Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20010124.htm
LEVITICUS: GOD'S CALL FOR A SEPARATED WITNESS
Part II: The Path Of Walking In Fellowship With God (Leviticus 11-27)
M. God's Prophetic Assemblies Of Christ's Redemption
3. The Feast Of Firstfruits: Foretelling Christ's And The Believer's Resurrections
Lesson: God planned long before our time to have Christ die and rise from the dead that we might gain victory over sin and its product of death, and live bodily in eternal life and righteousness with Him.
- Christ's resurrection stands as a cornerstone truth to the Christian faith itself, 1 Corinthians 15:17-19.
- However, not only does the resurrection verify our faith, it is necessary to equip men to overcome death, the product of sin, so they might eternally commune with the holy, immutable, eternal God, 1 Cor. 15:21.
- We view the Feast of Firstfruits in Leviticus 23:9-14, a feast that predicted the resurrection of Christ and spoke of the final victory over sin for God's people so they could fellowship eternally with Him:
- The Feast Of Firstfruits: Foretelling Christ's and The Believer's Resurrections, Leviticus 23:9-14.
- The Feast of Firstfruits was a celebration of God's goodness to Israel in providing them crops for food: accordingly, the firstfruits sheaf of harvested grain was to be brought to the temple to be waved as an offering to the praise of God, Leviticus 23:9-11a.
- However, of great significance in predicting Christ's resurrection is the DATE of this offering:
- The firstfruits was to be offered at the temple site on the day "after the Sabbath,'" Leviticus 23:11b.
- The particular Sabbath day in the CONTEXT is the Sabbath day beginning the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after Passover, cf. Leviticus 23:5-7: that day was a holy convocation, a sabbatical rest.
- Well, since the day after that Sabbath day is the third day after Passover, and since Christ was crucified on Passover day as our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7), the Firstfruits pictures Christ as the in His resurrection who was raised from the dead on the third day, cf. 1 Cor. 15:4, 20-23.
- Now, of deep import for the believer is the use of "firstfruits" to refer to Christ in His resurrection:
- The firstfruits by definition necessitated the existence of a fuller harvest yet to occur, Leviticus 23:10.
- Significantly, Christ's resurrection, as wonderful an event as it was, merely pictured what was in store for the rest of the sons of God -- their OWN resurrections from the dead in Christ's newness of life:
- The Apostle Paul noted that as Christ was the firstfruits, He was the first of the company of God's own to be raised in a glorified body never to die again, 1 Corinthians 15:20a.
- Hence, there is promise of a coming resurrection for God's people: if Christ is the firstfruits, then there have to be later fruits, a fuller harvest of God's people from the dead, 1 Cor. 15:20b-23.
- The prophetic order of these resurrections, all called the "First Resurrection" in Revelation 20:5 because of its kind, are as follows: (a) the Church era believers are raptured to meet the Lord in the air, only to proceed with Him back to heaven before the start of the Great Tribulation, 1 Thess. 4:13-18. (b) Then, we will come with Christ back to the earth where He will set up His Messianic Kingdom after the Great Tribulation: at that time, saints who died during the Tribulation will be raised to reign with Christ and His Bride, the Church on earth, Rev. 19:7-8; 20:4-5. (c) After the Messianic Kingdom, a final judgment will occur on the ungodly, and there will be a final rising of saints who died during the Messianic Kingdom (implied). (d) God will then make a new heavens and new earth to set up His eternal kingdom, Revelation 21-22.
- Hence, the Firstfruits sheaf was accompanied by sacrifices viewing only the victory of redemption: there was no SIN offering, for the sin issue was settled in Christ's death! (McGee, Thru the Bible, v. 1, p. 429) In like manner, the believer is to reckon himself to be indeed dead unto sin that he might live in newness of life even NOW as he ANTICIPATES his final glorification to come, Romans 6:3-4!
Application: (1) Our faith is VALID, for the resurrection of our Savior was predicted in the Feast of Firstfruits many centuries before it occurred. (2) Since Christ is the FIRSTfruits from the dead, WE who believe in Him have God's hope of the bodily resurrection IN HIM; hence, we should live victorious over sin in God's power in anticipation of that glorification with Christ, Rom. 6:3-4; 8:3-4.