Jesus and First Sheaf Fulfilment

     The Holy days in Israel, or the holy convocations, all give us a prophetic glimpse into the life of Messiah and the mission that He would fulfill.  It is universally accepted that Jesus was the Passover lamb, slain for the sins of the world, and in this, He fulfilled the prophetic picture painted by Torah regarding the Passover Lamb.  Israel was saved by the blood of the Passover lamb and not by the keeping of Torah.  Additionally, all the feast days of have a prophetic picture, and when discussion the resurrection of Jesus the festival of First Sheaf should be examined.  It is the writer’s opinion that the day of the celebration of first fruits will lead us to the day that Jesus was raised and scripture will elaborate on His fulfillment of the day.

      To begin with, let us determine exactly what the festival was in ancient Israel and to do this, let us examine Leviticus 23 to ascertain what the prophetic picture would look like when Messiah incarnated.

 Leviticus 23:9-14):  “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 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  first fruits of your harvest to the priest,  He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, and to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.  And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the shear, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD.  Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, and offering mad by fire to the LORDS, for a sweet aroma and its drink offering shall be of wine, one fourth of a hin.  You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God, it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

     Avram Yehoshua can shed some light on the procedure that takes place in the temple.  “On the Sunday of First Sheaf, the High Priest would be presented with an omer of very finely crushed barley.  He would scoop up a handful of the grain, place some incense on it (symbolic of the prayers of the High Priest for Israel, and Israel’s prayers also,), wave it before Yahveh (a symbol of dedication, this first part of the crop representing all the harvest), bless Yahveh, and cast it upon the Fire of the Altar.  As the first sheaf was dedicated to Yahveh, it made the rest of the harvest acceptable to Israel for their use.” (1) 

      In order for the harvest to be used and to be successful before the LORD, the first sheaf or first fruits had to be waved before the alter in the temple.  “The waving by the High Priest of the finely crushed barely grain, the first sheaf, would picture Yeshua being totally dedicated to Yahveh.  The incense on that quantity that was to be thrown into the fire of the altar (a handful), pictures the prayers of Yeshua as our High Priest, for His people Israel, engulfed in the ‘Fire of the Holy Spirit.  The High Priest, thanking Yahveh for the harvest, thanking Yahveh for His Faithfulness to Israel would picture Yeshua as our High Priest, thanking His Father for giving unto Israel their Messiah, their Savior, their King.  The grain that was not thrown onto the fire of the Altar, the priests would eat,  This pictures the Body of Yeshua being given to His priests, as Food for us (John 6:53).  Yahveh has been found faithful to His word.  He has provided everything that Israel needs; from literal food to the Bread or Matza or Food of Heaven.” (2). 

      The Bible states that Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews chapter 4 and 9), and as such, He did ascend to present an offering to Yahveh to fulfill the prophetic picture painted for us in the day of First Sheaf.  The question does remain, what did He present?  As Yehoshua mentioned earlier, He presented Himself, but the High Priest on this day was supposed to wave before Yahveh, the harvest of the land, the land that Yahveh had given to the people, His people, Israel.  It is the opinion of this writer that Jesus presented before Yahveh, Jewish saints that were sleeping. Scripture tells us that Jesus would descend into Sheol and preach the gospel to the ones sleeping in the holding area (I Peter 3:20 4:6).  Jesus himself testifies to this fact in John 5:25-29, that the dead will “hear the voice of the Son-of-Man.,” and many will respond to it.  Also, Isaiah prophesies in chapter 26 verse 19 that the dead will be raised.  Matthew relates in 27:51-54 that after the earthquake, the graves were opened and the bodies of the saints could be seen.  It is my opinion that these bodies remained in view while Messiah was in the tomb, as the Sabbath had begun after the earthquake and time would not have been available to fix all the tombs, then, after three days, or after the Sabbath, the righteous saints that slept, arose and were seen in the streets of Jerusalem after the resurrection of Jesus.  These are the first fruits, the first sheaf, that Jesus, The First-Fruits would present before Yahveh in order for the harvest of the world to begin, as Israel would soon be opened to Gentiles, to come to salvation just as the Jews had come to faith, this scenario fulfills the Day of First Sheaf.  Additionally, this gives us another prophetic glimpse at what will take place in Jerusalem with the two witnesses of Revelation (Rev 11:11).

     A final note on the day of First sheaf as it relates to the topic at hand.  First Sheaf is kept, except under some extenuating circumstances, on the Sunday after the Sabbath during the Feast of Passover. (Both the Sadducees and Pharisees agreed on this, this in and of itself, is almost miracoulous)  Further evidence that Jesus rose on Sunday can be found in the dating of the days.  In order for Jesus to fulfill three days in the tomb, He must be raised on Sunday.  The timeline goes like this, Thurs 14th Aviv, at twilight, Jesus celebrates Passover, on the 15th of Aviv, this year was on Preparation day (Friday) Jesus is crucified, dies, and is buried  thus beginning is first day in the tomb.  (Keep in mind that He must rise to fulfill first sheaf as he has already fulfilled Passover).  16th of Aviv, is the Sabbath, the disciples keep the commandment, the Pharisees worry and go to Pilate, Jesus completes his second day in the tomb and rests on Sabbath, or perhaps preaches in Sheol (as was his custom to preach on Sabbath).  17th Aviv, at the close of day 2 and on day 3, Jesus, the first fruits, the High Priest, rises on this day, this Sunday, early in the morning, to fulfill this feast and receives from Sheol, the wave offering of saints, that have responded to Him, and He ascends into heaven to present them before Yahveh as both High Priest, and Fulfillment of First fruits.   In all this, Jesus fulfills all the righteous requirements of Scripture and proves himself both King and Priest.

 Endnotes

 1)  Yehoshua, Avram, First Sheaf, The Seed of Abraham ministries, Ramat Gan, Israel,    http://www.seedofabraham.net   

2.  Ibid

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