There has been a conspiracy! Whether earthly or in the spirit world, I don’t know. But this Sunday, at least in heaven, they will mark the greatest of all the Jewish Holidays—and it isn’t called Easter.
There is a secret Jewish holiday that no one wants to talk about. Well, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but the fact is that Yeshua rose from the dead on a Biblical feast day. If you look in Leviticus 23, verses 10 and 11, it says…
“Tell the people of Israel, ‘After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen, that is the priest. He is to wave the sheaf before Adonai … the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat” (Lev. 23:10-11).
These verses clearly say that the feast of Firstfruits is on the first Sunday, after the first Saturday, after Passover. Not so fast—the Pharisees and the Sadducees had a disagreement about this. The Pharisees claimed that since Passover itself was a rest day, it was the Sabbath—so Firstfruits would be the day after Passover. However, the Sadducees maintained that the Sabbath was referring to an actual Saturday—not a special Jewish holiday. So Firstfruits would always fall on a Sunday.
Yet, we don’t hear much from the Sadducees after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Thus, the pharisaical view became the dominant view in Judaism. In fact today, many Jews confuse this Firstfruits with the Firstfruits during Shavuot (Num. 28:26).
I think the Scriptures are clear that the Sadducees got this one right. How do I know? We’ll, we are commanded in the very next passage to count seven Sabbaths from Firstfruits to the feast of Shavuot—or Pentecost.
“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off 50 days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Lev. 15-16).
If Firstfruits did not begin on an actual Sunday (“on the day after the Shabbat”), then you could not count off seven Sabbaths. God said that it must be exactly 50 days, ending “the [Sunday] after the seventh Sabbath.” In other words, while Passover day is considered to be a day of total rest—a Sabbath—whatever day fell 49 days after that would not necessarily be a Sabbath, as the day of the week would change every year.
Why is this Important?
There is a powerful reason I am sharing this. If the Feast of Firstfruits is on the Sunday after the Saturday after the beginning of Passover, then that means that Yeshua not only died on a Jewish Feast day (Passover), but rose from the dead on the Jewish Feast of Bikorim—Firstfruits! Paul understood that Yeshua rose from the dead on the feast of Bikurim (despite being a Pharisee), for he said in his famous discourse on the Resurrection of Yeshua in 1 Corinthians 15:
“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own order: the Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming; then the culmination, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after having put an end to every rulership, yes, to every authority and power” (1 Cor. 15:20-24).
Yes, Yeshua—the first among the resurrected sons of God—rose in newness of Life on Bikurim, the feast of Firstfruits. Yet, is it really the greatest of all the Jewish holidays? When you consider that it pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah, I think it is safe to elevate to the top—but that is just one man’s opinion.
This Sunday, make sure to remind your friends (in a spirit of humility) that it is the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits, when Messiah conquered death, hell and the grave!
Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book is Identity Theft. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.
For the original article, visit messiahsmandate.org.