This week, as we have celebrated the Passover, and remembered the deliverance that God brought about for His people in Egypt; we also remember how we ourselves have experienced God’s deliverance from slavery to sin. The beauty of the picture of God’s work of salvation no longer is a ‘theological construct’ to be studied, but a hope inspiring recognition of the restoration of new life in Him. It was the traditions that God made part of Jewish custom which showed the pattern that God was going to use in the future fulfillment of His plan of salvation for all of us.
Many Christians think of the Sunday morning after Passover as ‘Easter Sunday.’ But it is so important to take notice what was happening in Jewish tradition on that very same day, because of the way the patterns of tradition continue to show us their fulfillment in Jesus.
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.“ (Lev 23:10-11)
The same Sunday that Jesus rose from the dead was the time when the very first part of the harvest was being brought to the Priest to “wave” before the Lord. Jesus often used imagery of a harvest to compare the salvation process of mankind. Not only this, but Paul also speaks about Jesus Himself becoming the “Firstfruits” of the harvest of salvation:
“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 also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Cor 15:20-24)
We can conclude that Jesus’ resurrection was the opening of the season of the harvest, and that God has called us all to understand how we are to take part in this season. Each of us has been sent out into a different part of His harvest, and are called to be faithful to Him in the field that He has placed us. Later this year we will talk about the end of the season which happens at the Feast of Tabernacles, and how it is a symbol of the completion of “bringing in the harvest.” No wonder the prophet Zechariah prophesied about the end times saying:
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)