Week of Monday, April 11-Sunday, April 17
Guaranteed – Man as Instructor
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there.” – Deut. 26:1-2
“I guarantee it!” You probably remember George Zimmer and his famous slogan, one of the most effective in television advertising history. Zimmer rode his promise to lead Men’s Wearhouse to amazing success as a retail giant, guaranteeing that you would “like the way you look.” Well, the Feast of First Fruits was God’s: “I guarantee it” to his people regarding the rest of the harvest.
The Feast of First Fruits, outlined by the Lord back in Leviticus 23:9-14, was a carefully prescribed and meticulous ceremony. The first sheaf (first fruits) of the barley harvest was cut, and the priest would wave it before the Lord for acceptance. There were also to be accompanying sacrifices.
Here in Deuteronomy 26:1-11, we are given the order of the worship for the ceremony, even the actual wording of the thanksgiving prayer to God. The worshipper was to recite a testimony that starts with Abraham, then recounts their time in Egypt, the mighty acts of God in the Exodus, and their arrival in the Promised Land, a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Then the worshipper was to say: “And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me” (v. 10). Then he was to make the offering and worship and “rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house…” (v. 11).
The First Fruits offering was all about acknowledging God’s faithfulness to provide for the necessities of life. The Lord’s acceptance of the First Fruits offering was an “earnest,” or pledge, on His part of a full harvest. Essentially, the first fruits were God’s promise, God’s guarantee of what was coming. So how can all of this detail about an Old Testament feast be used by men in our role as Instructors? How is it relevant for New Testament followers of Jesus?
All of these Old Testament Feasts contain pictures, types, and prophecies of Jesus. First of all, Christ died on Passover, Nisan 14 on the Jewish calendar. When the Passover lambs were being sacrificed, Jesus was being sacrificed for our sins on the cross. That’s why Paul proclaimed: “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7). Then his dead body was taken from the cross, placed in the tomb, and laid to rest during the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which began on Nisan 15, which required the removal of all leaven, a symbol of sin. Christ’s sacrifice was honored by God because it was pure and sinless (without leaven). However, praise God that Christ did not remain in that tomb! He was raised in triumph from the dead three days later. The date was Nisan 16, which was the very day of the First Fruits offering.
The Apostle Paul picked up the imagery of the Feast of First Fruits in his first letter to the Corinthian church and declared that Christ is the fulfillment: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). Apparently, some of the Corinthians were doubting the resurrection. So, Paul used this Jewish Feast to reinforce the certainty of the resurrection. Just as the “first fruits” provides the prophetic promise that the first sheaf of the anticipated grain harvest will be followed by the rest of the sheaves, Christ as the first fruits of those raised from the dead is the sure promise for all those who belong to him that we will also share in his resurrection. It is inevitable—guaranteed by God himself. And that should lead us to “rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house…” (Deut. 26:11).

  • Have you ever questioned this whole belief in the resurrection of the dead like the Corinthians did? How can Paul’s comparison of Christ’s resurrection to the “first fruits” give you confidence in your resurrection?
  • How can you take these Old Testament truths and apply them to their New Testament fulfillments and communicate them to your family?
  • Ask God to help you communicate these profound truths in your role as instructor.