Hannah Nesher of Voice For Israel has shared a scripture study with us on First Fruits.
Shalom Chaverim (friends)
Greetings from the Land of Israel on Yom Rishon, (Sunday) which is being celebrated by many here and around the world as ‘resurrection day’. This comes from a Jewish feast called Bikkurim (First Fruits). On the first day after the Shabbat of Passover, the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the priest (cohen) as a wave offering before the Lord.
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest (cohen). And he shall wave the sheaf before Adonai, to be accepted for you on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.” (Lev. 23:10-11)
This word, Bikkurim, comes from a Hebrew root word, B’khor, meaning firstborn or ‘chosen’. All first fruits are holy unto the Lord. Romans 11:16 – For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches. The firstfruit of our income is also holy (kadosh – set apart) unto the Lord. Proverbs 3:9-10 – Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.
God declared to Pharaoh in Egypt that Israel is His ‘b’chor’ (chosen firstborn) and therefore holy (set apart/kadosh) unto Adonai. “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn בְּנִי בְכֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל.” (Exodus 4:22)
Yeshua the Messiah is the chosen Lamb of God, slain on Passover, buried, and raised as the firstfruit on the third day. But in fact Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20). Yeshua is the firstfruits and we are to follow Him in being raised to life after death. Can we just imagine – as the wavesheaf was being cut outside Jerusalem at the end of the Sabbath, Yeshua was resurrected and presenting Himself before the altar in Heaven as the Firstfuit of the resurrection
In the prophetic story of Joseph, he has a dream in which the sheaf represents a person. (Genesis 37:5-11) As the koahim were in the Temple, waving the firstruit of the barley harvest, the first crop of life after the ‘death’ of winter, Yeshua was presented to Adonai. Halleluyah! Therefore, Chag Bikkurim is the foreshadow of the resurrection of Yeshua who promised He would rise again after three days and nights in the belly of the earth, just as Jonah brought forth from the belly of the whale. (Matthew 12:38-40; 16:21; Luke 24:44-46). (Jonah 2:1-2).
Yeshua said “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe in this?” (John 11:25-26 )
Indeed – do we believe this? Do we have faith to believe that Yeshua can bring us back to life? It is not in our own might or strength, but only through the power of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit). (Zech. 4:6)
This morning, as I walked the dogs around the moshav (village) all was so quiet and peaceful except for the rustling wind which had been blowing since last night. And then huge drops of rain began to fall – almost unheard of during Passover, when the winter rains have finished! I felt it was the Lord demonstrating His desire to pour out the blessings of His Spirit (Ruach – wind), symbolized by water, upon this spiritually dry and thirsty land.
May we each experience a personal resurrection and new beginning in our lives at this Passover season.
Love (ahava) and Shalom in Yeshua,
Hannah & family