Biblically speaking, historically, in the Land, this was the day of waving of the firstfruits barley harvest celebration. It always falls INSIDE the eight days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Note: the Hebrew word that we read as Feast isn’t referring to food and drink, but to divine appointments with His people on Earth.)
What is so fantastic about this feast day, first, is the timing. Some Biblical scholars think that ON this day of Firstfuits, three historic events are layered—that it was the exact date that Noah’s ark was finally delivered out of the flood (came to rest), that the Israelites finally were delivered (came up on the far side of the Red Sea), and the actual date when the Messiah ascended briefly to the Father (and then He returned to earth for 40 days of proof and ministry of His resurrection; John 20:17). All three events, that are tied to this day (Noah’s Ark resting on Ararat, the People coming up out of the Red Sea, and the Ascension) involve going up.
When we take our first history (His-story) class in the Millennium, I daresay the room will be filled with gasps of joy when we find out the uncanny PRECISION of all that the Creator did during this earth-walk.
[Note: Gretchen, a friend of mine, wrote me that the following five other events, in addition to those three, are thought to have occurred on the day of First Fruits:
- the Hebrews entered Egypt, 430 years before Moshe/Moses delivered them (Exodus 12:40-41);
- Israel entered the Promised Land and ate the fruits thereof (Joshua 5:10-12);
- the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 5:13);
- King Hezekiah cleansed the Temple 800 years (the number 8 is significant, representing new beginnings) after entering the Promised Land (2 Chronicles 29:1-28); and
- Queen Esther saved the Hebrews from elimination (Esther 3:12; 5:1).
My friend observed, “The odds of all these events happening on the same day of the Hebrew year are one in 783,864,876,960,000,000—yes, 783 quadrillion! Do you think the Heavenly Father’s appointed times just might be important?!?”]
And secondly, we find that the Feast of Unleavened Bread becomes the supreme object lesson on righteousness—trying to get the leaven out of the house (sin out of our lives). We get the big obvious things out of our lives on the first day, no problem, we easily get rid of the packages of yeast, bread, etc., but much to our surprise we continue to find other products with leaven in them, hidden things progressively through the week, sometimes even throwing out a wee bit of leaven, crumb, on the last day, the eighth day. After years of doing this feast day we have never found it all (gotten it all out) yet. This divine extrication, surgery, rooting out of sin, becomes a FEAST DAY, a cause of celebration, because we find that we agree with the surgery and love the results. Oh, bring on perfection of the soul!!! We do hunger and thirst for righteousness—His!!! His parties are the best!
Another tight point: the historical events that are tied to the day of FirstFruits have as a common characteristic that they were deliverances through the agency of another. They were passive events for us, but grand initiations from the Father. The only thing the people had to do was BE there. They didn’t have to orchestrate any of their deliverance in all three cases.
What a wonder, just trying to plumb a little bit of the depths of the Lord’s great acts, practices, happenings, feasts, appointments, statutes. Whew! No doubt, we shall be marveling at them through eternity.