Impact

The Feasts of Israel – Firstfruits

These are the Lord’s appointed times, holy assemblies, which you must proclaim at their appointed time. (Leviticus 23:4 NET)

Historical Background of the Feast of Firstfruits

The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest, and he must wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for your benefit—on the day after the Sabbath the priest is to wave it. (Leviticus 23:9–11 NET)

The Feast of Firstfruits (Hag Habikkurim), Feast of Your Harvest (Reishit (Re-sheet) Ketzirchem) (Leviticus 23:10), Day of the Firstfruits (Yom Habikkurim) (Numbers 28:26) or Counting of the Omer (Sefirat Haomer) was to be celebrated on the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This means that the Feast of Firstfruits was on the first day of the week, a Sunday, and for only one day. (2)

It was to be observed as an acknowledgment of God’s bounty because the whole harvest belongs to God, not to man. This feast marked the beginning of the two-month spring harvest. (11) The Hebrews were to bring the first sheaves (the omer) of the barley (1) harvest and wave (1) them before the Lord. An omer was about 1 quart of barley. (7)

There were Six Unique Features of the Feast of Firstfruits:

  • It was to be observed for one day only.
  • It was a day of first-fruits. On this occasion, the firstfruits of the barley harvests were to be offered.
  • It was to be a one-sheaf offering. The priest would hold the barleycorn from the sheaf in outstretched arms while moving it from side to side. A handful of the barleycorn was burned on the altar, and the rest was eaten by the priest, who could not partake of it until after the ceremony itself had been performed.
  • It was to be offered on the day after the weekly Sabbath following Passover. For example, if Passover occurred on Friday, the Feast of Firstfruits would be observed on Sunday, but if Passover occurred on Monday, it would be observed the following Sunday, almost a week later. Again, this is the text’s true meaning: the first-fruits were always offered on the first Sunday after the Feast of Passover. For that reason, Moses gave no specific day of the month for this feast to be observed as he did for all the others. Since this had to be on a Sunday, no definite day of the month could be assigned.
  • It was to be observed as an acknowledgment of God’s bounty because the whole harvest belongs to God, not to man.
  • This feast marked the beginning of the two-month spring harvest. (11)

Required Sacrifices

On the day you wave the sheaf you must also offer a flawless yearling lamb for a burnt offering to the Lord, along with its grain offering, two tenths of an ephah of choice wheat flour mixed with olive oil, as a gift to the Lord, a soothing aroma, and its drink offering, one fourth of a hin of wine. (Leviticus 23:12,13 NET)

This Passover-sheaf, or rather omer, was to be accompanied by a burnt-offering of a ‘he lamb, without blemish, of the first year,’ The appropriate meal (grain) offering of wheat flour (1) was placed on top of the lamb followed by the drink offering. In addition, a kid for the sin offering was required with no grain or drink offerings accompanying it. (3)

The animals to be sacrificed had to have the following four general characteristics. The animal had to be: 

  • ceremonially clean, 
  • utilitarian, meaning “usable for food” or sustenance, 
  • domesticated (i.e., those that obeyed their master’s will and more or less were endeared to the offerer), and
  • types of animal sacrifices (see “Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Covenant” table immediately below)
Sacrifices and Offerings of the Old Covenant

In addition, the animal to be sacrificed had to meet the following three criteria:

  • Condition – perfect without spot, blemish, disease, or deformity (cf. Malachi 1:8)
  • Gender – Male (6) and
  • Age – generally, the lamb or kid had to be one year old [i.e., a lamb or kid at the peak of life and health]. (2)

There were 10 Sequential Steps of the Feast of First Fruits

  1. The barley had to be grown in an ordinary field within the Promised Land and not in a garden or orchard land, and the soil had not been fertilized or artificially watered. (4)
  2. On the Day of Passover, the 14th of Nisan, the spot where the first sheaf to be reaped was marked by delegates from the Sanhedrin. They did this by using a red cord to bind together into three bundles the standing barley designated to be cut down. (3)
  3. When the time for gathering the sheaf had arrived on the evening of the Weekly Sabbath, during the Passover-Feast of Unleavened Bread (the 17th of Nisan during the week Jesus was crucified), as the sun is setting, a large, loud crowd of worshippers followed delegates from the Sanhedrim outside the city and across the brook Kedron. Each with a sickle and basket, three designated men of the delegation, would position themselves to reap the bound and marked barley. (3)
  4. However, to bring out all that was distinctive in the ceremony, the harvesters first asked the bystanders three times each of these five questions: ‘Has the sun gone down?’ ‘With this sickle?’ ‘Into this basket?’ ‘On this Sabbath?’, and, lastly, ‘Shall I reap?’ (3)
  5. Each time receiving an answer in the affirmative from the crowd and elders, they cut down barley to the amount a tenth of a homer, one ephah, or ten omers, or three seahs, which is equal to about 10 quarts. (3) (7) Since the Sun had gone down and it was still the Sabbath, then that means it was during the “twilight” period between Sabbath and Sunday (cf. Leviticus 23:5. Numbers 9:3). Conservatively the Rabbis consider a Sabbath twilight as Sabbath (Saturday) with the transition occurring to Sunday using several different methods (.e.g., the appearance of three stars that are not so large as to be visible in the daylight but also not so small that they would be invisible until late at night). (14) In 31 A.D., the First Fruits of the Barley were harvested at approximately 7:00 P.M., with Sunset occurring at 6:31 P.M. and night at 7:30 P.M..
  6. After the sheaf was cut, the people praised the Lord and retraced their path up the Temple mount’s slopes. It was now officially the “morrow after the Sabbath.” The barley ears were then brought into the Court of the Temple and thrashed out with canes or stalks to not injure the barleycorn. (3)(2)
  7. The barley kernels from the barleycorn were then ‘parched’ on a pan perforated with holes so that each grain might be touched by the fire (Leviticus 2:14). (3) Then exposed to the wind in a winnowing process, the barley kernels are tossed into the wind to separate the kernels from the chaff. The head of the barley is very soft and easily winnowed. (10)
  8. The corn thus prepared was ground in a barley-mill, which left the whole of the hull. The flour was ground until the flour was sufficiently fine, which was ascertained by one of the ‘Gizbarim’ (treasurers) plunging his hands into it. The sifting process is continued until the flour no longer adheres to the hands. (3) (4)
  9. Though one ephah, or ten omers, of barley, was cut down, only one omer of barley flour, about 1 quart, was offered on the altar in the Temple on Sunday, after the weekly Sabbath (the 18th of Nisan during the week Jesus was crucified), during the Passover-Feast of Unleavened Bread. The rest of the flour might be redeemed and used for any purpose. (3)
  10. The quart of barley flour was mixed with a ‘log’ (a log equals 1/12 hin, which equals 1/12 pint, which is 1.3 ounces or approximately 1 ounce) (12) of olive oil (1), a handful of frankincense (1) put upon it (Leviticus 2:15), salt (1) added (Leviticus 2:13) and then presented to the Lord by waving. (Leviticus 2:16) This is was what is meant by ‘the presentation of the first or wave-sheaf on Sunday during the week of the Passover-Feast of Unleavened Bread. Next, a handful is taken out and burned on the altar. The remainder belonged to the priest. (Leviticus 2:10)(5)

The purpose of the waving of the omer was to consecrate the harvest to God. The Firstfruits represented the best and earliest part of the whole harvest. Again, this act reminded the Hebrews that God had given them the land and that all of the harvests rightfully belonged to Him. The people were only stewards of the land; however, offering the firstfruits (i.e., the best and earliest) consecrated the entire harvest to God. Consequently, if God accepted the harvest’s Firstfruits, it meant the entire harvest would be accepted by God. (2)

Biblical Conversion Factors
10 omer = 1 ephah = 1 sheaf (Exodus 16:36)
1 bath = 1 ephah = 10 omers (Ezekiel 45:11)

Aviv

What is Aviv/Abib? Aviv indicates a stage in the development of the barley crops. 

When Moses extended his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire fell to the earth; so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. Hail fell and fire mingled with the hail; the hail was so severe that there had not been any like it in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. The hail struck everything in the open fields, both people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail. (Exodus 9:23-26 NET) 
(Now the flax and the barley were struck [down] by the hail, for the barley had ripened [Hebrew: abib] and the flax was in bud. But the wheat and the spelt were not struck [down], for they are later crops.) (Exodus 9:31,32 NET)

The barley crops were struck down or destroyed by the hail, while the wheat and spelt were not damaged. When grains are early in their development, they are flexible and have a dark green color. However, as they become ripe, they take on a light yellowish hue and become more brittle. The barley was destroyed, and the wheat was not because the barley had reached the stage in its development called Aviv/Abib and, as a result, had become brittle enough to be damaged by the hail. However, the wheat and spelt were at a stage when they were flexible and not susceptible to hail damage. (5)

The month of Nisan (1) is the month that only commences after the barley has reached the stage of Aviv/Abib. This means the month of Nisan cannot begin unless the barley has reached a stage where it will be harvest-ready 15-21 days later (i.e., by the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the day of the Feast of Firstfruits). If the barley is not developed enough to be ready for the sickle 15-21 days later, then the month of Nisan cannot begin until the next month. (5)

We know from several passages that barley in the state of Aviv has not completely ripened but has ripened enough so that its seeds can be eaten parched in a fire. However, this early in its development, when the “head” has just come out of the shaft, the seeds are not substantial enough to produce any food. At a later stage, the seeds have grown in size and have filled with a milky liquid, and at this point, the seeds will shrivel up when parched and will only produce empty skins. Over time the liquid is replaced with dry material, called dough, and when enough dough has amassed, the seeds will be mature and able to yield “barley parched in fire.”

Two to three weeks after the beginning of the month, the barley has moved beyond the stage of Aviv, with the liquid in the seeds having been replaced with dry material which will be able to yield “barley parched in the fire.” The barley is now ready to be brought as the “wave-sheaf offering” (Hanafat HaOmer). (5)

In summation, barley which is in the state of Aviv has three characteristics:

  1. It is brittle enough to be destroyed by hail and has begun to lighten in color (i.e., it is not “dark”).
  2. The seeds have produced enough dry material called dough so they can be eaten parched. However, not enough to provide a substantial source of food.
  3. It has developed enough so that it will be harvest-ready 2-3 weeks later (5).
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest, and he must wave the sheaf before the Lord to be accepted for your benefit—on the day after the Sabbath the priest is to wave it. (Leviticus 23:9–11 NET)

The “wave-sheaf offering” (i.e., waving of the omer) is a sacrifice brought from the first stalks cut in the harvest. However, since not all the barley ripens in the Land of Israel ripens simultaneously, a small plot of land was set apart in the Kidron Valley to grow this firstfruits offering. This offering is then brought on the Sunday that falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot). (5)

You must not eat bread, roasted grain, or fresh grain until this very day, until you bring the offering of your God. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all the places where you live. (Leviticus 23:14 NET)

Before any barley produce of the new crop could be sold, eaten, or even touched, this the wave-sheaf offering (the omer) had to be brought to the temple as an offering to the Lord. (2) (8)

Consequently, the “sickle commences on the standing grain” only after the wave sheaf offering ceremony on the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Again, this is 15-21 days after the beginning of the month of Nisan. (8)

“ ‘If you present a grain offering of first ripe grain to the Lord, you must present your grain offering of first ripe grain as soft kernels roasted in fire—crushed bits of fresh grain. And you must put olive oil on it and set frankincense on it—it is a grain offering. Then the priest must offer its memorial portion up in smoke—some of its crushed bits, some of its olive oil, in addition to all of its frankincense—it is a gift to the Lord. (Leviticus 2:14–16 NET)

Parched barley was a commonly eaten food in ancient Israel and is mentioned in numerous passages in the Hebrew Bible as either “Abib parched (Kalui) in fire” (Leviticus 2:14) or in the abbreviated form “parched (Kalui/ Kali)” (Leviticus 23:14; Joshua 5:11; 1 Samuel 17:17; 1 Samuel 25:18; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ruth 2:14). (5)

You must count seven weeks; you must begin to count them from the time you begin to harvest the standing grain. Then you are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks before the Lord your God with the voluntary offering that you will bring, in proportion to how he has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 16:9,10)
“ ‘You must count for yourselves seven weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day you bring the wave offering sheaf; they must be complete weeks. (Leviticus 23:15 NET)

Seven weeks or 49 days are counted beginning on Sunday when the omer of the wave-sheaf offering is brought, during the Passover-Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag Hamatzot), which started the harvest of the standing barley grain to determine the start of the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). The fiftieth day is the Feast of Pentecost. (4)

Typological Meaning of the Feast of Firstfruits

The Passover was fulfilled by the death of the Yeshua; the Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by the burial of the sinless body, including blood, of Yeshua; and, the Feast of First-fruits was fulfilled by the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus). (11)

Realize, about the time that Caiaphas, the high priest, was trying Jesus (1), the servants of the Sanhedrin disciples were in the barley field judging the crop to decide which would be harvested for firstfruits. On Passover, while the Romans were binding up Jesus for crucifixion, the Sanhedrin disciples were designating, by binding up, the selected barley sheaf for the firstfruits offering. (9)

The Feast of Firstfruits is a picture of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus rose immediately after twilight on Sunday during the Passover-Feast of Unleaved Bread, on the day of Firstfruits. When the red cord was cut, binding the barley in the field, Jesus was being resurrected. His resurrection marked the beginning of the harvest of souls who have been set apart for God through Jesus. That event gave new meaning to this agricultural holiday. The apostle Paul, a Jewish believer, and rabbi wrote: (10)

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:20–23 NET)

Jesus was that human sheaf that God set apart for the purpose of conquering death and providing eternal life for all who would acknowledge Him as Messiah, Lord, and Savior. As such, He was the first who would rise from the dead never to die again. In fulfilling the Feast of Passover, Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th, 31 A.D. (13) To fulfill the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He was buried at the close of Wednesday and the beginning of Thursday, the 15th. He was resurrected on the beginning of the first day of the week, after twilight on the 18th, the day of the Feast of Firstfruits. Jesus presented Himself to God as the Firstfruits of Resurrection at 9 A.M. on Sunday. (2) (See “Timeline of our Lord’s Passion Week and Feast of Unleavened Bread” immediately below and The Seven Feasts of Israel – Passover (1) for a thorough discussion of the various time scales on this chart)

Timeline of our Lord’s Passion Week, Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits

The Death of Jesus

Wednesday, Nisan 14, 31 A.D. (Jesus Dies)

Then in what seemed to Satan an odd turn of events, Jesus walked right into Satan’s supreme trap by going to Jerusalem, knowing that they were plotting to take His life (Matthew 20:18). Satan, blinded by greed at this opportunity, enters Judas to ensure that the trap is set correctly to allow no escape for this King of the Jews (Luke 22:3-6). Jesus is captured (1), falsely accused in an improper trial during the night, whipped and beaten until His body was NOT full of bruises and wounds but rather ONE massive bruise and wound from the crown of His head to the soles of His feet. Pilate then grants permission for Jesus to be crucified at 6:00 AM (John 19:14) on Wednesday morning, the 14th of Nisan. Four Roman soldiers carry out the crucifixion order. (John 19:23)

He was then offered wine (1) mixed with myrrh to drink to ease His pain and suffering (Mathew 27:34. Mark 15:23. Psalms 69:21). However, Jesus refused it as He came to bear all of our pain and suffering (Isaiah 53:3,4). Jesus went all the way for us; have we gone all the way for Him? Selah. He was then crucified by being nailed to a wooden cross at 9:00 AM. (Mark 15:25 – the third hour of Jewish time). These nails represented our sin – it was our sin that affixed Jesus to the cross! These nails pierced His body and would leave indelible scars that recorded our names on the palms of His hands in a manner of speaking. (Isaiah 49:16. John 20:25-27)

At 9:00 AM on the 14th of Nisan (Judean Time), the day of Passover (1), in the temple, a lamb was led up the ramp to the altar and bound there, killed, and offered as the daily morning burnt offering to the Lord (Numbers 28:3,4).

The King – Jesus – whose body was pierced by nails, nails which held him to a wooden cross looked down upon those that had crucified Him (Psalms 88).

O Lord God who delivers me! By day I cry out and at night I pray before you. Listen to my prayer! Pay attention to my cry for help! For my life is filled with troubles and I am ready to enter Sheol. They treat me like those who descend into the grave. I am like a helpless man, adrift among the dead, like corpses lying in the grave, whom you remember no more, and who are cut off from your power. You place me in the lowest regions of the pit, in the dark places, in the watery depths. Your anger bears down on me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (Selah) You cause those who know me to keep their distance; you make me an appalling sight to them. I am trapped and cannot get free. My eyes grow weak because of oppression. I call out to you, O Lord, all day long; I spread out my hands in prayer to you. Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead? Do the departed spirits rise up and give you thanks? (Selah) Is your loyal love proclaimed in the grave, or your faithfulness in the place of the dead? Are your amazing deeds experienced in the dark region, or your deliverance in the land of oblivion? As for me, I cry out to you, O Lord; in the morning my prayer confronts you. O Lord, why do you reject me, and pay no attention to me? I am oppressed and have been on the verge of death since my youth. I have been subjected to your horrors and am numb with pain. Your anger overwhelms me; your terrors destroy me. They surround me like water all day long; they join forces and encircle me. You cause my friends and neighbors to keep their distance; those who know me leave me alone in the darkness. (Psalm 88:1–18 NET)

Realize, when Jesus slumped down, the weight of His body would be placed on the nails in His hands (i.e., wrist area), causing excruciating pain to radiate throughout the nerves of his arms. When He would push up to exhale, it would temporarily relieve the pain in His arms but cause a similar fiery torment in His legs from the nail affixing His feet. Over time His arms would become exhausted, and their muscles would start to cramp, preventing Him from lifting Himself to exhale. However, carbon dioxide would build up in His bloodstream, causing the muscle cramps to partially subside. Then He could then lift Himself up to exhale until the muscle cramps returned, paralyzing His arms again. (3)

This cycle will repeat itself for the six hours Jesus hangs on the cross. Realize, Jesus has had no sleep for about 24 hours, no liquids or food, ruthlessly interrogated, and severely beaten with His flesh shredded from the crown of His head to the souls of His feet before being crucified.

We tend to associate the horror of crucifixion with excruciating physical pain, thirst, hunger, emptiness, torment, confusion, and finally, even death itself. That was a major dimension, and it’s no accident that our English word excruciating is derived from crux, the Latin word for “cross.” Despite the unbearable physical agony, people in Roman times dreaded the shame associated with crucifixion even more. Since crucifixion was reserved for the dregs of society, outcasts, slaves, and common criminals, the fact that one was crucified defined him or her as a miserable, wretched being that didn’t deserve to exist. By pinning them up like insects, crucifixion was deliberately intended to display and humiliate its victims. It was always carried out in public, often at a prominent place such as a crossroads, outdoor theater, or hill. Crucifixion was a spectacle event, a grisly entertainment where passersby jeered and heaped ridicule upon the victim. The public mockery of Jesus during his crucifixion (Mark 15:29–32) was typical. The shame of the crucified was compounded by their nakedness and the fact that they were often denied burial and became food for vultures and other scavengers. Crucifixion, then, was deliberately designed to be loathsome, vulgar, revolting, and obscene. That is, in addition to excruciating pain, Jesus also suffered injustice, felt the shame of nakedness, was deprived of his rights, endured taunting, became the focus of the rage of others, and was rejected and forsaken by all, including God His Father. (11)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. (Hebrews 12:1–4 NET)

The cross tells us that God is one with us in our suffering; it also tells us that God uses suffering in redeeming his fallen creation. God’s solution to the problem of suffering is not to eliminate it, nor to insulate himself from it, but to participate in it, and having participated in it, to transform it into his instrument for redeeming the world. (11)

I was livid with His apathy. Didn’t He know what His carelessness had done to us? [Allowing such pain and suffering in my life and the lives of others.] For the first time in my life, I dared to demand an explanation. When none came, I was angrier than I ever remember being. I turned my eyes on the plain wooden cross, and I remembered Calvary. I stood in the crowd which crucified him, hating and despising him. With my own hands, I drove the nails into his hands and his feet, and with bursting energy, I flogged him and reviled him and spat with nauseated loathing. Now He should know what it felt like—to live in the creation He had made. Every breath brought from me the words: “Now You know! Now You know!” And then I saw something which made my heart stand still. I saw His face, and on it twisted every familiar agony of my own soul. “Now You know” became an awed whisper as I, motionless, watched His agony.

“Yes, now I know,” was the passionate and pain-filled reply. “Why else should I come?”

Stunned, I watched His eyes search desperately for the tiniest flicker of love in mine, and as we faced one another in the bleak and the cold, forsaken by God, frightened and derelict, we loved one another, and our pain became silent in the calm. [From that moment, I was inseparably bound to Christ.] Nothing can bind us closer than common dereliction, for nowhere else is companionship so longed for.

(11)

First statement: Then pushing up to exhale and talk, Jesus, says the first of seven statements from the cross. In three simple words, Jesus released the most powerful weapon in the arsenal of God:

But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Then they threw dice to divide his clothes. (Luke 23:34 NET)

Second statement: Jesus tells the believing thief that “today” they would be in Paradise together (Luke 23:39-43).

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) (Galatians 3:13 NET)

Jesus is made sin for us and all the curses, including all the plagues, come upon Him.

Darkness, the Ninth Plague upon Egypt descends upon Jesus (Yeshua). (Exodus 10:21-23) At noon darkness covers the land until 3:00 PM (Matthew 27:45. Mark 15:33. Luke 23:44 – sixth to the ninth hour of Jewish time).

In that day,” says the sovereign Lord, “I will make the sun set at noon, and make the earth dark in the middle of the day. (Amos 8:9 NET)
the sun will be changed to darkness... (Acts 2:20 a NET)

Satan unleashes the fullness of his evil demons and fallen angels (Psalms 22:12,13,16,20,21), the fullness of sin, and its consequences upon Jesus. He who has never sinned takes the full punishment for our sin (Isaiah 53:6). That is, Jesus who never had before experienced sin becomes one with our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and in a manner of speaking – the lamb becomes a serpent so that all who will look to His bearing away our sin will be saved (John 1:29. Numbers 21:9. John 3:14,15. 1 Peter 2:24. Hebrews 9:26-28). Recall the staff of Moses becoming a serpent and then swallowing up the serpents of the Egyptian magicians. (Exodus 7:10-13)

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14,15 NET)

No wonder Jesus asked God His Father, in the Orchard of the Olive Press (i.e, Gethsemane), three times if there was some other way than entering into the covenant of death and becoming sin (Matthew 26:39,42,44) (4). No, this was not the action of an insane person – merely the act of someone that was consumed by love for the race of man that He had created (John 3:16. Romans 5:8).

Third statement: In the final moments, while Jesus was hanging on the cross, He stops to ensure His mother would be cared for after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. He calls her a polite term for a female but not the customary greeting for a mother. However, He uses “mother” for her new relationship with John the Apostle. As the eldest son, it was His duty to ensure she would be provided for in his absence. (12) Consequently, Jesus pauses the plan of salvation long enough to ensure His mother would be cared for by John the Apostle He loved (John 13:34).

So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, "Woman, look, here is your son!" He then said to his disciple, "Look, here is your mother!" From that very time the disciple took her into his own home.  (John 19:26-27 NET)

Fourth statement: Jesus cries out with a loud voice – My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46. Mark 15:34). Jesus is actually quoting Psalms 22, but Satan does not realize this at that time. (5)

Fifth statement: Jesus cries out that He thirsts, the soldiers give him plain vinegar which He drank (Matthew 27:48. Mark 15:36. Luke 23:36. John 19:28-30). Jesus symbolically drinking the cup of God’s wrath for us sinners. Again, He had entered into our covenant with death that Adam made with Satan in the garden of Eden, thus becoming our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), our representative or mediator in this covenant of death to take all of our punishment.

Satan’s ears perked up. Has He finally broken under the weight of the suffering? Could it be that this one has sinned and God has abandoned Him? (Isaiah 53:4) Satan knew God does not forsake the righteous (Psalms 37:25), and yet He says He has been forsaken! Satan, blinded by greed at the thought of eliminating his most deadly foe, moves in for the kill!

The Death of the First Born, the Tenth Plague upon Egypt descends upon Yeshua (Jesus). (Exodus 11:4,5)

At 12:30 PM, instead of 3:00 PM due to it being the day before the High Sabbath of the Unleavened Bread, in the temple, a lamb was led up the ramp to the altar and bound there, killed, and offered as the daily afternoon burnt offering to the Lord (Numbers 28:3,4). (7)

Sixth statement: Jesus, with a loud voice like a trumpet blast, says, “It is finished” (6) (John 19:30. Psalms 22:31. Revelation 1:10).

At 3:00 PM on the 14th of Nisan, the Day of Passover (Numbers 28:16), in the temple, the Passover lamb was led up the ramp to the altar and bound there and killed. At the same time, the priest declares, “Father into your hands, I commit my spirit.” The paschal lamb is then offered as the Passover offering by the High Priest, who then declared to the people “it is finished,” followed by a threefold blast from the trumpets. (7) (13)

As the Sabbath approached (in this case, the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread), its commencement was announced by threefold blasts from the priests’ trumpets. The first three blasts were sounded when ‘one-third of the evening sacrifice service was over. When the priests sounded these three blasts of their trumpets for the first time, all business was to cease, and every kind of work to be stopped. (13)

Seventh statement: Jesus commits His Spirit to God (Luke 23:46. Psalms 31:5), bows His head, and breathes out His last breath (Matthew 27:50. Mark 15:37. Luke 23:46), thus laying down His life (John 15:13) by dying of a broken heart (Psalms 22:14). The mentioning of Jesus bowing His head means that He hung on the cross with His head held high up until the moment of death.

That is, Jesus gave His life for us at the Cross. There His blood was poured out on our behalf. When Jesus was crucified, they pierced Him in the side and out flowed blood and water. The water mixed with blood from His pierced side would prove that His heart had ruptured (John 19:34).

The blood represents a life given while the water represents a life received. (10)

Almost all things under the law were cleansed by blood (Hebrews 9:22); however, some were cleansed by water. Fitting that our Savior who loved the world would die of a broken heart for you and me! (Luke 19:41-44. John 3:16. Romans 5:8)  

Recall, since Jesus had never sinned, He could not be killed; however, He could voluntarily lay down His life. (John 10:17,18) Jesus always had authority over His life (John 10:15,17,18, John 15:13). However, He chose to be obedient to our Heavenly Father by voluntarily releasing His spirit and dying on the Cross (Luke 23:46). That is, Jesus was not obedient to death but rather to the point of death.

Our Passover Lamb (1) has been sacrificed.

Sequence of Events After Jesus Died and was Resurrected

Wednesday, Nisan 14, 31 A.D. (Jesus is Dead)
Now when evening had already come, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly regarded member of the council, who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for some time. When Pilate was informed by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. After Joseph bought a linen cloth and took down the body, he wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:42–46 NET)

Pilate is surprised at the early death of Jesus since death by crucifixion was slow, lasting two to three days. This slow death resulted from exhaustion due to no vital organs being injured during the crucifixion procedure. The Jews knew that it was a slow death, and that is why they requested the knees of all three to be broken so they could not push up to breathe and thus hasten their deaths. Consequentially, the two thieves had their legs broken with a heavy mallet to accelerate the suffocation process. However, Jesus was abnormally dead in six hours since His life was not taken from Him, but rather He willingly laid it down (John 10:17,18). Therefore, His legs were not broken, but rather His side was pierced, fulfilling prophecy (John 19:31-37)

Now there was a man named Joseph who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man. (He had not consented to their plan and action.) He was from the Judean town of Arimathea, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God.He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock, where no one had yet been buried. It was the day of preparation and the Sabbath was beginning. (Luke 23:50–54 NET)

Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb after sunset at approximately 7:00 P.M. when the High Sabbath of The Feast of Unleavened Bread was about to begin. The Rabbis called this time twilight, with the sun setting at 6:31 P.M (59) in Jerusalem at this time of year. The Rabbis would have declared it a night in the temple using various factors (e.g., three stars visible). Upon the declaration that it was night, it officially became the Sabbath, which would have been at approximately 7:30 P.M. (14)

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was placed. (Mark 15:47 NET)
The women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. (Luke 23:55 NET)

Mary Magdalen and Mary, the mother of Joses, noted where Jesus was laid to anoint His body after the Sabbaths.

Wednesday, Nisan 14, 31 A.D. (April 25, 31 AD) Lunar Eclipse (59)(60)

The Hebrew Calendar (1) is based on the Moon. Each month begins at the New Moon with calendars adjusted using “Leap Months,” specifically for Passover to occur during the month of Spring. We have learned that this “month of Spring” is then referred to as Nisan. (Deuteronomy 16:1 ) Again, Passover corresponds to the 14th day of Nisan. (Exodus 12:2) which places Passover at the full moon following the Spring Equinox. (59)

An Eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in line. A Lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is in the middle, and its shadow blocks out the Sun’s rays to the full Moon. (59) The part of the moon that has the Sun’s rays blocked turns slightly red, slightly “blood-colored.”

The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’(Acts 2:20,21 NET)

As the eclipse started after Astronomical twilight, there would have been a significant loss of light even though only a quarter of the Moon was totally immersed in the earth’s shadow. This on the night after our Jesus our Lord’s body was placed in the tomb and the moon turned to blood (at least a part of it did). (59)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2021-01-28-at-4.42.27-PM.png
EventTime
Moonrise 6:15 PM
Sunset6:31 PM
Penumbral Phase Started  8:02 PM
Partial Phase Start   9:17 PM
Maximum Eclipse 10:17 PM
Partial Phase End11:18 PM
Penumbral Phase End 12:32 AM
(59)
(60),(61)
Thursday, Nisan 15 (0th Day, Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)

The following day, Thursday is the first day of the “annual” High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a feast that lasts seven days (Numbers 28:16-18. John 19:31). No work is to be performed except that meals may be prepared, unlike the Weekly Sabbath when no work could be performed (Exodus 12:16).

The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:62–66 NET)

The Pharisees inferred this based on what Jesus had said to them and the Scribes, including the Apostles with Him, previously:

Then some of the experts in the law along with some Pharisees answered him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:38–40 NET)

In addition, during His three and a half years of ministry, Jesus had directly told His Apostles three times that He would be crucified and rise again after three days but they did not understand (Mark 8:31-33;9:30-32;10:32-34 cf. Mark 10:45).

Consequently, the chief priests and Pharisees convince Pilate to place a seal on Jesus’ tomb and to authorize guards to be placed at the tomb until the third day, meaning until Sunday morning. The phrase “after three days” is equivalent to the phrase “on the third day.” (38). Sunday morning started at sunrise for the Romans, which was approximately 5:20 AM at that time of year in Jerusalem.

Friday, Nisan 16 (1st Day, Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)

Friday is the Second Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread with no restriction on work.

When the [High] Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. (Mark 16:1 NET)
Then they [the women] returned and prepared aromatic spices and perfumes. Luke 23:56 a NET)

The women purchased spices and prepared them for anointing Jesus.

Saturday, Nisan 17 (2nd Day, Jesus’ Dead Body is in the Tomb)

Saturday is the “weekly” Sabbath. (Matthew 12:40) (5)

On the [Weekly] Sabbath they [the women] rested according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56 b NET)

After nearly three of the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (1) have elapsed, Jesus is resurrected (1) on Sunday immediately after twilight. This after the First Fruits of the Barley is harvested while on Saturday the Sabbath during twilight, approximately 7:00 P.M., with Sunset occurring at 6:31 P.M. and night at approximately 7:30 P.M. That is, Jesus is “the Firstfruit” of God the Father’s First Harvest!

Through the resurrection, Jesus is declared to be both God and Lord!

This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:2–4 NET)
For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living. (Romans 14:9 NET)

Jesus’ body was buried on Wednesday, Nisan 14 (Judaean Time), sometime between 3:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M.  Thursday is the zeroth day, Friday is the first day, Saturday is the second day, and Sunday is the third day when Jesus was resurrected (1) (Matthew 16:21;17:23;20:19. Luke 9:22;18:33;24:7,21;24:46. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Acts 10:34-41).

In the West are more accustomed to starting our counting with one; however, similar to scientific communities today, when this was written, they started the count with zero. The result is the third day of scripture would be what we would typically call day four by starting the count with one instead of zero—just a matter of perspective, NOT an error in scripture. An example of this from the scripture:

The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:62–66 NET)  

The tomb of Jesus was sealed, and the Roman guard was set on Thursday, the 15th of Nisan (Matthew 27:62-66). On Sunday morning, the 18th of Nisan, the guards were still present when angels appeared and rolled the stone away, breaking the Roman seal (Matthew 28:2-7) “on the third day” after “three days and nights” of guarding the tomb. (38) The intent was to keep the tomb sealed and guarded until after three days which is the third day in eastern culture. Again, it would be said to keep it guarded in western culture until day four since that ensures it was guarded for three days.

“The fact that “three days” is used by Hebrew idiom for any part of three days and three nights is not disputed; because that was the common way of reckoning, just as it was when used of years. Three or any number of years was used inclusively of any part of those years, as may be seen in the reckoning of the reigns of any of the kings of Israel and Judah. But, when the number of “nights” is stated as well as the number of “days”, then the expression ceases to be an idiom and becomes a literal statement of fact. Moreover, as the [Judaean] Hebrew day began at sunset the day was reckoned from one sunset to another, the “twelve hours in the day” (John 11:9) being reckoned from sunrise and the twelve hours of the night from sunset. An evening-morning was thus used for a whole day of twenty-four hours, as in the first chapter of Genesis. Hence the expression “a night and a day” in 2 Cor. 11:25 denotes a complete day (Gr. nuchthēmeron).” (39)

An example from John’s Gospel where the phrase “after three days” is the “third day” and what we would call “day four.”On the ___ DayAfter
___
Day(s)
On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’ I did not recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.” Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining—this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.” (John 1:29–34 NET)0th1
Again the next day John was standing there with two of his disciples. Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”When John’s two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Jesus turned around and saw them following and said to them, “What do you want?” So they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), “where are you staying?” Jesus answered, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. Now it was about four o’clock in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated, Christ). Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:35–42 NET)1st2
On the next day Jesus wanted to set out for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” (Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.) Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!”Jesus said to him, “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”He continued, “I tell all of you the solemn truth—you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:43–51 NET)2nd3
Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.”Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” (John 2:1–5 NET)3rd4

Jesus on day 4, or what they called the 3rd Day, which figuratively represented His resurrection day, serves the New Wine of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Think back to the number of days Lazarus (1) was dead before being raised by Jesus. Correct, 4 days! So, what day was that on? Correct, the 3rd Day! Lazarus’ death and resurrection was a type of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Now Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. But when the feast was over, as they were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Jesus were astonished at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” But he replied, "Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people. (Luke 2:41–52 NET)

When Jesus was twelve and remained in the Temple, what day did His mother and stepfather find Him? The answer is after three days or on what we would call Day 4 and what they would call the 3rd day. Jesus was figuratively “dead” to them for three days and found alive in the Temple on day 4 or on the 3rd day! They did not understand when He told them that He had to be in His Heavenly Father’s house after His death, burial, and resurrection to be presented as the First Fruit unto God the Father!!

Furthermore, Jesus stayed in the “heart of the Earth” for three days (John 11:9) and three nights (Matthew 12:38-40) and then was resurrected after these three twenty-four-hour days (Mark 8:31. John 2:19,21) (i.e., a total of seventy-two hours).

For simplicity of calculation, the days and nights are assumed to be equal increments of 12 hours each (John 11:9), as shown in the following example:

12 hour nights:

  • Wednesday 7:30 P.M. to Thursday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours)
  • Thursday 7:30 P.M. to Friday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours)
  • Friday 7:30 P.M. to Saturday 7:30 A.M. (12 hours).

12 hour days:

  • Thursday 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (12 hours)
  • Friday 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (12 hours)
  • Saturday 7:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (12 hours)

Again, the phrase “three days and three nights” and the phrase “on the third day” are fulfilled immediately after Saturday’s twilight, which is Sunday, Nisan 18.

Sunday, Nisan 18 (3rd Day, Jesus is Resurrected)
The LORD is alive! My protector is praiseworthy! The God who delivers me is exalted as king! (Psalm 18:46 NET)

Mary Magdalene and other women discover the Empty Tomb, Angels announce the Resurrection, they tell no one due to fear:

Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” (Matthew 28:1–7 NET)

The women had questions about who would roll the massive stone away; however, they had no questions about breaking the Roman seal or confronting the Roman Guards. Apparently, they were unaware of the seal and the guards on duty until Sunday morning at sunrise, which occurred at approximately 5:20 A.M at this time of year in Jerusalem.

Fortunately, Jesus was no longer in the sealed tomb, having been resurrected in His human body Sunday after twilight (which, of course, is before dawn on Sunday), and was looking out for the women.

Jesus, the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd arranged for the Guards to have a reason to leave as they arrived! That is, another severe Earthquake occurs as The Lord’s Angel (1) descends from Heaven and rolls the stone away from the entrance to the tomb, terrifying the guards, and then sits on that stone. This angel then greeted and comforted the women when they arrived.

And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre, (Matthew 28:1 YLT)

Note that Young’s Literal Translation provides the proper translation indicating that more than one Sabbath had transpired in these events.

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. They had been asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled back. Then as they went into the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:1–8 NET)
Now on the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb, taking the aromatic spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood beside them in dazzling attire. The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:1–7 NET)
Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. (John 20:1 NET)

The women remember Jesus’ words concerning His resurrection and with courage restored share this with the Eleven, Peter and John race to the empty tomb

So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:8 NET)
Then the women remembered his words, and when they returned from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. But these words seemed like pure nonsense to them, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth; then he went home, wondering what had happened. (Luke 24:8–12 NET)
So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.) So the disciples went back to their homes. (John 20:2–10 NET)

Jesus First appeared to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection:

But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary replied, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Because she thought he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni” (which means Teacher). Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her. (John 20:11–18 NET)

(I must pause as these are some of my favorite words in scripture and thanks to Jesus’ efforts can now be true once more for all that believe)

and God OUR Father! (John 20:15-18).

Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons. She went out and told those who were with him, while they were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. (Mark 16:9 NET)

Again, Jesus was resurrected and returned to His human body Sunday immediately after twilight, before He first appears to Mary Magdalene very early Sunday morning. He asks her not to touch Him, for He has not yet ascended to God His Father in Heaven. Why would Jesus command Mary Magdalene not to touch Him? Recall, the Hebrews could not touch the barley before the Feast of Firstfruits. (8) Once the one omer of barley sheaf was presented to God by the priest, the barley crop could be harvested for use. Therefore, typologically the one omer that was presented to God and offered on the altar represented Jesus our Firstfruit! (10) Since Jesus, our Great High Priest (1), was “the Firstfruits,” He must present Himself to God, His, and our Father, to be accepted as the Firstfruit of all that will be born again and this before anyone could touch Him (1).

But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” (Matthew 28:9,10 NET)

However, Mary Magdalene, Mary James’s mother, and Salome did touch His feet since they were already touching the soil (Mark 16:1 NET). At the Last Supper, Jesus had taught that when one was spiritually clean, there would only be a need to have their feet washed (John 13:10).

Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” (John 13:10 NET)

Jesus’ presentation to God occurred at approximately 9:00 A.M. on Sunday morning, even as the Firstfruit Barley flour mixed with oil, frankincense, and salt was being waved before God in the Jerusalem Temple. God the Father accepts Jesus as the Firstfruits of those that have fallen asleep and all He created (1 Corinthians 15:20. James 1:18)

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20 NET)

Jesus then appears to Peter (aka, Simon or Cephas (John 1:42)):

So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and those with them gathered together and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:33–34 NET)
For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3–5 NET)

Jesus then appeared to two of His disciples on the third day, Sunday, Nisan 18, on the Road to Emmaus:

Now that very day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. While they were talking and debating these things, Jesus himself approached and began to accompany them (but their eyes were kept from recognizing him). Then he said to them, “What are these matters you are discussing so intently as you walk along?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days?” He said to them, “What things?” “The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene,” they replied, “a man who, with his powerful deeds and words, proved to be a prophet before God and all the people; and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened. Furthermore, some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back and said they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.”So he said to them, “You foolish people—how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures. So they approached the village where they were going. He acted as though he wanted to go farther,but they urged him, “Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening and the day is almost done.” So he went in to stay with them. When he had taken his place at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Then he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?” So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and those with them gathered together and saying, “The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!”Then they told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
(Luke 24:13–35 NET)(cf. Mark 16:12,13)

Jesus for the first time appeared to the Apostles (i.e., all except Thomas and of course dead Judas Iscariot)

Jesus allowed Himself to be touched, indicating He had presented Himself to God the Father as “the Firstfruit” and was found worthy.

While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified, thinking they saw a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures,and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:36–49 NET)

Consequently, the harvest of Firstfruit souls into the Body of Christ could commence!

James, Jesus’ stepbrother, wrote that we are identified with Christ as our firstfruits:

All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:17–18 NET)

Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of the future resurrection of all believers. (10)

“I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming—and is now here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out—the ones who have done what is good to the resurrection resulting in life, and the ones who have done what is evil to the resurrection resulting in condemnation. (John 5:28–29 NET)
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26 NET)

Although most believers in Jesus have never heard of Feast of Firstfruits, they celebrate it as Resurrection Day or Easter (a less desirable name). (10) Realize, Jesus was resurrected early on Sunday, immediately after twilight; however, it was on 9 A.M. Sunday morning, the time when the Barley First Fruits were offered in the temple, that He was approved by God the Father as our Firstfruits. This approval initiated the harvest of souls into the Body of Christ, which was the mysterious purpose of Jesus’ ministry!

Again, until they harvested and offered the barley sheaf, or omer, in the temple, the rest of the crops were not deemed kosher (i.e., lawfully fit or acceptable). We read a great truth from the Apostle John: (10)

and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NET)

In a manner of speaking, we are now kosher because of what Christ has done on our behalf in fulfilling the Feast of Firstfruits to the very letter! The barley field became kosher or acceptable through the presentation of the first fruits to God at the temple. The barley in the field did nothing to become kosher. In the same way, we have been made acceptable to God by Jesus, our Firstfruits, when He presented Himself to God the Father. As the barley in the field did nothing to become kosher, likewise, we did nothing to become accepted except believe that, in Yeshua, it is so! (10)

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20 NET)

The question this verse raises is, “Since other people were resurrected before Yeshua (Jesus), both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, how is He the first-fruits?” The answer is that there are two types of resurrections. The first type is merely a restoration back to natural life (e.g., Lazurus (John 11:1-44)). This means that one would die again later. The second type of resurrection is true resurrection life when “mortality puts on immortality and corruption puts on incorruption,” and one is no longer subject to death (1 Corinthians 15:53,54). (11)

There is not in Scripture the faintest suggestion that the Resurrection was new evidence for something that had, in fact been always happening. The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe.… He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has opened. (XX)

While others have undergone the first type of resurrection in which they were restored back to natural life, the second type of resurrection has only been experienced by Yeshua (Jesus). Therefore, He is the first-fruits of that second type of resurrection. The term the first-fruits means “the first of more to come.” Since He was the first-fruits, this means there will be “more to come” later. Believers, should they die before the Rapture, will also be resurrected as He was; they are “the more to come.” (11)

For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. (1 Corinthians 15:21 NET)

The expression by man came death refers to Adam; by man came also the resurrection of the dead refers to Jesus. This verse gives one reason for the Incarnation: in order to provide life for all, He had to be able to die and then be resurrected after death. (11)

For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22 NET)

This is why He is the first-fruits. The word all includes believers and unbelievers who will someday be resurrected, although not for the same destiny.

But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. (1 Corinthians 15:23 NET)

The Greek word used here for “order” is tagma, which means “a military procession.” In a military procession, there is an order: the infantry, the cavalry, the battering rams. Each of these things has a certain place in the procession.

Recall, graves on Earth were opened by the earthquake at Jesus’ death. Many Old Covenant believers in the promised Yeshua, which were confined in Paradise (1), return to their bodies and are now resurrected! These believers are the fulfillment typologically of the harvested Firstfruits Barley harvested and made into sanctified barleycorn but not offered to God or sacrificed on the altar but rather given to the Priests (i.e., the other nine omers).

And tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had died were raised. (They came out of the tombs after his resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.) (Matthew 27:52–53 NET)

Those held captive in Paradise are temporarily returned to their bodies on Earth in preparation for moving Paradise (aka., The Garden of Eden (1) which contains the Tree of Life) back to Heaven (Matthew 27:52,53. Revelation 2:7;22:2,14) where it becomes an island in the waters of the river of Life (Revelation 22:1,2).

After Jesus’ approval as the Firstfruit, there was no longer needed a temporary holding place on Earth for those that die in Covenant with God; therefore, none is provided. Jesus has made a way to Heaven for all who die, believing in Him as Savior and Lord (John 14:6). Either we die believers and go to Heaven or die unbelievers and go to Hell (1) (John 3:16-18. John 16:7-11).

For he came out of prison to become king, even though he had been born poor in what would become his kingdom. (Ecclesiastes 4:14).  

Jesus leads the rescued hostages back to Paradise in Heaven (think of Paradise now as the point of entry for planet Heaven) (Ephesians 4:8,9). What a homecoming that must have been! Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, leads back the rescued “children” held in Paradise for thousands of Earth years back to God the Father!

For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? And in another place he says, “I will be his father and he will be my son.”But when he again brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him! ”And he says of the angels, “He makes his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,”but of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing.” And, “You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you continue. And they will all grow old like a garment, and like a robe you will fold them up and like a garment they will be changed, but you are the same and your years will never run out.” But to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation? Jesus then enters the Most Holy Place of the Temple of Heaven as our Great High Priest (1) (Hebrews 9:11-15. Revelation 12:5). Jesus, our living Mercy Seat (1) upon which His own blood was shed for our remission and forgiveness of sin, is now in the Most Holy Place. God the Father restores Jesus' right to use His power as God - which He was, is, and ever shall be - the eternal God that became Man (John 8:58. Hebrews 1:1-12). Glory! Actually, glory is the operative word, for that is what Jesus was asking His Heavenly Father for right before His arrest on the Mount of Olives. That is, He was praying for the restoration of the abilities that were rightfully His as God (John 17:1-5). 
Sunday, Nisan 25, 31 A.D.

Jesus appears for the second time to the Apostles, this time including Thomas:

Jesus’ Great High Priest Coronation Ceremony in Heaven lasted seven Earth days (Leviticus 8:33). Jesus, on the following Sunday, the eighth Earth day after His coronation ceremony, would return to Earth.

Jesus requests that Thomas touch His hands and side to believe in His resurrection (John 20:24-27) 

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!” Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.” Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24–29 NET) 

The parallel account by Mark:

Then he appeared to the eleven themselves, while they were eating, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him resurrected. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:14–15 NET)
Some Time Later Prior to Jesus’ Ascension

Jesus appears for the third time to the Apostles (only seven are present) and Peter is restored (1):

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. Now this is how he did so. Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael (who was from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of his were together. Simon Peter told them, “I am going fishing.” “We will go with you,” they replied. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you?” They replied, “No.” He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea. Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards. When they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire ready with a fish placed on it, and bread. Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you have just now caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three, but although there were so many, the net was not torn. “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.” Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.” (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. (This was the disciple who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest at the meal and asked, “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?”)So when Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours? You follow me!” So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours?”
 (John 21:1–23 NET)

Jesus also Appears simultaneously to 500 brothers and sisters in the Lord, the Apostle and Pastor James, all the other apostles other than the eleven.

Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:6,7 NET)

Thursday, Iyar 27, 31 A.D. (22)

The eleven Apostles go to Galilee where Jesus appears and gives the Great Commission:

So the eleven disciples went to Galilee to the mountain Jesus had designated. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20 NET)

Jesus Ascends to Heaven to be seated beside God His and our Father as our Great High Priest (1):

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19,20 NET)
Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. Now during the blessing he departed and was taken up into heaven.So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,and were continually in the temple courts blessing God. (Luke 24:50–53 NET)
I wrote the former account, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after he had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. To the same apostles also, after his suffering, he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day period and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God. While he was with them, he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me.For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” After he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:1–11 NET)
Some Time Later After Jesus’ Ascension

Jesus Appears to Paul:

Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, this is the way we preach and this is the way you believed. (1 Corinthians 15:8-11 NET)
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11–12 NET)
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? (1 Corinthians 9:1 NET)(cf Acts 9:1-22;22:1-21;26:1-18) 

The War on the Saints Commences

Satan realized he was the victim of the greatest sting operation of all time! He was defeated by the very crucifixion of Jesus he had instigated (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Archangel Michael then drives Satan and his unholy fallen angels back out of Heaven and back to the Earth for the second time (Revelation 12:7-9). No longer can Satan appear before God in Heaven to accuse us (Revelation 12:10). Furthermore, all that had been accused by Satan since the fall of mankind have now overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony for which they were willing to die (Revelation 12:11. Colossians 2:13-15. Hebrews 11:13. Hebrews 11:32-40). 

Satan also realizes his time is short and filled with anger intensifies his war (Revelation 12:12) on Israel (Revelation 12:13). Then some of the survivors of the Satan-inspired Roman destruction of Jerusalem on September 8, 70 AD (2) went to Masada (means Citadel), where they were protected from the Romans for three and a half years until it was destroyed by the Romans on March 31, 74 AD (2) (Revelation 12:14). Satan attempted to annihilate all of the Israelites; however, some hiding under the earth in tunnels (4) around Jerusalem escaped to be dispersed throughout the world while the Romans were focused on annihilating those living in Masada (Revelation 12:15,16). Satan then turned to make war on the Church (Revelation 12:17. Revelation 13:1-18. 1 Peter 5:8).

Application of the Feast of Firstfruits

Whereas the Feast of Unleavened Bread teaches us about separation, the Feast of Firstfruits teaches us about consecration. It teaches us about our resurrection with Jesus in our spirit as well as our future bodily resurrection. We are saved from our old life to live in the resurrected life of Messiah Jesus today. Putting off the old man is not enough. We must also put on the new man. After Paul told the Ephesian believers to put off the old man, he then said, (2)

“and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. (Ephesians 4:24 NET)

This new nature about which Paul is speaking is the very nature of God coming within us through the person of the Holy Spirit. We put on this new man by allowing the Holy Spirit to live the resurrected life of Jesus through us. Paul had this exchange of natures in mind when he wrote, (2)

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NET)

We who were dead in our trespasses and sins have been raised up with Jesus in our spirit-man to walk in newness of life. Paul summarized this process in his letter to the Galatians: (2)

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NET)

Paul underscored this understanding to the believers in Rome with these powerful words: (2)

So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:11–14 NET) 

The new man Paul keeps speaking of is simply the Lord Himself living in us through the person of the Holy Spirit, as we learn from these words from the Apostle Paul: (2)

But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16 NET)

When we walk in the Spirit, the character of Messiah Jesus will be the dominant force in our life. Paul refers to the character of Jesus as the “fruit of the Spirit,” which he describes with these words: (2)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22–23 NET)

When we live in the character of Messiah Jesus, we not only have peace with God, but we also enjoy the peace of God as expressed by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul: (2)

Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15 NET)

Many believers do not experience this divine blessing because they have never separated themselves from the things of the world and consecrated themselves to Jesus as Lord of their life. Again, James wrote that we who have put our trust in Jesus and have received His Spirit are a kind of firstfruits of God’s creatures: (2)

By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:18 NET)

He meant that we are the firstfruits of God’s creation to experience the new life that God has decreed for the earth and its inhabitants through the redeeming work of Jesus. In view of this, we present ourselves as a living wave offering to God to show that we belong to Him. (2)

But their [i.e., the Israelites] minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, (2 Corinthians 3:14,15 NET)

It was by God’s design that the activity of marking, gathering, and presenting the barley sheaf of Firstfruits coincided exactly with the death and resurrection of Christ. So, why do the Jews not see the parallel? Many might be blinded or hardened now,

For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25 NET)

But a day will come when they will see! (10)

“I will pour out on the kingship of David and the population of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look to me, the one they have pierced. They will lament for him as one laments for an only son, and there will be a bitter cry for him like the bitter cry for a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10 NET)
but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (2 Corinthians 3:16 NET)
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:26–27 NET) (cf. Isaiah 59:20,21. Isaiah 27:9. Jeremiah 31:33,34)
Scarlet (Red) Wool

In Hebrew, the word for red is “Adam” or “Edom.”  Adam, one of the words for “man” and literally means “red-blooded man.”  It is derived from the root word in Hebrew for blood:  “Dam.”  The wool comes from sheep and mankind is often likened to sheep in the Old and New Covenants.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd.(John 10:14–16 NET)

Consequently, wool dyed red represents the sins of mankind.

Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord. “Though your sins have stained you like the color red, you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 NET)
Feasts, Festivals, and Important Occasions of the Biblical Covenants Series:
– The Spring Festivals:
– Seven Church Conditions during the Times of the Gentiles:
– The Fall Festivals:
  • The Feasts of Israel – Trumpets
  • The Feasts of Israel – Atonement
  • The Feasts of Israel – Tabernacles
Biblical Typologies Series:


Shalom
(Peace, Wholeness, Success)

Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 
(3 John 1:2 NET)


(1) Select the link to open another article in a new tab with additional information.

(2) Booker, R. (2016). Celebrating jesus in the biblical feasts expanded edition: discovering their significance to you as a christian. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image.

(3) Edersheim, A. (1959). The Temple, its ministry and services as they were at the time of Jesus Christ. (p. 257-259). London: James Clarke & Co.

(4) Neusner, J. (1988). The Mishnah : A new translation (p. 748). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

8:2

  • A They do not bring [wheat for flour for the meal offering] either from a manured field or from an irrigated field or from a tree-planted field.
  • B But if they brought [wheat from these areas], it is valid.
  • C How does one do it?
  • D One broke up fresh ground in the first year, and in the second sows it seventy days before Passover,
  • E and it produces abundant flour.
  • F How does one examine it [the flour]?
  • G The [Temple] treasurer sticks his hand into it [the flour].
  • H [If] dust came up on it [his hand], it is invalid, until one will sift it [afresh].
  • I And if it had become maggoty, it is invalid.

(5) https://www.nehemiaswall.com/aviv-barley-in-the-biblical-calendar

(6)  Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 9, p. 398). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

(7)

(8) Josephus, F., & Whiston, W. (1987). The works of Josephus: complete and unabridged (p. 96). Peabody: Hendrickson.

(9) Norten, M. (2015). Unlocking the secrets of the feasts. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

(10) Publishing, R. (2011). Feasts of the Bible: Jewish Roots of Believers in Yeshua (Jesus). Torrance, CA: Rose Publishing.

(11) Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1983). The Messianic Bible Study Collection (Vol. 116, pp. 4,5,8). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.

(12) Neusner, J. (1988). The Mishnah : A new translation (p. 751). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
9:2 A. Seven liquid measures were in the sanctuary: (1) a hin twelve logs], and (2) a half-hin, and (3) a third-hin, and (4) a fourth-hin, (5) a log, and (6) half-log, and (7) a quarter-log.
9:3 H. Six [logs = a half-hin] [the drink offerings of] a bullock, four [logs = a third-hin] for a ram, three [logs = a quarter-hin] for a lamb, and three and a half for the lamp, a half-log for each light.

(13) Finegan, J. (1998). Handbook of Biblical Chronology (Revised Edition, p. 363, Table 179 The dates of Nisan 14 and 15 in A.D. 27-34 (2)). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.(

(14) Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 11, p. 591). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

(59) http://navsoft.com/html/___death_of_jesus.html

(60) https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE0001-0100.html

(61) https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCLEmap/0001-0100/LE0031-04-25P.gif

(I)  Neusner, J. (1988). The Mishnah : A new translation (p. 742). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

(II) Malda, B. D. (Ed.). (2015). Come and Worship: Ways to Worship from the Hebrew Scriptures (p. 62). Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books: a division of Messianic Jewish Publishers.

(III) Sklar, J. (2013). Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary. (D. G. Firth, Ed.) (Vol. 3, p. 101). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

(IV) Masterman, E. W. G. (1915). Barley. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 405). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.

(V) Balfour, J. H. (1885). The Plants of the Bible (p. 212). London; Edinburgh; New York: T. Nelson and Sons.

(VI) Eisenberg, R. L. (2004). The JPS guide to Jewish traditions (1st ed., p. 670). Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society.

(VII) Hannah, J. D. (1985). Exodus. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 153). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

(VIII) Easton, M. G. (1893). In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

 (IX) Singer, I. (Ed.). (1901–1906). In The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, 12 Volumes (Vol. 9, p. 568). New York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.

(X) Hamilton, M. W. (2000). Elevation Offering. In D. N. Freedman, A. C. Myers, & A. B. Beck (Eds.), Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (p. 392). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

(XI)  (2016). The Lexham Figurative Language of the New Testament Dataset. In J. R. Westbury, J. Thompson, K. A. Lyle, & J. Parks (Eds.), Lexham Figurative Language of the Bible Glossary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

(XII) Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 331). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

(XIII) Lindsey, F. D. (1985). Leviticus. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 177). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

(XIV) Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Vol. 19, p. 617). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

(XV) Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 143). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

(XVI) Wuest, K. S. (1961). The New Testament: an expanded translation (1 Co 5:6–8). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

(XVII) Thompson, J. A. (1974). Deuteronomy: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 5, p. 147). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

(XVIII) Keach, B. (1858). An Exposition of the Parables and Express Similitudes of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ(pp. 239–240). London: Aylott and Co.

(XIX) Beis Hamikdash Topics – Tour of the Temple: Class 10, The Altar

(XX) C. S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: HarperCollins, 1974), pp. 236–37. 

(XXI) Hall, K. D. (2000). Libation. In D. N. Freedman, A. C. Myers, & A. B. Beck (Eds.), Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (p. 807). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans. 

(XXII)  Rogers, A. (2017). Back to Bethel. In Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive (Ge 35). Signal Hill, CA: Rogers Family Trust.

Hal has been teaching the Bible for over three decades. Presently, He desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home.

Doulos Hal's Topical Index

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