HISTORY MARCHES ON WITH THE GIVING OF THE FIRST FRUIT OFFERINGS
This harvest time ritual increased in importance and significance for God’s people as history marched on.
When the people of Israel were escaping from the rule of Egypt because God had decided to free them and make them into a holy nation; they left Egypt on the second day of Unleavened Bread during the Passover Week (Early First Fruits.)
After 50 days of this journey they arrived at Mt. Sinai.
It was there that Moses received The Ten Commandments from God on the Day of Pentecost; the 50th day from the day of Early First Fruits.
EACH GENERATION’S SIGNIFICANT DAYS CORRELATED ON THE CALENDAR
We begin to understand that the significant annual dates for Passover and the receiving of the Torah (Pentecost) when the people of Israel lived in the wilderness were exactly the same as the annual dates on the calendar that the ancient people of God had experienced when they first brought their spring harvests of barley and wheat to the priests in more ancient days.
Taking history further; these annual days were also most likely the same days on the annual calendar that Adam and Eve and their children brought Early First Fruit offerings before God each year.
It appears that generations and generations from the beginning of time had carried on the annual tradition of Early First Fruits.
Each generation continued acting out the event with the knowledge that God had shown specifically to them during their own time period.
A TEACHING TIME FROM GOD FOR ALL GENERATIONS IN TIME
A lot of the “living out of life” for each of these generations of different people groups happened during the space of time between the barley harvest and the wheat harvest (Passover and Early First Fruits and Pentecost.)
The days between Passover and Pentecost seemed to be God’s greatest teaching times.
During this slice of time there was always a great emphasis placed on growing and learning.
It was the time that the people who escaped Egypt experienced a huge lifestyle adjustment.
They were given grace, mercy and freedom at Passover; and they were given a much better way to live at Pentecost through the giving of the Torah to Moses.
The people began to associate all of the time in the middle between Passover and Pentecost with spiritual growth.
Each day they felt that God was teaching them different things about how to live better lives as they walked before Him. This fact intensified during the time between Passover and Early First Fruits and Pentecost.
CONSIDERING EARLY FIRST FRUITS AS A TEACHING TIME FOR US TODAY
Have you ever considered this practice of Early First Fruits; or pondered the wisdom of these days?
Have you ever taken the time during this season to count the days from the giving of the offering of the omer up until Pentecost? You might be amazed at what a learning experience this can be.
The idea of counting each day represents participating in spiritual preparation and anticipation for a better life under the ways of God.
Each day applies a different aspect of God’s attributes to consider. You must examine how you are imitating the attributes of God in your own days.
God is so much higher and wiser and so much holier than humans. There is always a lot to consider and a lot to learn by looking at the things we have learned about the personality traits that God exhibits.
Because Christ has given us an open doorway to a personal relationship with God, we often tend to bring God down to our level instead of elevating our selves into His holier way of life. This time frame helps us to examine this aspect of our day-to-day living and adjust any places that have become unbalanced..
In the ancient steps of this process, as the people camped in the wilderness, the anticipation was for the giving of the Torah.
The people had to sanctify themselves and wait.
They had to be clean and undefiled at the foot of the holy mountain until Moses returned with the Word and the Law of God.
This was how the people traditionally prepared their hearts for God to reveal things to them.
We should be no different in our preparations today.
Christ will return again!
Today’s people following God should be doing all we can to cleanse and sanctify ourselves; always waiting on God and listening for His word, always looking up and imitating Christ and Our Heavenly Father.
We should be waiting on Christ’s return in a similar fashion to how the Israelites were waiting on Moses to return from the Holy Mountain.
There should be an annual time of examining our lives as we wait; and we should be thinking about how our ways line up with God’s laws.
It isn’t about our own perfection; but about our love and desire to honor God.
We should be preparing our hearts for Christ to return and receive us into His Kingdom forever.
WE MUST BE REMEMBERING CHRIST AS OUR EARLY FIRST FRUITS OFFERING
We have been blessed with a Messiah who has offered His life in exchange for our eternal life.
It is what He has done that matters.
We are nothing without His holiness.
The most important thing for us to remember during the current Passover is that the sacrificial offering of the life of Christ served as our Early First Fruits offering.
THE FULFILLMENT OF EARLY FIRST FRUITS IS ALL ABOUT THE MIRACLE OF RESURRECTION
The Day of Early First Fruits now symbolizes the fulfillment that has come of every early first fruits ritual; that of the resurrection of Christ.
It is real.
You can believe that it actually happened.
HE IS RISEN!!!!
HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE ON THE THIRD DAY
Early First Fruits is celebrated on the second day of The Seven Days of Unleavened Bread; 3 days after the Passover Seder.
This day was one of the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread during the Passover season.
These three days (Passover plus the first two days of Unleavened Bread) represent the time of Christ being in the grave.
On Early First Fruits (on the third day of the season of Passover) He is risen!
CHRIST IS THE FIRST OF THE SPIRITUAL HARVEST
He rose on the very same day that Early First Fruits had been celebrated from the beginning of time by the people who were following God. He is the first of the spiritual harvest of mankind!
PASSOVER ALWAYS COMES BEFORE RESURRECTION
The Passover Seder held after sunset (just three days before the Early First Fruits day ends) represents resurrection and tells the story in symbols and shadows of time of how Jesus died, was buried and rose on the third day.
Hence, it is very important that a family observe the Passover Seder, three days before Early First Fruits, in order to remember the crucifixion of Christ and to understand all the details of the history God used to bring us Messiah.
God wants us to know that everything He did with the ancient people led us to the place of the sacrifice of the Messiah in our place.
We hear these lessons in the story of exile and Passover. Every instance speaks of Christ in symbolic form.
This clarifies to us that God had a plan from the very beginning.
Nothing was random.
It was all planned out so that we could receive salvation and obtain eternal life.
When we keep the same calendar as the people who lived in the wilderness with Moses; we are on the same calendar that God gave His people to follow so long ago.
God’s calendar follows the phases of the moon.
This calendar is the only one that gets the chronological order of Passover before Resurrection correct every single year.
If you use the calendars made by men; sometimes you will be observing Resurrection before Passover. That is out-of-order. God wanted us to remember the correct order. Perhaps that is why the word “Seder” for the Passover observance means “order.”
You must experience a Passover before you can experience a Pentecost. Anything else would be out of order. God is a God of order.
THE GREAT PROOF WAS IN THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
There is even more to this exciting progression of this victory story.
The great proof was in the Resurrection of Christ.
This is what Early First Fruits shadows and symbolizes; the Resurrection.
The barley loaf that is waived on Early First Fruits is symbolic of Jesus and how He was resurrected a victorious Savior of the World.
Christ was the “first” of a full harvest for The Kingdom of God.
PASSOVER/RESURRECTION/PENTECOST; GOD HAS A SPECIFIC ORDER TO THESE SPIRITUAL EVENTS
One desiring to live daily within the aspects of God’s Kingdom must learn and understand the progression of God’s order for salvation and redemption and sanctification.
God teaches us this in progressive pieces through the observance of the Spring Holy Days.
When you follow and understand the correct progression; you receive all that you need to come in the end to the giving of the Holy Spirit to God’s people on The Day of Pentecost.
The first miracle of Pentecost happened with Moses when God gave the Torah. The Holy Spirit is the personification of the Torah living in God’s people. God’s Holy Spirit came to us on a much later day; but on THE SAME annual calendar DAY as the giving of the Torah.
LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN; WE MUST LEARN THE CORRECT WAY TO COUNT
God told the people to count from Passover to Pentecost; from the offering of the early first fruits sheath of barley grain.
They counted 50 days and that brought them to the day that the wheat harvest was ready to be offered.
The wheat harvest was the larger crop, the most valuable crop of the year.
If the barley crop was good, and the wave sheath of barley was offered on Early First Fruits; the Latter First Fruits offering of the wheat crop would be abundant!
The first observance brought blessings into the second observance. The harvest times progressed in God’s given order.
The symbolism is that Jesus was our early first fruit offering, and we are the latter first fruit offerings.
We are good and acceptable to God because He is good and He lives within our hearts.
Christ living inside our hearts and being a part of our daily lives makes our lives good and worthy for an abundant spiritual harvest. It is nothing that we do; but what He is able to do through us. Without Him living within us; we are not worthy.
The perfect order of God’s love brings the spiritual harvest.
WHAT WILL YOU BRING FOR YOUR FIRST FRUIT OFFERING TO CHRIST THIS YEAR?
Some have chosen to imitate the offerings of Christ and give back to Him on the Day of Early First Fruits.
Each year we consider something new to offer up, knowing that nothing we do is worthy; but that we are honoring Christ with what we have as best we know how.
This was the lesson we learned from the story of Cain and Abel; to bring of our first and our best to God on the appointed day.
This offering should be meaningful.
Many people give financial offerings; and that is fine. Personally; I try to pick something different every year.
For example; one year I offered the gift of my writing. One year I offered the gift of using my body as an offering of service. One year I offered more love toward my fellow-man and tried to implement something of these things into each day.
Whatever you decide to offer; it should have meaning and significance between you and God.
This gift must be something that requires effort on your part. It isn’t something that you can easily throw into an offering plate and forget. This offering should last for the whole year in some significant way.
You can’t save yourself; that is God’s part of the equation; but you can improve yourself, and that is what usually comes of offering your first and your best to God on Early First Fruits.
IT IS ALL ABOUT COMING FROM THE HEART
When you come to Him from the wide-open heart of a willing child; He grows you into a harvest that is worthy of The Kingdom of God.
We feel like we are giving the offering; but in reality; God is growing us into someone useful for service.
Perhaps this time of sacrificial offerings is where the first practices of Lent evolved in the minds of men. I see nothing wrong with Lent; but I like to stay with God’s original calendar and rituals. I feel the Hebraic way of doing this is better and more authentic.
CHRIST SET THE PERFECT EXAMPLE
Of course our offerings fade in comparison of the perfect offering of Christ.
When God looks at our offerings though; He looks at the fact that we are imitating the love of His Only Begotten Son.
It is Christ living within us through God’s Holy Spirit that makes our offerings acceptable to God. He is our first; and our best.
These spring offerings are brought into the storehouse of God every year on God’s calendar, and this is one of the many ways that The Kingdom of God thrives!
Jesus gave the first and best offering that provided the way to make all of our offerings count.
Now we all must be careful to consider our own spiritual offerings to God on the appointed day of Early First Fruits.
THE CELEBRATION OF RESURRECTION AND EARLY HARVEST
We celebrate resurrection, and we do what we can to bring spiritual resurrection into our days.
In summary of how we go about this: we ponder what we can offer to God and we offer up of our first and our best.
No offering will ever be as good and acceptable as Christ’s offering; but that is okay. His offering has made our offerings acceptable.
We must come to God thanking Him for Resurrection.
Let us must come dancing and singing and offering the highest praises.
We must bring of the best we can and lay it before Him.
Let us fall down and worship at His feet.
The ritual has not changed; but Jesus has made it possible for us to come before God with our very best.
Because of Christ; our offerings will be welcomed and acceptable to God.
What will you offer this year?
Which heart-felt, well examined offering will you bring?
Is there something new that you think God desires of you which you have never given before?
NOTE TO THE READER: This post was just one in a series on this subject. You may read the others here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/seasons-coming-into-the-spring-holy-days-counting-the-omer-part-one/