Feasts converge in April

1 Corinthians-15-Verse-20

As the month of April moves toward its conclusion, we recognize that this year the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ began on Sunday, April 1. During that same time, the Jews observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 8-day festival that began at Sundown on Sunday, April 1 and ended in the evening of Saturday, April 8.  Passover, also known as Pesach, the first event of the celebration, commemorating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, also took place on April 1. Following the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was Feast of First-Fruits, which began at sundown on April 7 and ended at sundown April 8.

The Verse of the Day for April 19, 2018 makes reference to this observance:

1 Corinthians 15:20-22:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits 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.

In the Old Testament, the first-fruits of the ground were offered unto God just as the first-born of man and animals. The Law required that newly harvested grain corn should be waved by the priest before the altar, as every individual, besides, was required to consecrate to God a portion of the first-fruits of the land.

Leviticus 23:9-10 offers these instructions:

The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.”

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ has become the first fruit offering as described in the Old Testament.  Jesus Christ’s resurrection is a promise that we, too, will be resurrected. In a similar manner the Church, the Body of believers, has become “a kind of first-fruits,” as James 1:18 declares:

18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.

This message is reinforced in this poetic offering:

First-fruits

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word

of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

James 1:18

 

Transform and then so fashion our very visage

To be like Christ, the brightness of all of your glory.

In your refiner’s fire melt and mold me,

Cast my being in His express image:

As boldface type printed upon the page,

As a new coin minted in your treasure,

Stamped with the essence of your character

To convey the power of your message.

So saturate my spirit, heart, soul and mind,

Every fiber of my being, each of our pores;

So permeate our presence that we also might find

My true calling as Christ’s chosen ambassadors.

The promised fulfilled that the Earth has awaited:

Like Christ, we are first-fruits of all God’s created

We close with a musical expression “First Fruits” by Steve McConnell

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: