits, God stipulated that on the first day of the week after Passover's Shabbat (Sabbath), they were to bring in a portion of their first harvest as an offering to the Lord. They were to bring in this grain before they even ate any portion of the newly harvested grain.
By the end of the year, when they had dwindled down last years harvest to almost nothing, it would have been easy for them to take the new grain and enjoy it themselves. Yet God told them "No, the first harvested grains must be dedicated to Me". This is not just about "giving to God", it is about putting Him first in our lives and remembering that He gave us everything that we have.
Barley is the first grain to ripen in the region of Israel. Barley is almost drought resistant and is known as the poor-man's-bread flour. Thus Barley is the first fruit to be brought before God. A sheaf of this grain is then waved in the Lord's presence and a male, unblemished lamb is sacrificed.
They would give this gift to the Lord every year on this day, just as they consecrated (dedicated) all of the rest of their firstborn children when they were born.
God has set apart firstborn sons. Yeshua (Jesus) was God's firstborn Son. Jesus was also Miriam's (Mary's) firstborn son.
Jesus was also our very first "First Fruit" from the dead. He wasn't the first to be raised from the dead physically, for He Himself raised Lazarus from the dead. No, Jesus was the first one raised from the dead to be presented before God in heaven.
Only perfection can enter God's presence. Jesus rose to heaven after His resurrection and went before God's throne, presenting Himself as the official fulfillment of the Feast of First Fruits. Jesus went before God also as the perfect sacrifice to open the way for those who believe in Him to enter God's throne room.
Jesus was the unblemished lamb and the "poor-man's-bread flour" at the same time. His perfection, mixed with Him being the first of the dead to bow before God's throne, made Him exactly what God had intended for Him to be - the completion of First Fruits.
He becomes our flawlessness if we call on Him. He takes away our blemishes and makes us clean so that now God's Spirit may enter our bodies. Now we may become God's Temple. The sacrifices that were once made in the physical Temple in Jerusalem are now placed before God inside each of us. We are now at the juncture in the story where God initially intended us to be, in a personal relationship with Him. We can have that intimacy with Him that refines us into what He created us to be.
God modeled the earthly Temple after the heavenly one and now that Temple is inside of us.
Jesus is our High Priest and He helps us place our sins on the "alter", "covered by His blood" and then "burns it as an offering" pleasing to God.
When we reach the Feast of First Fruits, we are reminded that Jesus entered the Heavenly Temple as the First Fruits of the Dead to make all of this happen.
First Fruits is also the starting place for our count down to Shavuot (Pentecost) and the bestowing of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). God told us to count fifty days from First Fruits and that would be the second in-gathering (for wheat) and that is Pentecost.
Now we are made whole in God's sight and one day we may enter His presence. Hallelujah!
How can you celebrate this Feast of the Lord?
1. This year, this Feast begins at sundown Saturday March 30th and ends at sundown Sunday March 31st
2. Read Leviticus 23:9-14, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
3. Read The Feasts of The Lord by: Kevin Howard & Marvin Rosenthal (Specifically the chapter on First Fruits)
4. This Feast is meant for you to place yourself before the Lord and allow our High Priest, Jesus, to transform you by the renewing of your mind & body.
5. Dedicate/give to God the first fruit of your work, your children, your life, etc.
Copyright © 2013 Mia Kashat. Used by permission
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Mia Kashat is a Messianic aka Completed Jew and grew up celebrating all of the Biblical Feasts. She lives in the wonderfully Southern state of Georgia. Her family has a Bible-study dedicated to repairing the way between Jews and Gentiles. She is a member of the Epic Faith community in Duluth. She also spends her time ministering to girls thru teaching the Bible & dance in a mentoring fashion.
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