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The Wave Sheaf Offering A Ceremony Foreshadowing Salvation

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The agricultural cycle of ancient Israel revolved around two harvests, one in the spring and the other in the autumn. Before any grain could be harvested in the spring, an unusual ceremony took place to inaugurate the spring harvest season.

This ceremony was the waving of the first sheaf of grain to be accepted by God. Instructions for this ceremony are detailed in Leviticus 23:10-14 Leviticus 23:10-14 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest: 11 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. 12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering to your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
American King James Version×
. No one was to eat any of the grain of the harvest until the first sheaf of the harvest was brought to the priest, who in turn waved it before God.

What was the significance of this ceremony?

Jesus Christ “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”

This first sheaf of grain was called the “firstfruits” (Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:10Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:
American King James Version×
). It was the firstfruits of the barley harvest, the first part of the grain harvest. Thousands of years later, we find the same term used again in the Bible-describing Jesus Christ! “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
American King James Version×
, author's emphasis throughout).

We also find that Jesus Christ is called “the firstborn over all creation” and “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:15-18 Colossians 1:15-18 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 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.
American King James Version×
). The apostle Paul said that Christ was prophesied to be “the first to rise from the dead” (Acts 26:23 Acts 26:23That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.
American King James Version×
).

What is the connection between the first grain offering, called the firstfruits, and Jesus Christ, the firstfruits and firstborn from the dead?

This understanding is tied in with the symbolism of the two harvests mentioned earlier and the Feast of Pentecost, observed at the conclusion of 50 days that began with the day of the wave-sheaf offering. On Pentecost, two loaves were offered from the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, which followed several weeks after the barley harvest.

For a fuller understanding of the symbolism of the two harvest periods, be sure to read “The Lesson of the Feast of Firstfruits “. The article shows that, just as there were two periods of physical harvesting in ancient Israel, so there would be two periods of spiritual harvesting in God's great plan for the salvation of humanity. This astounding truth is shown through the symbolism of the Feast of Pentecost.

Meanings of Pentecost

Pentecost has several meanings, each significant in its own right. The word Pentecost means “fiftieth (day).” In the Old Testament, this festival was known as the Feast of Weeks (seven complete weeks plus one day, Leviticus 23:15-17 Leviticus 23:15-17 15 And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD. 17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.
American King James Version×
; Deuteronomy 16:10 Deuteronomy 16:10And you shall keep the feast of weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give to the LORD your God, according as the LORD your God has blessed you:
American King James Version×
, Deuteronomy 16:16 Deuteronomy 16:16Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
American King James Version×
). It was also called the Feast of Harvest or Firstfruits (Exodus 23:16 Exodus 23:16And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field.
American King James Version×
; Exodus 34:22 Exodus 34:22And you shall observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
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).

The word firstfruits suggests an initial harvest that will be followed by another harvest. The firstfruits of the wheat harvest are preceded by the wave-sheaf offering of the earlier-ripening barley harvest. The wave sheaf is symbolic of Jesus Christ.

Pentecost is an annual reminder of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church (Acts 2:1-4 Acts 2:1-4 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
American King James Version×
). However, the festival holds even more significance. A clear understanding of the events leading up to the Feast of Pentecost makes its importance much more clear.

Pentecost deals directly with our salvation, our ability to follow Christ's example through the power of God's Holy Spirit and our capacity for understanding God's spiritual truth through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
American King James Version×
).

None of this understanding is possible without the fulfillment of the wave-sheaf offering: Jesus Christ's acceptance by God the Father.

Wave-sheaf offering a forerunner

The wave-sheaf offering was the forerunner of an additional offering brought later, on the Feast of Pentecost. On Pentecost, two loaves of bread, “the firstfruits to the LORD,” were offered (Leviticus 23:16 Leviticus 23:16Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.
American King James Version×
, 17).

As the wave-sheaf offering represented Jesus Christ, so did these loaves represent God's spiritual firstfruits, those who are called and faithfully obey God in this life (Romans 8:24 Romans 8:24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
American King James Version×
; James 1:18 James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
American King James Version×
). As the wave-sheaf offering was the necessary forerunner of the Pentecost offering, so was Jesus Christ the necessary forerunner of God's people, who are His spiritual firstfruits.

These symbols demonstrate how God's Holy Days relate to each other and are designed to convey the interdependence of the events in God's plan for humanity.

For example, Passover is the first of God's annual festivals (Leviticus 23:5 Leviticus 23:5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover.
American King James Version×
). God's plan for the salvation of mankind is built upon the death of Jesus Christ our Passover(1 Corinthians 5:7 1 Corinthians 5:7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
American King James Version×
), as the atoning sacrifice for humanity (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
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). Christians cannot attain to everlasting life without Christ's sacrifice, which reconciles us to God.

The wave sheaf, offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6-11 Leviticus 23:6-11 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein. 9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest: 11 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.
American King James Version×
), portrays a resurrected Jesus now serving as our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14 Hebrews 4:14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
American King James Version×
). Without the prior sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of Pentecost-the calling and salvation of the firstfruits, those in God's Church-could not occur.

Christ's return to the Father

Let's notice a few scriptures that demonstrate these points.

The Israelites' harvest season could not begin until the wave-sheaf offering was made to and accepted by God. In like manner, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on humanity until after Jesus returned to the Father (Acts 1:1-8 Acts 1:1-8 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. 8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
American King James Version×
; Acts 2:1-4 Acts 2:1-4 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
American King James Version×
). Jesus Christ Himself had told His followers that He had to leave before the Holy Spirit could come to them (John 16:5-14 John 16:5-14 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asks me, Where go you? 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.
American King James Version×
).

Even after His resurrection, Jesus Christ had to tell His followers not to touch Him until after He had gone to His Father (John 20:17 John 20:17Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
American King James Version×
). Only after Jesus had risen to the Father and returned to them again were they allowed to touch Him (John 20:19 John 20:19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.
American King James Version×
, John 20:26 John 20:26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.
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, John 20:27 John 20:27Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
American King James Version×
).

Notice the apostle Paul's depiction of Christ, our resurrected wave-sheaf offering: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4 Colossians 3:1-4 1 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.
American King James Version×
).

Paul reveals that our Savior occupies a place for us in the very presence of our Father and that we are accepted by Him through Christ Jesus.

Symbols of firstfruits ceremony all pointed to Christ

In addition to the wave-sheaf offering, the other sacrifices and offerings commanded by God at the time of this ceremony also pointed forward to Jesus Christ.

Jesus was represented by a male lamb without blemish (Leviticus 23:12 Leviticus 23:12And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD.
American King James Version×
), which was symbolic of Christ's spiritual purity. Christ was called “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 John 1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
American King James Version×
).

He was also represented by fine flour (Leviticus 23:17 Leviticus 23:17You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD.
American King James Version×
), symbolic of the beating, scourging and suffering through which He was perfected (Hebrews 5:8-9 Hebrews 5:8-9 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;
American King James Version×
). This fine flour was to be mixed with oil (Hebrews 5:13 Hebrews 5:13For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
American King James Version×
), representing Christ's being filled with the Holy Spirit.

The lamb was to be a burnt offering, totally consumed by fire (Hebrews 5:12 Hebrews 5:12For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
American King James Version×
). In the same way, Jesus Christ was tested and tried in the crucible of life's trials and problems and then He surrendered Himself totally and completely as a sacrificial offering on our behalf (Hebrews 10:12 Hebrews 10:12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
American King James Version×
). His supreme sacrifice was as a sweet aroma (Ephesians 5:2 Ephesians 5:2And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling smell.
American King James Version×
; Leviticus 23:13 Leviticus 23:13And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
American King James Version×
) to God because Jesus had given Himself voluntarily and unconditionally for sinful mankind.

The accompanying drink offering of wine (Leviticus 23:13 Leviticus 23:13And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
American King James Version×
) was symbolic of Christ's pouring out His blood to pay the penalty for our sins (Matthew 26:27-28 Matthew 26:27-28 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
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; 1 John 1:7 1 John 1:7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
American King James Version×
).

The very day of the wave-sheaf ceremony pointed forward to Christ. History records that the sheaf was harvested on Saturday night, which began the first day of the week. It was then waved before and accepted by God on the first day of the week (Sunday) during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:11 Leviticus 23:11And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
American King James Version×
).

As mentioned earlier, Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, would not let His followers touch Him until He had returned to God the Father (John 20:17 John 20:17Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
American King James Version×
). Later that same day, after He went to the Father, they could touch Him (John 20:19 John 20:19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.
American King James Version×
, John 20:26-27 John 20:26-27 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you. 27 Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
American King James Version×
).

This occurred on the first day of the week (John 20:19 John 20:19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.
American King James Version×
), the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Matthew 26:2 Matthew 26:2You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
American King James Version×
, Matthew 26:17 Matthew 26:17Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, Where will you that we prepare for you to eat the passover?
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; Matthew 28:1 Matthew 28:1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
American King James Version×
). The wave-sheaf offering foretold the precise day of the week Christ would return to the Father more than 1,400 years before that day actually occurred!

These astounding parallels give us a much deeper appreciation of the significance of the wave-sheaf offering God commanded. Reading Leviticus 23:10-14 Leviticus 23:10-14 10 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest: 11 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. 12 And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering to your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
American King James Version×
with this understanding helps us to better grasp both Jesus Christ's supreme importance in God's plan as well as the meaning of the wave sheaf. Without a Savior who would give His life and be resurrected to life again, there could be no later harvesting of humankind for salvation.

Christ's purpose foretold

Almost 1,500 years later, Jesus Christ explained His purpose to His followers, using the analogy of grain: “. . . 'The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain'” (John 12:23-24 John 12:23-24 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
American King James Version×
). This imagery connects Jesus Christ's sacrifice to the salvation of all mankind: Only if Jesus Christ gave His own life could more life-additional sons of God-be produced (Romans 8:29 Romans 8:29For 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 brothers.
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; Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×
).

Christ's role as depicted by the wave-sheaf offering differs somewhat from His role as depicted by the Passover sacrifice. Both reflect different aspects of His sacrifice and purpose in God's plan for the salvation of humanity.

During His crucifixion, Jesus Christ declared that His sacrifice, as foreshadowed by the Passover, was completed: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30 John 19:30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
American King James Version×
).

Christ wasn't saying that God's plan for saving humankind was finished at His death. He was saying that the crucial, all-important giving of His life as our Passover sacrifice was finished. The death of Jesus Christ meant that mankind could and would be reconciled to God the Father.

But, beyond that sacrifice, there is another vital aspect of our salvation that is not yet complete. Jesus Christ's sacrifice alone, through His crucifixion, did not and does not save humankind. It did, however, reconcile humanity to God. Beyond this reconciliation lies another truth signified by the wave-sheaf offering: “For if we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10 Romans 5:10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
American King James Version×
).

As the Passover precedes the wave-sheaf offering, so reconciliation precedes our salvation. We are saved by Christ's resurrected, divine life.

All made possible through Jesus Christ

Those who keep the Feast of Pentecost appreciate the relationship to Pentecost of the wave-sheaf offering. Without the true wave-sheaf offering, Jesus Christ, there would be no Holy Spirit to lead us, no Church to spiritually nurture us and no harvest for the salvation of humanity.

Through these things, God continually assures and reminds His people that we have the promise of eternal life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise was made possible through God, who resurrected and accepted Jesus Christ, our wave-sheaf offering. 

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    Comments

  • RobtAR
    shouldn’t john 20:15 have an important role linking the Messiah to His new role as our High Priest (since the High Priest waves the sheaf)? Why would Miriam mistake the risen Messiah for a gardener? Was He holding a sheaf to be brought to His Father?
  • Steven Britt
    RobtAr, I don’t think it is necessary to think that Jesus had a sheaf in His hands, although He may well have - the scripture doesn’t say. But not only did Jesus become the High Priest, He also became the SHEAF itself - just as with Passover, He was both the High Priest and the Sacrifice. The sheaf was from the firstfruits of the harvest, and 1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
    American King James Version×
    states that Jesus has become the firstfruits “from those who have fallen asleep” - i.e., the firstborn from the dead, as He is called in Colossians 1:15-18 Colossians 1:15-18 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 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.
    American King James Version×
    . While I do think that this was part of His role as High Priest, it is just as important - if not more so - that He was offering Himself as the firstfruits of the spiritual harvest, meaning that the rest of the harvest is to follow. This means that believers, the harvest, are going to become just as Christ is, which is something that mainstream Christianity seems to either not grasp or at least not focus on - that we will be equal with Christ as brothers. What an awesome destiny!
  • Ivan Veller
    Re: “As the wave-sheaf offering represented Jesus Christ, so did these loaves represent God’s spiritual firstfruits)”— “[W]e see the Levites themselves being offered to God by Aaron as a wave offering…(Numbers 8:14 Numbers 8:14Thus shall you separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.
    American King James Version×
    ). Interestingly, the High Priest today, Jesus Christ, also ‘lifts’ His servants—His priesthood the Church (see 1 Peter 2:5 1 Peter 2:5You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    American King James Version×
    , 9)—to present them before God the Father as if a wave offering. We find this in Ephesians 2:4-7 Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) 6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    American King James Version×
    : ‘God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love…raised us up together… These ‘wave loaves’ represented God’s converted followers…the ‘firstfruits’ in God’s plan of salvation (compare Romans 8:23 Romans 8:23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
    American King James Version×
    ; James 1:18 James 1:18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
    American King James Version×
    ; Revelation 14:1-4 Revelation 14:1-4 1 And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
    American King James Version×
    ; Hebrews 12:23 Hebrews 12:23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
    American King James Version×
    ). The leaven shows that these firstfruits are not yet perfect and still beset with sin (see Leviticus 2:11-12 Leviticus 2:11-12 11 No meat offering, which you shall bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for you shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire. 12 As for the oblation of the first fruits, you shall offer them to the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet smell.
    American King James Version×
    ; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
    American King James Version×
    [)]…Yet the loaves were accepted because a sin offering was waved with them (see Leviticus 23:16-20 Leviticus 23:16-20 16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD. 17 You shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the first fruits to the LORD. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering to the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet smell to the LORD. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
    American King James Version×
    ). The same is true today, When Christ presents His followers before the Father, His perfect sacrifice is presented with them—and they are accepted”: http://bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/Numbers/Lamps-arranged;-Separating…’s-service/default.aspx

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