First Fruits ♥ The Heart of Easter

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land which I give you, and reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest; And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”  Leviticus 23:10-11

It occurred to me today as I was planning to offer First Fruits at a special rate for Easter … that I may have wrongly assumed all of you who have heard of or read my devotional book entitled First Fruits understand the meaning of the title? For some, I am sure you understand generally that “first fruits” might have something to do with giving the first fruits of your labor. Maybe you heard a sermon on tithing, or possibly have even seen “first fruits” in one of the more inconspicuous verses of the Old Testament, (as in Leviticus 23:10-11 quoted above). Or, as in the New Testament where James 1:18 states that “He chose to give us birth through the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all He created.”

Some may have a copy of First Fruits, but maybe you never read the “Introduction to First Fruits.” So, today – on this Sunday before Palm Sunday – I want to make sure all of you have the opportunity to learn the importance of First Fruits as a concept.

The First Fruits Feast was always the Sunday following the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, held in the spring each year. This day has eventually become known as Easter among Christians. But what many do not realize is that the name Easter was derived from the Babylonian pagan goddess of fertility, “Ishtar.” Zola Levitt (a Jewish convert to Christianity) explained that “we miss a very important Biblical truth by not using the term ‘First Fruits’ as the name of this feast (Easter Day), because “first” implies a second, a third, and so on, and that is the real meaning of the feast. We do not merely celebrate the resurrection of the Lord on First Fruits (Easter), on which it indeed occurred, but even more so, the resurrection of the entire Church!”

In 1 Corinthians 15:23 (KJV) Paul states “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” Zola continued, “Jesus celebrated the Sunday of the week of His crucifixion by rising from the dead. It was not some other day He chose but the very day of First Fruits … Jesus even presented His proper First Fruits offering to the Father. Graves were opened and dead people rose and were seen after His resurrection in Jerusalem. [Matthew 27:53 (KJV)]. First Fruits was the last of the feasts that The Lord was seen personally fulfilling on earth.”

First Fruits, therefore, represents not only our gifts to God, but more importantly, His First Fruits Gift to us in the person of Jesus Christ—He is the Hope of our own resurrection!

It is my deep desire to share God’s Word through First Fruits to all who are seeking to develop a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. If you would like a copy of First Fruits for yourself or others, please use the link http://susanbutlerlive.com and click on STORE, then at the bottom, click Order Online, then click on the First Fruits EASTER picture to get the special price of $10 per copy (normally $20) – now through April 1, EASTER 2018.

 

God’s Best as we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection!

Susan Butler