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He Is Arisen...Exactly On Time!

As Jesus made His entry to Jerusalem right on time as prophesied in Daniel, so His death, burial and resurrection occurred just exactly as GOD planned.right on time! Jesus was crucified and died on Passover.  He was buried before the Sabbath (Saturday) that occurred during that Passover.  The day following the Sabbath (Sunday) during Passover is called the Feast of First Fruits.  The day was the seventeenth of Nisan, on the Jewish calendar.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.  And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.  And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savor: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.  And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
 Leviticus 23:9-14

During the time of the year that the Feast of First Fruits was celebrated, each year, the standing ripe harvest of barley was in the fields and was ready to be reaped.  Observance of the Feast of First Fruits was carried out in a particular manner. The celebrant would take one sheaf from the standing harvest and bring it to the priest. The lone sheaf was called "the sheaf of the first fruits." The priest was then to take this one sheaf and wave it before the LORD in His house, the temple. This was to be done "the day after the sabbath." Prescribed offerings were also to be presented along with the sheaf.

As seen in the scripture above, GOD commanded the people to bring a sheaf of the harvest.  Three times a year GOD commanded the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, respectively. All three of these festivals are agricultural harvest festivals. Passover is the barley harvest. Pentecost is the wheat harvest. Both of these festivals are first fruits harvests before the final harvest that was to come at the end of the year during the festival of Tabernacles , which is the fruit harvest.

Allegorically, the harvest represents all who would put their faith, trust, and confidence in Jesus.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Matthew 16:36-43

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  Revelation 14:14-16

The sheaf is the first of the first fruits. Since a sheaf in the Bible is used to typify a person or persons a sheaf spiritually represents people who accept Jesus into their hearts. The nation of Israel was familiar with the concept of first fruits or the firstborn. The first fruits were always the choicest, the foremost, the first, the best, the preeminent of all that was to follow. They were holy to the LORD. The concept of first fruits or firstborn is a major theme in the Bible.

The theme of the festival of First Fruits is resurrection and salvation. A most interesting fact is that several important events, recorded in Jewish history, happened on this day, the seventeenth of Nisan.  All these events are examples, in some way of resurrection or salvation, or both!

Noah's ark came to rest on Mount Ararat in the seventh month (Nisan) of the civil calendar on the seventeenth day of that month. (the seventh month of civil calendar is equivalent to the first month of the religious calendar of the Jews).  On that day the earth started anew.  Noah had been saved from the flood that covered the earth.

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.  Genesis 8:4

Israel crossed the Red Sea, ahead of Pharaoh's army on the seventeenth of Nisan.   After a remarkable series of plagues inflicted on Egypt because of Pharaoh's continued stubbornness, the children of Israel were finally released to leave Egypt laden with the riches of the Egyptians. The children of Israel came to the banks of the Red Sea on the seventeenth day of Nisan, which is three days after the day of Passover in the first month of the religious calendar. The Passover Lamb, of that first Passover was slain on the fourteenth of Nisan and the people left Egypt before midnight in the evening of the fifteenth after the death angel struck the firstborn of Egypt. When Pharaoh saw that the children of Israel were trapped against the sea, he foolishly decided to pursue them with his army. The children of Israel became afraid, but Moses rose up and encouraged the people to trust in the LORD and see His salvation.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  Exodus 14:13

The sea then divided and the children of Israel crossed the floor of the Red Sea on dry ground while the Egyptian army, along with Pharaoh, pursued the Hebrews into the Red Sea and were drowned. The account in Exodus pronounces that the LORD's right hand destroyed the Egyptians. The right hand is a term for the Messiah.  (See Exodus chapters twelve through fifteen as a starting point for all the details).  On that day the Jews were miraculously saved from Pharaoh and his army.

Israel ate the first fruits of the Promised Land on the Seventeenth of Nisan. The manna that GOD gave from heaven during the days in the wilderness ceased the sixteenth day of Nisan after the people ate of the old corn of the land. The day following was the seventeenth of Nisan, the day when the children of Israel ate the first fruits of the Promised Land.  On that day the Jews tenure in the Promised Land was about to be resurrected.

And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.  And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.  And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.  Joshua 5:10-12

Haman, while trying to exterminate the Jews, is defeated on the seventeenth of Nisan. Haman plotted to kill all the Jews in Persia and Media. A decree was sent out on the thirteenth of Nisan that all the Jews would be killed.

Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.  Esther 3:12

Upon hearing this dire news, Esther proclaimed a three-day fast, which therefore would be Nisan 14-16.  On the sixteenth of Nisan, Esther risked her life when she came to King Ahasuerus. The king asked her, in effect, "Tell me, what do you want?" Esther replied, "If it please the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him". This was still the sixteenth day of Nisan. At the banquet, the king again asked Esther what she wanted, and she asked the king to come to another banquet to be held the next day, the seventeenth of Nisan. On this day, Haman's evil was made known to all, through Esther; he was defeated and was hanged on his own gallows as described in the book of Esther.  On that day the Jewish people were saved from certain destruction.

The resurrection of Jesus , as seen above occurred on the seventeenth of Nisan.  Jesus, that day, literally celebrated the festival of First Fruits by offering Himself as the first fruits to all future generations.  On that day Jesus was resurrected and we were saved from sin and death.

GOD not only provided salvation for us through His Son, Jesus, but he emphasized the fact over and over through the centuries.  Important historical facts related to resurrection and salvation happened on the exact day of the year that Jesus rose from the dead.  GOD has made the seventeenth of Nisan a day for us, as an example. It is an example that can be remembered each Resurrection Sunday, for the rest of time.  GOD is always on time.  Are other days in the calendar examples of other truths God has somehow emphasized for us?  That might be something to search out in scripture!  It is certainly something on which to meditate.

Jesus is the First Fruit of harvest.  Jesus is the first of many things.  How many "firsts" regarding Jesus are shown in scripture?  It can be seen that Jesus is the first of at least eight other things as seen below:

First, Jesus is the first born of Mary.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.  Matthew 1:23-25

Second, Jesus is the first born of many brethren.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Romans 8:29

Third, Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrected ones.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.  1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Fourth, Jesus is the first born of every creature.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  Colossians 1:13-15

Fifth, Jesus is the preeminent (greatest) one.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Colossians 1:18

Sixth, Jesus is the first begotten of GOD the Father.

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.  Hebrews 1:4-6

Seventh, Jesus is the first begotten from the dead.

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  Revelation 1:5

Eighth, Jesus is the beginning of the creation of GOD.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  Revelation 3:14

Jesus is indeed the Most Holy One of GOD.  Jesus is the first, the choicest, the preeminent One. He is the firstborn of GOD and the first fruits unto GOD. Jesus is the sheaf of the first fruits.  Thank GOD for Jesus Christ!  Make Him first in your life!  Think about it!  Meditate on it!  His tomb is empty.  He is real.  He is alive right this second.  He is coming again.  Soon.  Very soon.

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed!!!!. The choice is yours!! 
Hebraic Heritage Ministries International,
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