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In Lev 24:9- 14 the Hebrews are told to hold a feast of first fruits of the land and messiah is said to be the first fruits of the work He did on the cross and resurrection. Does messiah fulfill every detail of this feast as recorded in the Torah? When is the barley declared ready or ripe or aviv (Ex:12) and more specifically is the barley ready prior to the Feast of First Fruits begins?


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2 Answers 2

Messiah, the “firstfruits of the ressurection”— what is the significance of first fruits?

In Colossians 1:18 we read—

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.

The major significance of first fruits is its implication of there being "more" fruit; otherwise it would be worded as "only fruit."

Messiah was the first to rise in an immortal body (1 Corinthians 15:20), and as such he heads (is the first of) a whole new order as the Sovereign of that order (cf. “Firstborn” in Colossians 1:15).

Also Messiah’s resurrection marked his triumph over death (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). He was the “Firstfruits” of those who die (1 Corinthians 15:20) since, unlike others, he rose never to die again.

He “was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Thus, he continues to live “on the basis of the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16).

All this is so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Messiah is given first place over all Creation. He is preeminent. The same eternal Logos (John 1:1) who “became flesh” (John 1:14) and “humbled himself” (Philippians 2:8) is now “exalted” by God the Father “to the highest place” and has been given “the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

You've not addressed the harvest aspect here. Please do. – wax eagle Feb 25 '14 at 20:43

While Christ is the "First Fruit" and so could be seen in some ways as the fulfillment of Shavuot (First Fruits Festival), it is more apt to consider Christ the fulfillment of Sukkot which is the Fall Festival of Booths.

The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Lord's feast of Booths which shall continue for seven days — Leviticus 23:34.

Jesus revealed Himself as the fulfillment of this pilgrim festival (Sukkot) that calls everyone in Israel to celebrate at the Temple in these ways:

At the core of the Sukkot celebration is the Sukkah itself. This is the booth, or tabernacle, that each family makes, according to specific guidelines. Essentially, both building the booth and dwelling in it for the seven days, or some portion thereof (see Lev. 23:42) is considered a mitzvah, or good deed. The booth is supposed to have only one permanent side and its roof is to be made of something grown from the ground but not tied together as it sits upon the tabernacle. In a spiritual sense, the temporary structure reflects our own temporary existence and ultimate dependence on God. The roof, while providing some protection, should allow the occupants to gaze up into the stars at night thus being able to know and worship God more intimately. And of course, the entire structure harkens to the 40 years that the Jews wandered the desert, depending completely upon God for food and shelter.

Sukkot is on the heels of Yom Kippur, a time of fasting and atonement; the most solemn occasion on the Jewish calendar. It is fitting that Christ would deliver such clear words about Himself and His ministry during this pilgrim feast because Christ is, for us, both atonement and then joy. It is His blood that covers our sins and thus allows us to follow Him, the first fruits of death, to a joyful resurrection. On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, "Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: 'Rivers of living water will flow from within him.'" — John 7:37-38.

Sukkot ends with a celebration called Shemini Atzeret or the Ceremony of Water Drawing. Also marking the beginning of the rainy season, Shemini Atzeret is a day devoted to the love of God and honoring His interest in spending time alone with His people (Num 29:35). For seven days, visitors, neighbors, and friends have gathered in happiness and joy. Now the guests have gone home and Adonai holds His people dear to His heart for one more day; a special time together.

The Torah readings come to completion only to begin anew showing that God's word is never-ending, just as our earthly life will come to its end, only to be renewed in an eternal life.

Water, so replete with meaning, here can be seen as the pre-figurement of the Holy Spirit being poured upon God's people at Pentecost as foretold in Joel 3:1: "Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind." During the Ceremony of Water Drawing, the Levitical priest would use a special pitcher with which to draw water from the pool of Siloam; where Christ cured the blind man. Shofars would sound and the water would be poured on the great altar. It is during this time that Christ reveals Himself as the giver of living baptismal waters; the sender of the Paraclete, the redeemer of men.

The Illumination of the Temple is yet another significant part of Sukkot. During the Illumination of the Temple, candles are lit and bring such light that it is said nothing is to be left in the dark. So when Christ says in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life," He is revealing that He is able, like the illumination of the Temple, to bring a light that has no end; in His light, nothing remains in darkness. He lights the way to the Father and also sheds light upon our sins. It is in this illumination that we are called to respond, to repent, to seek refuge in His atoning death.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth — John 1:14. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all that the Feast of Tabernacles promises. He is our Sukkah, our shelter; He is our water, our salvific baptismal water; He is our light, our illuminated path to the Father. Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Feast of Ingathering makes God's plan completely known to man. In all ways, Christ is truly the fulfillment as He has tabernacled Himself among us and has provided us with a safe haven for our eternal life. Of all holidays that the Lord calls His people to celebrate, this Feast of Ingathering is the most significant because it says to us Gentiles that we, too, belong to Him. When Christ makes His return to gather the final harvest, we will find that we, too, are His fruit.


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