Easter and a Jewish Holiday: Why They Go Hand in Hand

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 4.47.12 PMIf you’ve been following my Easter series, you know Passover corresponds in numerous ways with Jesus death on the cross. (Read here for more.)

We also saw how the cleansing of the temple paralleled with The Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Read here for more.)

It should come as no surprise the day Jesus rose from the grave also has a Jewish holiday to coincide with it. And, like Passover, Jesus ultimately fulfilled the purpose of that holiday.

It is called The Feast of Firstfruits.

For Firstfruits, a sheaf of barley was given as a Thanksgiving offering by each family to the temple. It symbolized the whole spring harvest belonging to God.

The people were giving their first “fruit” of the Harvest to their Creator.

When the people arrived at the temple, there would be flutes playing to bring the traditional reply of everyone from Psalm 150, “Praise God in His sanctuary”.

Inside the temple, choirs of the priests would sing Psalm 30. You should read the whole thing, but verses 1-3 says, I will exalt you, Lord,for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.Lord my God, I called to you for help,and you healed me.You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;you spared me from going down to the pit.

Yes, that was sung over and over the day Jesus rose from the grave.
That’s right – BOOM.

In Jesus day the first of almost everything was dedicated to the Lord. Agricultural produce and its products like wine, oil, grain, and even fleece were seen as belonging to the Lord. Firstborn male animals and even firstborn sons had to be redeemed by going to the temple and giving a certain amount of shekels.

Jesus is the first and only to be raised from the dead that did not die again. He is the Firstfruit who made it possible for us to live eternally with God.

Paul refers to Jesus as a Firstfruit in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22.

It says,  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 

Just as Jesus fulfilled the prophetic meaning of Passover, he also fulfilled the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Firstfruits. He IS the first to rise again, and to defeat sin and death.

You turned my wailing into dancing;you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Psalm 30:11-12

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