Feast of First Fruits: A Christian Holy Day

What is the Feast of First Fruits, and what does it have to do with Christianity? In the Old Testament, we are told how Israel was to bring the “sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Lev. 23:10-11). In the New Testament, we discover that it is Christ who was the first of the first fruits:

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

We also see in the Book of Revelation that we, as children of God, are also considered to be first fruits:

“These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:4b)

Learn about the connections between the Feast of First Fruits and the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. Discover Christ in the Feasts of the LORD…

Feast of First Fruits

Feast of First Fruits in Old and New Testament

The Feast of First Fruits in the Old and New Testament

On the day after Passover the first barley sheaf (known as omer) was waved by the priest before the Lord (Lev 23:11). The ceremony marked the countdown of the fifty days to Pentecost. The purpose of the wave-sheaf offering was to consecrate and inaugurate the Spring grain harvest which lasted about seven weeks until Pentecost (Lev 23:9-14). The first sheaf of the barley harvest was waved before the Lord as a pledge of the full harvest that was to follow. Before the wave-sheaf offering, no reaping of the harvest for personal use could be done (Lev 23:14). A portion of the wave-sheaf was placed on the altar and the rest was eaten by the priest. A male lamb was sacrificed as a burnt offering (Lev 23:12).
Feast of First Fruits and the Wave Sheaf

Feast of First Fruits and the Wave Sheaf

An important ceremony, known as the waving of the sheaf of first fruits, was to be observed in conjunction with the Festival of Unleavened Bread: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, “When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it”’” (Leviticus 23:9-11).
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