Read 1 Corinthians 15 at Bible Gateway.
This was originally posted in 2010, but so important for today’s study of 1 Cor 15, because this weekend, on Sunday, we will be celebrating the harvest feast of Pentecost or Shavuot:
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.” 1 Cor 15:20-24
The resurrection of Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrections to follow (vs. 20-22). The resurrection of Jesus happened to take place on the very day of the Feast of Firstfruits as well, and this was not by accident. The LORD’s annual feast cycle is prophetic and reveals the Messiah. There are three harvest festivals included in the annual cycle (Lev 23):
1) Firstfruits – spring festival celebrating the barley harvest, the first crop to be harvested in the agricultural year (Lev 23:9-14);
2) Shavuot, Weeks, or Pentecost – summer festival celebrating the wheat harvest (Lev 23:15-22);
3) Tabernacles – fall festival celebrating the fruits harvest, the final crop to be harvested in the agricultural year (Lev 23:33-41).
We know that Jesus compares salvation, being restored to Father God in resurrection life, to a harvest (Joh 4:35, Rev 14:15). So I believe the harvest festivals prophesy of salvation and resurrection. The first is Firstfruits: Jesus was raised from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits, and likewise He is the firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead.
The second is Weeks or Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew). The Holy Spirit was given to the ekklesia on the Feast of Pentecost (Act 2:1-4). This event has to do with harvest and resurrection, or restoration to life from death, because in Messiah all shall be made alive, and through the witness of the ekklesia, powered by the Holy Spirit, many have been and are being made alive in Messiah.
We were made alive in Him (Col 2:13) on the day that we were made a new creation by the indwelling of His Spirit (2 Cor 5:17)! It is a spiritual resurrection, a down payment, that will be consummated with a physical resurrection in which death, even the death of the physical body, will be swallowed up in victory (Eph 1:13-14)!
The third is the Feast of Tabernacles, which Messiah will fulfill at His coming. At His coming, the final resurrection of His Body (us, who are the Body of Messiah) will take place. This final harvest will be great indeed. First of all, I believe that we are in the midst of a great revival that is sweeping the earth in preparation for His coming. The fields that are white unto harvest, are being harvested, i.e. many are coming to salvation in every continent. This follows the pattern established in Scripture: for a great revival of repentance at the preaching of John the Baptist occurred to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus’ coming in His first advent, also.
But then on the day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the resurrection of the physical Body of Messiah shall take place: for those who have fallen asleep (died) in Christ: they will be raised bodily from the dead, as He was. The graves all over the earth will open! For those who are still alive in the body at His coming: they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, from corruption to incorruption; from mortal to immortal (vs. 51-53)!
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
For further reading:
1 corinthians 15, the centrality of the resurrection (2011)