Leviticus 23:10-11 — “Speak to the children of Israel, say to them, when you come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the First Fruits of your harvest to the priests. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.”
Have you ever wondered why we have holidays that we celebrate annually, but for the most part we neglect the Biblical feasts?
If someone was to ask me what the main American holidays were, I’d probably say Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Perhaps to celebrate spring, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Saint Paddy’s and Cinco de Mayo.
I’m confident many others would come up with a completely different list.
So, in my thoughts are the “Holidays versus Holy Days.” It’s my understanding that there are seven main Jewish feast days, divided by spring and fall.
As we’re in the spring season, my attention has been on Passover, unleavened bread, First Fruits, with Pentecost, which is in 15 days.
For today’s article, my focus is on the third feast of First Fruits, or the Wave Offering.
Due to the fact that Jesus was born into a Jewish family, into Jewish customs and traditions, it seems important to search out those things.
There is so much detail involved in each feast. I can plant some starter seeds here in the article, but I continue with my statement. This is an article not a sermon of Bible study, and I encourage you to read and search the Scriptures for yourself.
I really appreciate the way I heard a guy give an introduction to understanding the Wave Offering: “It’s not intended to convert anyone, to buttonhole someone, to change them from one religion to another, but to highlight how awesome God is and how He has revealed Himself through these seven feasts.”
I like how the Christ is related to the Wave Offering both physically and spiritually. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is presented as our High Priest. The Jewish High Priest had very distinct duties and responsibilities. For example, after Passover the priest would go into seclusion for three days. He would go into the fields and gather up the First Fruits of grain from the harvest, bring a sheaf into the temple and literally wave the offering before the Lord there in the temple.
Then, after three days he could leave the temple and mix and minister among the people.
First Corinthians 15:20 says, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
In Hebrews 4:14a it says, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God.”
For me, it’s easy to picture this. After Passover, Jesus is secluded in the tomb for three days. On the third day, Mary goes to the tomb to fulfill the burial rites only to find the body of Jesus gone.
In the Gospel of John, chapter 20 has 31 verses. At one point, Mary thought she was talking to a gardener, asking, “Where have you put Him?”
Then Jesus said, “Mary.” Then she recognized Him. Then Jesus said, “Do not hold onto me, for I have not yet returned to my Father.”
Jesus, as our High Priest, demonstrates the role of the First Fruits before the Father as the Wave Offering. Having ascended to the Father and making the Wave Offering, He is allowed to return to walk with and minister among the people again.
I hope you will find these next points interesting enough to search out. I find them fascinating.
At the tomb, He tells Mary, “Don’t touch.” Yet a short time later in John 20:27: “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here: See my hands? Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’”
How is it that one moment He’s not to be touched, and then He invites touch?
He had ascended to the Father as the Wave Offering of First Fruits.
I am compelled to close with this Biblical passage from Luke 19:38-40 — “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ He replied, ‘If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’”
In the background of this conversation is the Eastern Gate and a mass of headstones of Jewish people. Basically what He was saying is, “If the living won’t praise Me, I will cause the dead to rise up and praise Me.”
Remember, He is the First Fruit — the Wave Offering.