Before the Israelites entered the promised land, God added another ritual to observe during the days of Unleavened Bread. When they left Egypt, there was no harvesting of crops, they were only concerned with escaping with their lives. God wanted the Israelites to be thankful for all they had and to remember who provided it, as they entered the promised land. Giving them an object lesson tied to the first ripe barley, God instituted the First Fruits ceremony. Taking place on the day after the first annual Sabbath day of Unleavened Bread, the waving of the sheaf of grain celebrates the smaller first early harvest of the year.
Leviticus 23:9-14 New Living Translation
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you enter the land I am giving you and you harvest its first crops, bring the priest a bundle of grain from the first cutting of your grain harvest. 11 On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf. 12 On that same day you must sacrifice a one-year-old male lamb with no defects as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 With it you must present a grain offering consisting of four quarts of choice flour moistened with olive oil. It will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. You must also offer one quart of wine as a liquid offering. 14 Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until you bring this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live.
First Fruits demonstrates God’s love for us by not only replenishing our food, but also restoring our lives. This ceremony reflects that Jesus is the ‘first born of many brethren’ to be resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus illustrates what is possible and gives a glimpse of what God has in store for those who love him.
Romans 8:28-30 Contemporary English Version
28 We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, 29 and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. 30 God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them.
Some will be brought back to life, just as Jesus was brought back from the dead with new glorified bodies. Who is resurrected from the dead into glorified eternal bodies?
Philippians 3:20-21 Good News Translation
21 He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.