Jesus is the firstfruits of all who believe in Him.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
We northerners harvest most of our produce in the summer and fall. People in warmer climates gather their harvests at other times of the year. In fact, in the Holy Land the Jewish feast of firstfruits is held in early spring when the grain is harvested. The Israelites waved a sheaf of grain during their joyful celebration to commemorate God’s provision of deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
The word firstfruits explains itself. It means sacrificing the first portion of a larger harvest. It means giving God our very first and best of whatever we have—our money, time, talents and gifts.
Firstfruits also is a symbol of God’s harvest of souls. The early Christians were set apart for the Lord to gather other people into His kingdom. We too, as followers of Christ, have been set apart for His purposes. “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly.” (Psalm 5:3) In other words, God identifies the godly, those devoted to Him and His ways, by caring for them and listening to their prayers.
We often find ourselves withholding the best from God. We may be tempted to give away our rejects and leftovers and keep the best for ourselves. That’s not to say we shouldn’t recycle our used items for use by someone in need. It is to say, however, that God doesn’t want us to be stingy or greedy. After all, our Father gave His best for us.
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man [Jesus] also came the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21) This verse refers to the Old Testament feast of firstfruits . Jesus is the firstfruits of those to be resurrected. God “harvested” His only Son—His very best—that we might be delivered from the slavery of sin and live with Him forever. And our celebration of Easter can continue into the Day of Pentecost—the day God sent His Spirit to us for power and strength, conviction and encouragement. It is not by coincidence that Pentecost coincides with the last day of the celebration of Firstfruits.
Lord, thank You for sending us Jesus, our firstfruits,Your very best, on our behalf. Use us for Your purpose of harvesting souls by filling us with Your fruit of love, joy and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.