By Bob Barney. APRIL 10th is the FEAST of FIRST FRUITS!
One of the most obscure holidays in the Bible is the one called "First-fruits." Confusion concerning this day is that the celebration of Pentecost is also referred to as first-fruits in scripture, but a careful reading of scripture shows us that the actual Feast of First-Fruits occurs directly after Passover, and it is the day that one starts county 50 days until the arrival of Pentecost, called counter the Omer. However the actual date that First-fruits falls on is another, in a long line of mistakes often followed by God's Church. Because Christ rose from the dead after 3 days, most agree that the date of First-Fruits is Abib 16th. There are several problems with that date however. First Christ did not raise from the dead on Abib 16th, but rather the 18th day of the first month. Christ died on a Wednesday, the 15th day of the month. Thursday, the 16th, he was dead, and so Friday the 17th. He rose late Saturday night on the 18th of the first month (See are article on God's Calendar).
Over the years, the above statements by myself has received the most objection. Most want to place First-Fruits within the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and on the day Jesus rose from the dead. It could not be so, and here is the Bible verse which makes it doubtful: " From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. 18 Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.19 Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering[c] and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20 The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the first-fruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. 21 On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live."
Reading Leviticus 23 can be confusing, as some read the above verse as pertaining to Pentecost, however, verse 20 makes it quite clear that the two loaves with YEAST happens on First-Fruits. Since we can not consume bread with yeast during unleavened bread, it makes sense that this day must be after the days of unleavened bread. The Sabbath could be the Saturday Sabbath, but most likely it is the High Sabbath that occurs on the last day of Passover Week. Making the twenty second the date of First-Fruits.
Although it may make sense that Jesus rising from the dead seems to be First-Fruits, possibly there is something different in it's meaning. I think the clue to this is what Jesus told Mary in John chapter 20. After Jesus has left the tomb, He appears to Mary. At first she does not recognize him. When she does, she apparently grabs and hugs him in excitement. Jesus says to her, " Do not hang on to me, for I have not ascended to My Father..." What could that possibly mean? This passage has given rise to a variety of interpretations. Jesus required Thomas to touch him John 20:27, and it has been difficult to ascertain why he forbade this now to Mary. It seems likely that the Feast of First-Fruits IS NOT symbolizing the day Jesus rose from the dead, but the day Jesus presented his Blood in Heaven to the father the day after Passover week.
Although He told Mary he had not yet ascended to the Father (John 20:17), which is First-Fruits, His blood was to be offered on the mercy seat (Hebrews 8:3-6) in the Heavenly Temple on the Day of First-Fruits. Eight days later (and after First-Fruits), He appeared to Thomas and the other disciples after this had happened which is why he said peace (Shalom) to them and allowed him to feel his wounds and hold on to Him as proof (John 20:19). So, it is MY OPINION (not scripture friends) that on the Day of First-Fruits (TODAY, the twenty-second day of the first month of Abib, He had made peace for us by His blood to our Father in Heaven. (Colossians 1:19-20). Today, not on the day of His resurrection, Christ became our First-Fruits! 1 Corinthians 15:20..." But now Christ is risen from the dead, and became the firstfruits of those who slept."