THE DR IS (IN)
FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS
(AGRA OR ANTHRO?)
Dr, help me understand this feast. Christians have celebrated this day as EASTER Sunday for hundreds of years(?). Farmers say that a seed sown in the earth will sprout in three or four days. Is this day an agricultural feast? How does it relate to Jesus’ resurrection?
Good observation of this happy equation. The feast of Passover begins at sundown/moon rise, the 14th day of the first month of Nisan. In the year 2010 AD, it began Monday 29 March at sundown, with the first full moon of Spring being Tuesday. The almond tree blooms at the end of winter; ergo one can know the time of the Feast of Passover, even with no calender, and can look for that first full moon. Moses instituted the Passover by God’s direction. It was first observed on that full moon, the night of the last awful plague upon Egypt: the first born of all Egyptian men and animals died when the death angel passed over, because of no blood on their door frames. The next day is marked as the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It started with a Sabbath and ended with one. It pertains to redemption and is called the salvation feast. Think of the price for sin (death) being paid. The Creator marked the important events of Jesus with agricultural feasts: seed time and harvest. He was crucified (sacrificed) on the day of Passover and buried before sundown of the 15th of Nisan and was on the cross six hours, 9 AM to 3 PM, dying the same hour as did the Passover lambs at 3 PM. Jesus had to be buried by law/tradition before sundown. Israelis and Muslims practice burial in a similar manner and time frame today.
UNLEAVENED BREAD: Jesus was in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He said three days and nights. The day of Passover is looked upon as the first day of Unleavened Bread. The unleavened bread was to be eaten for seven days (Lev 23.6.) He had no sin (leavening) and thus was a good seed (the Seed of Abraham,Gal 2.16) without blemish that produced perfect fruit. A farmer looks for the first sprouts (first fruits) on that day. The spread of time might give us a problem, but Jesus was the First Fruit of the Grave, not of an Agra-cultural planting, but of an Anthro-pos (a man). His rising compares with the sprouting of the grain planted three or four days earlier. It is written that on the third day He would arise. Help, experts! Here is a zinger.
The zinger: Jesus arose on the first day of the week after Unleavened Bread. The dilemma is, what happened to the days between Passover and First Fruits? The night of 29 March 2010 to Sunrise early on the first day of the week, Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010 is the seven-day period of Unleavened Bread. Isn’t that six days in the grave? Whose computer is broken? What a zinger! Also, “Good Friday” does not compute in the thinking of some, that He could arise Sunday, Three days in the tomb? You can wrestle with that one…. It all hurts my brain!
Feast of First Fruits: Held the Sunday following Unleavened Bread. A sheaf (the first fruit) of the harvest of grain was to be brought to the priest on a regular Feast of First Fruits who waved it before the Lord to be “accepted for you” (Lev 23.10-11). Jesus, the First Fruit of the grave, when He appeared to Mary at the garden tomb area, had not yet presented Himself to the Father (compare the first sheaf of grain that was to be waved before the Lord). It is believed by many that Easter is named after Ishtar, a Babylonian goddess of fertility. A Norse goddess, Ostara or Eostra, no doubt the same one, also gives name to the pagan celebration of the festival of Spring. Sunday, the first day of the week, was decreed by the Council of Nicaea, 325 AD as the official day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It lends a mystery to the actual day of the Feast, though the idea of new life fits. Now it is always the Sunday after the Sabbath after Unleavened Bread. The timing problem has led some to think there might have been two Sabbaths that year, one after Unleavened Bread and then the regular one on the seventh day of the week, Saturday of our present calender. We need not make a point of argument about it. Scripture says Jesus arose on the third day. Shall we let it rest there without further evidence? At any rate, we have an Agra which is also an Anthro Feast. Comments and questions welcome.
Dr Lyn Barnes, CH(LTC) USA, Ret