Why Not Celebrate Firstfruits? 04/11/22
“Easter‐an annual Christian festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”‐Dictionary.com.
Church going people have celebrated the day of Easter since the 5th century. If you are one of many people who traditionally dress up and go to church on this special day, then you may be missing the point—what it means to celebrate Christs' Resurrection.
According to a poll taken back in 2010 by the Barna group, only 67% of adult Americans described Easter as a religious holiday. That 67% can further be broken down into age categories. Remember, our question is, how many call Easter a religious holiday? 66% for ages 64-plus ; 73%, ages 45 to 63; 66%, ages 26 to 44 and 58% for those between the ages of 18 to 25. Comparing these numbers, younger adults either are not learning from the pulpit the meaning of this “Christian” holiday, or they, due to pier pressure, have a differing view of Easter than previous generations.
However, that is only looking at Easter as a religious holiday. What does Easter mean to people? Besides being described as a Christian holiday, this day was also defined as “a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover—the Hebrews exodus from Egypt, a holy day, or a special time for church or worship attendance”. At this point, we have not even touched on why the church designated this holiday. Here is where the rubber meets the road, how many people would describe Easter as celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?—a whopping 42% of Americans. That poll was taken 12 years ago. It would be logical (and Biblical) to expect that percentage to be much lower today.
What does the Bible say about Easter? Actually, the word, Easter, is only mention one time in the King James Bible (Acts 12:4). Most translations read, Passover. So what is the difference? Quoting from the Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, “Easter is not a Christian name (in the sense that it is used today). It means, “Ishtar,” one of the titles of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, whose worship by the children of Israel was such an abomination in the sight of God. The decree for the observance of Easter and Lent was given in A.D.519. (Note, the day that is called Easter, should actually be called the “Feast of Firstfruits” -ref Lev 23:9-15. Jesus became the Firstfruits of them that sleep in the earth. He rose from the dead.)”
Since the Bible was mostly written by Jewish people, it is not unusual that they would use Jewish terms. Firstfruits is one of the seven Jewish feast days. (If you would like to learn more about the seven feast of Israel check out this link.)
On Passover, Jesus was crucified. He became our Passover (lamb). On Unleavened Bread Jesus was buried. On Firstfruits, Jesus was resurrected. He became the Firstfruits of them that died. Firstfruits also depicts the obedience of the law for tithing. As by the offering (or tithe) of the first fruit the whole fruit is sanctified, so by Christ which is the first that was raised, all have assurance of the resurrection‐ref 1 Cor 15:20. For if Christ was not raised from the dead, then all preaching is in vain, a Christian's faith is in vain—and if your faith is in vain—you are still in your sins. Therefore, we can see the importance of keeping in remembrance what Christ did for us on the cross. He not only bore our sins—He also made a way for us to escape Hell and the Lake of Fire—death.
How does all this relate to Bible Prophecy? In a very big way. It is written, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again (from the dead) , even so them also which sleep (or have passed away) in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep (already dead). For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (This is the Rapture—the two trumpet blast). Wherefore comfort one another with these words”‐2 Thes 4:14‐18.. If you would like to learn more about the Rapture, check out this link.)
As you can clearly see, Firstfruits is what the church should be celebrating—not Easter, which represents bunnies, hard boiled eggs and baskets of candy. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, should be a fundamental doctrine of the church. Again, if Christ did not rise from the dead, then what do you have faith in? Your faith is in vain. Christ, through His death destroyed him that had the power of death—that is the Devil‐ref Heb 2:14.
The book of Hebrews also gives Christian's several other warnings. Among them is that you must give diligent heed to the things (preaching of the Word of God) that you have heard, lest you allow them to slip away-ref Heb 2:1. That you take heed lest at any time there be in you and evil heart and unbelief to depart away from the living God-ref Heb 3:12. And, that you take care not to be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are only partakers of Christ if we hold fast to the end-ref Heb 3:13,14. Without faith it is impossible to please Him-ref Heb 11:6. Remember, we need to stand fast in faith nothing wavering-ref Heb 10:23. And faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen-Heb 11:1. And how do we get more faith—read, read, read and obey what we read. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God-Rm 10:17. You don't get to heaven because you say your a Christian or by how many good works you do. You get to heaven by walking in obedience to the Word of God and studying the Word. Many Christian's claim to have a good relationship with Jesus, they boost of their good works, even believe they are doing His will—but, the Bible says, mt 7:21-23. You will know them by their fruits—not their works. Works are an outward manifestation of your faith; however, if your works are not what works God has prepared for you from the foundation of the earth—then you are not doing God's will, but your own‐ref Rm 8:14. A good tree can not produce evil fruit and an evil tree can not produce good fruit‐ref Mt 7:18.
So consider, where would you be if Jesus had not humbled Himself and took upon Him the nature of man‐ref Isaiah 53:2‐4. What hope would you have if Jesus had not bore your sins on His back as He carried the cross on the long road to Golgotha? What peace would you have if Jesus had not rose from the dead—just like the Scriptures said He would do? Christians rejoice—there is much to give thanks for. And, if you do not know the peace that passes all understanding check out this link. May God bless your celebration of Firstfruits with a clearer understanding.
Kresge, Ted. “What Is the Connection...Mystery Babylon the Great?.” In The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy (The Latter Days) Vol 1, p 301 section 144-3C. St Petersburg, Florida: The Gospel Truth of St Petersburg, Inc, 1998.