Passover and the Feast of First Fruits
by Jerry Owens, Jr.
At the end of this month Christians around the world will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the week before Jews will be observing the Passover. What most Christians do not know is that these two “Holy-days” are related to each other.
God commanded the Jews to observe Passover when Moses brought them out of the land of Egypt. They were told that on the tenth of the month Nisan (falls in March or April) they were to take a lamb without spot or blemish (Ex 12:3-5). Of course to see if it was without spot or blemish they would have to examine it very closely. They kept the lamb until the fourteenth day of the month and then they would kill it in the evening (Ex 12:6). All of this was done as a memorial to remind them that the LORD passed over their houses in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians. The blood of the first Passover lamb placed on the door posts of their houses caused the Angel of the LORD to “pass over.”
Another “Holy-day” connected with Passover is the day of first fruits. First fruits always occurred on Sunday, being the first day of the week following Passover. On this day they would bring a sheaf of the first fruits of their harvest to the priest who would wave it before the LORD, to be accepted by Him (Lev 23:10,11).
Well, by now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with the resurrection of the Jesus or for that matter anything to do with Him. That is the exciting part. When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem it was on the tenth day of Nisan (LUK 19:37-40; JOH 12:12-15). This was the same day that the Jews chose the Passover lamb. The priests, the scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees then examined Jesus to determine if He was without spot and blemish. This was done by asking Him a series of questions (LUK 20). This examination proved that Jesus is the lamb that is without spot or blemish (1PE 1:19).
We are told in 1 COR 5:7 that, “The Christ our PASSOVER is sacrificed for us.” The sacrificing of a lamb on Passover was a foreshadowing of the death of the Messiah on our behalf. Just as the blood on the door posts of the house caused the Angel of the LORD to “pass-over” the Israelites, it is the blood of Jesus that has redeemed and cleansed us (HEB 9:14; 1PE 1:18,19).
how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14 NKJV)
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (I Peter 1:18, 19 NKJV)
Jesus said that He would “go up to Jerusalem and would be crucified” (MAT 20:18,19). This was fulfilled the same day that the Passover lamb was killed showing forever that Jesus is our Passover lamb. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead He became the “first fruits” (1CO 15:20,23). So not only did Jesus fulfill Passover to the very day but He fulfilled the day of first fruits to the very day. All of these Jewish “Holy-days” pointed to the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah Jesus our LORD.