Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest.” (Leviticus 23:10)
As we read about these different feast days, one thing becomes clear — no one was to appear before the LORD empty handed (see Deuteronomy 16:16). And while the different offerings may have served different purposes, the point was and is that each worshiper was expected to acknowledge God’s holiness and His provision for His people — in other words, without the provision they could not have made an offering.
Where the sheaf of the first fruits was concerned, this demonstrated the worshiper’s gratitude that, first of all, God had brought them into the land that He had promised them and, secondly, the land had produced a harvest. In thanksgiving, the first of that produce (probably barley considering the time of year), was brought as a sheaf offering and waved before the LORD, as if to say, “Here is my first fruits. I am bringing it to you in recognition of your faithfulness. Thank you!” Furthermore, because it was the FIRST FRUITS, it was implied that there was much more produced and ready for harvest.
The most fascinating thing about this appointed time is that, though not among the most noted of the feasts, it pointed to something that is critical to all who are believers in Messiah. The seemingly small presentation of a sheaf of barley brought to the Temple in the Spring was pointing to something very significant. It points us to the fact that Yeshua was resurrected on this day and with that, as Paul said, there was a promise that more “fruit” would follow.
“But now Messiah is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20)
Those who are asleep and those will fall asleep before His return can be assured of this — the One who brought Israel into the land and gave them a harvest will also quicken the bodies of those who are in Messiah. Because He was raised from dead, we can trust that, at the appointed time, He will raise up all the “fruit” that was produced by Yeshua’s suffering and resurrection. And on that day, all who are raised incorruptible will “wave” their sheafs, so to speak, in recognition of His faithfulness and say, “Thank you.” And that’s putting it mildly.
Blessings and Shalom,