This observance was specifically given because Israel would enter into the land which was given to them by God. (Leviticus 23:10)
On the surface, when reading the Hebrew, it’s very practical in nature. Contrarily, English makes it sound like some strange ritual.
Ultimately, Yahuwah gives Israel step by step instructions for reaping and celebrating their first harvest in the promised land annually. They are told when and how to process the grain harvest and what to do with it after it is processed. He even tells them how to prepare it for a Sunday feast.
Here’s the translation of Leviticus 23:9 -14:
9 And he spoke Yahuwah to Moses to say
10 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, because you will bring him to the land which I will give to you and will cut targeting her harvest and you will bring targeting bound first-fruits of your harvest to the priest.
11 And the sieve targeting the bundle to the face of Yahuwah for your pleasure from the day after the sabbath he will sieve us, the priest.
12 And you will do, in day of your sieving targeting the bundle, subdue whole ones, son, two, to rise to Yahuwah.
13 And give him two tenth ones of a basket of her mixture oils [Or their sweetness] her fire to Yahuwah aroma sweet and her pouring wine fourth of the hin.
14 And bread and dried food and garden produce not you will eat until abundant the day the this until you have brought targeting their approach your God [Or your oaths] inscriptions of the ancient one to your generations.
We can overcomplicate the instructions that God gives here, but it’s quite simple. Yahuwah is instructing Israel to celebrate their first harvest of the year with a soul food Sunday dinner.
We know this because in verse 11 He says to do all these things on the day after the Sabbath, which is Sunday. This day was likely the first Sunday after Passover, though it’s not directly specified. Also, in verse 11 and 12, Yah isn’t saying to give the priest the grain to wave in the air as some sort of ritual, but for them to sieve the grain; i.e. clean it and prepare it for cooking. He tells them to prepare it with oil, the healthy meat of two clean animals, and wine.
Additionally, in verse 14, Yahuwah says for them to fast for the day and not to eat any snacks – jerky, vegetables, or bread – until the meal He instructed them to have was prepared. This meal would be eaten in honor of and as a gift from and to Him and would consist of the first-fruits of the harvest.
Seeing as we are not in the land, we can only have a symbolic Firstfruits Sunday feast as there will be no physical harvest for most of us. None the less, we do reap, although not grain. Therefore, we can contribute our first paycheck, or each family member can contribute the first portion of their first paycheck of the biblical new year to celebrate God’s provision with a fast and Sunday dinner. The idea is the same. However we choose to do it, we should find a way to observe the Feast of Firstfruits with our families each year.
Spiritually, this day represents the firstfruits of God following the resurrection. Remember, in John 15 and 16, Jesus explained that he had to go to the Father so that the Holy Spirit might be made available to many. Throughout the Gospels, he preached that the kingdom was at hand. He specified, in Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28, that the Kingdom of God was something that had not yet become available as he described that the least in the Kingdom of God would be greater than John the Baptist.
So, after his resurrection, the Spirit of God is made available to man; thus, God reaps his harvest taking back, from the world, what belongs to Him. This is what the Feast of Firstfruits represent. The reaping began after the resurrection and continues to this day. John’s Book of Revelation gives us details of a final reaping of the harvest, but its part of a process that began when the Messiah first rose from the dead.
Now, I always wondered how the Catholic Church really selects what day Easter occurs on each year because it does seem random. We believe that its some random Sunday that represents the day Jesus was resurrected, but as we saw in the article about Passover that’s not true. Rather, every Easter is actually the day of the Feast of Firstfruits!
The good news is, Easter is one holiday that actually occurs on a holyday. If you are Christian, you don’t have to absolutely abolish this one, only change how it’s celebrated and remember why it’s celebrated. The “bad” news is it has nothing to do with chocolate bunnies or hidden colored eggs!
Rather, the Feast of Firstfruits is a celebration of a new beginning, new life, a spiritual resurrection into eternal life. It represents the gift of the Holy Spirit given to us by the Father through the sacrifice of the Son. The Holy Spirit which Jesus taught us would guide us in all things and give us all truth. The One that would allow us to overcome as he had and to be righteous as he was, and to perform the miracles that he did. Just read it for yourself in John and Matthew.
The Feast of Firstfruits also marks the beginning of another season of harvesting… Which brings us to the next holyday, the Feast of Weeks.
Shalom Family 🙂