THE FIRST FRUITS
"Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20, NIV).
The intriguing title, the "Firstfruits," is replete with spiritual and theological meaning. It is a hope-inspiring message to God's people that death is by no means a one-way ticket to oblivion.
The title has its roots in the ancient Jewish ceremony of "firstfruits." The farmer would bring the first of the barley harvest to the priest at the temple who would wave it before the Lord as a pledge and assurance of the full harvest that would soon be reaped. It was a joyous occasion because it gave assurance of a full harvest.
The analogy of the firstfruits is full of meaning. It is of more than passing interest or mere coincidence, that Christ rose from the dead on the very day that the wave sheaf was presented in the temple (see Luke 23:56; 24:1). Just as the firstfruits were a pledge and an assurance of the reaping of the entire harvest, so the resurrection of Jesus became a guarantee that the redeemed of all ages would be raised to put on immortality (see 1 Corinthians 15:53).
Through Christ's resurrection, He became the "Firstfruits" or guarantee that because He lives, we too will live (see John 14:19). As the federal head of the new humanity of the redeemed, the resurrected Lord is the pledge that those who sleep in Him will rise to live with Him forever. As Ellen White observes, "The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead."--The Faith I Live By, p. 180.
My Prayer Today: Lord, I praise You for Christ, the FirstFruits, through whom I have the promise of immortality. Amen.