Christ, The First Fruits
By Pastor J.D. Link
1Co 15:20-23 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
A study of the seven prescribed Feasts of Israel offers amazing insight into what Jesus did when He came to this earth. In the first feast, Passover, we find Jesus is our Passover (1Cor 5:7). He was crucified on this day as the Lamb of God. In the second, Unleavened Bread, we find Jesus is the sinless (without leaven) true bread from heaven (Jn 6:32); born in the house of Bread (Bethlehem); and the buried kernel of wheat that brings forth much fruit (Jn 12:24). He was buried on this day.
This brings us to the third feast, Firstfruits. Paul says above that Christ is the Firstfruits. What does that mean? We find the answer in Lev. 23:9-14. The first buds of barley were tied together and waved before the Lord on the “day after the Sabbath” (Sunday) after Passover. This is the day we refer to as Resurrection Sunday. This it the day Jesus rose from the dead. It was a consecration of the harvest to come – like Jesus’s resurrection is God’s pledge to us that Believers will be resurrected. We with the “firstfruits of the Spirit” (Rom 8:23) await the redemption of our body (resurrection). The indwelling Holy Spirit is our guarantee of this resurrection (Eph 1:13-14).
Jesus is the Firstfruits, the “firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18); the “first begotten of the dead” (Rev 1:5); the “first that should rise from the dead” (Act 26:23). This is speaking of a permanent, glorified resurrection – for several people in the Bible were raised from the dead, but eventually died again. Jesus died to “bring forth much fruit” (Jn 12:24), and this “fruit” (believers) will be raised in order (1Cor 15:23, 1Thess 4:14-18).
Christians are constantly assured of our resurrection in the New Testament (Jn 6:39-40, 11:25-26, Rom 8:10-11, 2Cor 4:14, 1Pt 1:3-5 – to name a few). We will be raised with a glorified, eternal body like Jesus has (Philp 3:20-21). This body will be celestial, incorruptible, glorious, powerful, spiritual and heavenly (1Cor 15:39-49). This transformation will be instant (1Cor 15:50-58). We will see Jesus face to face and know as we are known (1Cor 13:12, 1Jn 3:2, Job 19:25-27). We will forever be with the Lord (1Thess 4:17) in the place He has prepared for us (Jn 14:2-3).
As we see from Scripture, the Feast of Firstfruits, or Resurrection Sunday, is not only about celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead – but also the guarantee of our glorious resurrection unto eternal life because of it. Jesus holds the keys of death and Hell (Rev 1:18), and Believers need not fear death or the grave because of this wonderful truth.