We have been looking into the Feasts of Israel as the prophetic foundation of Christianity. The reason is that prophecy is the most profound logical argument for the legitimacy of faith in Christ. Rationally, prophecy requires omniscience. Fulfilled prophecy argues for the presence of the omniscient God. Thus, if it can be shown that Jesus Christ fulfilled ancient prophecies without manipulating the evidence, we have discovered the presence of God in Him.
So far we have looked at the prophetic voice of the Feast of Passover: (034) it said that the Redeemer would be like the sacrificial lamb whose life was taken in the place of the guilty offerer. This is fundamental to the message of Christ, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world".
Then we looked at the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (040) Its prophetic voice said that the Redeemer would die to produce the sustenance required to give life to those who eat His flesh and drink His blood--a concept Jesus taught that has nothing to do with cannibalism, but everything to do with life based upon the provisions given by Another.
In this article, we begin our look at the third major feast: the Feast of Firstfruits. In the ancient record, Firstfruits had its foundations in the deliverance of Israel out of the waters of the Red Sea. These were the first of the fruits of God's powerful deliverance at the physical level. But, as with all of the feasts, there is a powerful analogy that goes beyond the physical without abandoning it. One of the New Testament texts that addresses this feast is 1 Corinthians 15:20 where we read: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep." (NASB). Here it is clear that the apostle wanted us to see the link between the Feast of Firstfruits and the Christ. If the link is valid, the prophetic foundation has been laid.
The message of Firstfruits is that the Messiah would Himself be the first delivered, and would also provide a deliverance for those who believe in Him. In ancient history, the people of Israel were delivered through the Red Sea as they walked on dry ground to safety. But, with Christ, there could be no deliverance before death--or the full payment of justice's demands against sin could not be paid. So, the deliverance had to come after His death. Thus, the Bible says that resurrection is the final deliverance. It delivers us from the domain of death and the nether world. In order for Jesus to be the Christ, He had to be subjected to that domain--and delivered from it. So, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only that He lived sinlessly and died guiltlessly. It includes one further step: He arose victoriously. He became the first of the fruits of resurrection.
Thus, Jesus, who based all of His claims to Truth upon the reality of history after prophecy, staked His message upon the literal resurrection from the dead. Many have come since and claimed to be redeemers and saviors. Many have awaited the resurrections of their messiahs after their deaths. None have succeeded in defeating the dominion of death--except Jesus of Nazareth. Is He your first-fruits deliverer?