Today is the Feast of the Firstfruits, the 17th day of Nissan, the first month of the Jewish calendar. This Feast is the third of seven commanded by the Lord in the Old Testament and perhaps the most precious because of the great sacrifice it foreshadows. This Feast required an unblemished lamb, the best of the flock i.e. the Firstfruits.
Jesus was the last unblemished Lamb offered to the Father, that the world may be saved by giving Himself as sacrifice for our atonement. Jesus was and is the Firstfruits; without this offering there would be no redemption.
When Mary Magdalene came upon Jesus at the exit of the tomb He warned her not to touch Him as He had, “not ascended to the Father”; yet, He sent Her to warn the others that He had risen. Jesus had to ascend undefiled, remaining unblemished before returning to the upper room later that day in His new body to meet His disciples assembled therein.
Jesus was also the Firstfruits ascending before the resurrection of up to ten thousand Saints in Jerusalem the same day. These came out of their graves and were seen throughout the city.
MATTHEW 27:52-53 (KJV)
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
This is seldom talked about; but, both the resurrection of Jesus and Old Testament Saints were witnessed by over five hundred including secular citizens. These events are recorded in historical documents notably, Clement of Alexandria’s writings, Stromata. The resurrection is for all Believers, also called Saints in the Bible. Jesus was the first, the only One worthy of the title, Firstfruits; He opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for His imperfect sheep. Jesus was and still is the only way.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:20 (KJV)
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the Firstfruits of them that slept.
As you can see the scripture above clearly indicates that Jesus is first among Believers “who slept.” The same holds true for those who are alive when he comes to collect us. Glory! Glory! Death where is thy sting?
1 CORINTHIANS 15:54 (KJV)
54 … Death is swallowed up in victory.
Every Feast that passes is of historic significance as the body of Christ have seen and calculated the signs of the last days given in the Bible. Since the re-establishment of Israel, May 15, 1948--prophesied to the day by Ezekiel in 536 B.C.–a generation, i.e. 70 years, will not pass. (One verse suggests it may reach 80 years.) Either way, it is close and we that are alive today will likely experience ascension and the transformation of our bodies.
We know the season; but, not the day. It seems the Father did not want us to know the date of the rapture for good reason; imagine if the devil knew. Yet, He made it possible to calculate many prophetic events.
MATTHEW 24:32-34 (KJV)
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.