Updated: Apr 3
Some Scriptural References: Exodus 13:1-2, 11-16; 23:19, 34:26; Leviticus 23:9-14,
The Feast of Firstfruits in Hebrew is called Yom HaBikkurim, Day of the Firstfruits, or just
HaBikkurim – The Firstfruits, or Bikkurim – Firstfruits.
As with all of the Appointed Times of Yahweh, Firstfruits was tied to the agricultural seasons of Israel and it took place during the harvesting of the barley crops.There was also the Chag HaBikkurim, Festival of Firstfruits, which is another name for Shavuot, and it was tied to the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. The firstfruits of both barley and wheat were waved to Yahweh and then they were eaten by the priests.
Firstfruits is celebrated in the spring and is usually included along with the celebration of Passover, but it is its own Appointed Time. Firstfruits falls within the 7 day Festival of Unleavened Bread. It is celebrated the day after the weekly Sabbath during the week of Passover. It is always on a Sunday on the Gregorian calendar.
Firstfruits (bikkurim) comes from the same root word as bekhor (firstborn), and to truly understand this time of Yahweh one must understand that all firstborn of man and animal belong to Yahweh. These two events, firstfruits of grain and firstborn of animal and man are tied together. Just as the firstfruits of the grain were to be brought to Yahweh, so also, the firstborn males of man and animal belonged to Yahweh. They were devoted to Him. You cannot understand one without the other.
During the Exodus Yahweh presented to Himself, by redemption, the firstborn of Israel. Historically, going all the way back to the beginning, the firstborn males were the priests of Yahweh. However, after the sin of the golden calf at Mt. Sinai, the firstborn did not step up to the plate and the firstborn order of priests was replaced by the Levitical order of priests. The Levites stepped up to the plate with Moses. See Exodus 32:25-26 and Numbers 3:40-51. However, we see in Numbers that Yahweh did not give up His sovereign rights to the firstborn. The firstborn had to be redeemed.
In scripture both Old and New Testaments, it is recorded that Yeshua was of the order of Melchizedek. Yeshua could never be a priest after the order of Levites, because He did not come from Aaron. However, being a firstborn, He belonged to Yahweh. Notice, that in the gospels we are told of Mary's coming to the temple to make sacrifice for the birth of a child and to make redemption for Yeshua, the firstborn, as commanded by Torah. (Luke 2:22-24) Yeshua re-established the better priesthood, the first priesthood, the firstborn priesthood. The book of Hebrews, although misunderstood by most Christians, establishes this fact very plainly. In Hebrews 12:22-23 it states that we have come to the “general assembly and church of the firstborn” (KJV). Hence, everyone born again through the blood of Yeshua can now claim to be priests to Him through the original order of priesthood, the firstborn priesthood of Melchizedek. That is also why the scripture proclaims that we will be to Him, a “kingdom of priests”.
The Feast of Firstfruits also represents the “firstfruits” of the resurrection. Yeshua was the firstfruits of the resurrection. The fields could not be harvested until the firstfruits were given to Yahweh. If the firstfruits were not holy or set-apart to Yahweh then none of the field was blessed, nor were they to be reaped.
Likewise, Yeshua was our firstfruits. He resurrected first! He was accepted by Yahweh as a holy and set-apart offering.
Yeshua arose from the grave on Firstfruits! Praise HIS HOLY NAME! He would have arisen just as the day was changing to the first day of the week (our Sunday) or soon thereafter. Firstfruits is always on a Sunday on our Gregorian calendar. This would have been the “third day”.
The Feast of Firstfruits is so extraordinary that many, many lessons would not do it justice!
I hope this has shed some light on the subject. Shalom!