Church of God - Chicago Church
the Wave Sheaf Offering
By: Jim Josephsen
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. What God had purposed, planned and willed to be, has occurred just as He arranged. Where, when and how God needed to intervene in the course of human affairs, in order to fulfill His will, He made sure with unobstructed certainty that His will was done.
God arranges the time, the place and the fulfillment. As Jesus Christ told Pilate, you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above; by that we are told a truth that God is in ultimate control and what He deems necessary to be done, in the fulfillment of His will, has been done and will be done.
And such was the case when it came to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What God had planned to occur as pertaining to the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ, all did occur and occurred at the right time. As pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God the Father was in complete charge of the events and their timing and their fulfillment; the meaning of each being revealed and made known.
Consider: Jesus Christ died on the stake, being pierced through with a sword, at the time when the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb occurred in the Temple: about the 9th hour on the 14th day of the first month. Christ died as the Law required: beyn ha arbayim (between the evenings) on the 14th day of the first month (Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5). So dying, Christ fulfilled His responsibility as the Passover Lamb sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Being put to death on the very day and at the very time He was put to death, was exactly what God allowed in order to reveal a necessary element in His plan of salvation. The time of Christ’s death was concurrent, occurring simultaneously with the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb in the Temple. The transference of symbolism from a physical lamb to the actual Son of God, the true Lamb of God, was complete at that exact moment in history.
The timing of His death was pre-arranged as Christ and the Father agreed it was to occur; the Father making sure all necessary elements were in place and fulfilled at the appropriate moment. From the time of Christ’s arrest in the Garden, to the time He was placed on the stake, to the time the day grew dark at noon and the earth shook; to the actual time of His death; God the Father, being in complete charge, made sure all the events took place “on time” in order to reveal to not only the Jews, but to mankind, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the very Son of God, the Passover Lamb of God.
God the Father took care of the timing and validated Christ’s crucifixion when He miraculously intervened in both human actions and nature’s activity.
Jesus Christ became a sacrifice, put to death for our sins. He died as the atoning sacrifice, acceptable to God, on our behalf. Christ died for us and was dead. And without the Father’s intervention, raising Christ from the dead, Jesus Christ would have remained dead, in the sepulchre, even unto this very day.
Christ was resurrected. On the third day, after being in the tomb, three days and three nights, a total of some 72 hours, Christ was brought back to Life. God the Father made sure Christ fulfilled this perfect prophetic timing. Resurrecting Jesus Christ on the third day, God the Father fulfilled the prophecy that neither shall his flesh see corruption. (For a better understanding of Christ’s resurrection, the required length of time He had to be in the tomb, see the following two Bible Studies - Mark and Luke Prove Jesus Christ was in the Tomb During Two Sabbaths and Neither Did His Flesh See Corruption.)
Christ needed to be resurrected in order to be our living, personal Savior and Intercessor; our High Priest and Elder Brother. We were reconciled to God by the death of his son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).
Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-15).
But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:24-25 NIV).
Without a resurrected Christ, there would be no Christian faith; there would be no Savior who intervenes for us; no mediator between God and man; no access to the Father.
The resurrection of Christ reveals again the Father’s active involvement in human affairs; fulfilling His preordained will in the life of His Son, for the sake of His creation.
God’s will yet again accomplished in
Jesus Christ, the Wave Sheaf Offering
Jesus Christ was resurrected late in the afternoon/early evening of the Sabbath and not on the first day of the week, not on the day we call Sunday.
Having been resurrected on the Sabbath (Saturday), Jesus Christ was already alive when the first day of the week commenced with the night.
Being alive on the first day of the week set the stage for Christ to fulfill prophecy and yet one final offering; the Wave Sheaf Offering. Once again, as prearranged, planned and prepared as the will of God, God the Father made sure Christ would fulfill His responsibility as the Wave Sheaf Offering.
The resurrected Jesus Christ was the wave sheaf offering, offered before the Father at His throne in Heaven and that wave sheaf offering ceremony occurred on the first day of the week, on a Sunday.
That Sunday (the first day of the week, as recorded in Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1) is more than just a Sunday and so much more in meaning than what mainstream Christianity thinks it to be.
That Sunday was known as the morrow after the Sabbath and that Sunday was known as the Wave Sheaf Offering day (Leviticus 23:10-11). This fact we can prove from history and from the scriptures.
Let us learn of this extremely important day and this most meaningful and necessary offering.
The rich and beautiful, righteous and glorious meaning and purpose for the Wave Sheaf Offering, of Christ, who is the Wave Sheaf has been hidden from the world through Satan’s insidious and calculated deceptions.
The world, through the teachings of the Catholic Church has been deceived in believing that that Sunday is “the Lord’s Day;” that that Sunday was the day of Christ’s resurrection; that that Sunday is Easter.
Rather than celebrating Easter, Christians need to understand the vital significance of the Wave Sheaf Offering. Christians need to understand why Satan has taken the world’s eyes away from the true significance of that particular day.
Understanding the Wave Sheaf Offering
and the Barley Harvest
To understand the Wave Sheaf Offering, let us start by reading Leviticus 23:9-12. And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Eternal, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the Eternal.
There are two key phrases expressed in Leviticus 23:9-12 which we need to understand. Those two phrases are: 1) then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest and 2) the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
In Leviticus 23:9-14, we are introduced to a unique harvest offering. The harvest we read of here, the harvest which was reaped at this time, was the barley harvest. The barley harvest occurred in the early spring (March/April timeframe). As with all harvests (which is to say, the reaping of any produce), this barley harvest required the giving of a firstfruits offering. However, with this barley harvest, more was required; an additional offering was presented to God.
With the barley harvest, not only was a firstfruits offering offered to God but a sheaf offering was required.
In general, Israel was required to offer before the Eternal a first offering (called the firstfruit(s)) of all their harvests, of all their animals, of wine, of oil, of trees and even of their children. The first of everything (of man, of animal, of soil) is considered Holy unto God and is to be dedicated to God.
God required an offering called the firstfruits offering of all the growth blessings God provided for His people.
There are various laws, as provided throughout the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), which deal with firstfruits offerings; how and why they were to be offered. The main point was Israel was to offer a firstfruit offering to God of their newly acquired, freshly grown produce, harvest, animal, etc.
Although there is no specific law indicating the amount to be given as a firstfruits offering, it is understood through oral law and tradition that anywhere from one fortieth (2.5%) to one sixtieth (1.66%) of the harvest reaping, of the new growth substance, was to be considered as the firstfruits offering amount. Generally, one fiftieth (2%) was considered an acceptable offering to God. (The firstfruits offering is different from and in addition to the tithe which of course is an established 10% of your increase).
Regardless of the amount of a firstfruits offering, the spirit of the law is found in the writings of Solomon: Honor the Eternal with thy substance and with the firstfruits of all thine increase (Proverbs 3:9). Firstfruits are God’s special portion, dedicated to Him, in honor of Him; Holy unto Him.
To reiterate, all harvests required the giving of a firstfruits offering.
Only the barley harvest required both a firstfruits offering and a sheaf offering.
Let’s notice specifically what is expressed in Leviticus 23:10. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
In this verse we understand there are two distinct offering elements required for the barely harvest. First, there was the sheaf. Second, there was the firstfruits.
The barley harvest is the only harvest for which a firstfruits offering and a sheaf offering are required. Of the barley harvest, Israel was required to present two offerings.
When Israel was to reap this barley harvest (considered a general, large portion harvest) of the land that they would possess, they were to take out or select out a small, designated portion called the firstfruits. From that firstfruits, they were then to select out or take out; they were to acknowledge a smaller portion called the sheaf.
This sheaf offering was considered the first of the firstfruits. Notice the following scriptures; which refer to the first of the firstfruits. Exodus 23:19 and Exodus 34:26. Both verses state the phrase the first of the firstfruits of thy land.
This first of the firstfruits is different than (just) the firstfruits of your land. Notice the following scriptures that only mention or speak of the phrase firstfruits of thy harvest. Exodus 22:29; Number 18:12; Deuteronomy 18:4, 26:2 and 10; Nehemiah 10:35-37.
These verses speak directly of the firstfruits offering. Numbers 18:12 communicates to us the best of (in describing) the firstfruits. God considered the firstfruits as the best of the harvest, the best of produce, the best of the animals; the best of what the land generated. The firstfruits was the best, dedicated to God, Holy to God and given as an offering to God; was then provided for the priests; since the priests earned no income from normal labor, nor had they any inheritance (cf. Deuteronomy 18:1-8). Their service and work was directly paid for, by God.
But the first of the firstfruits, the sheaf offering was on a par better; it was to be considered a special offering, as being the “best of the best;” the first of all; the most dedicated or holy of the holy.
The wave sheaf, put any other way, was the pinnacle, the apex, the zenith, the very finest of the harvest and of the firstfruits. As an offering, it could not get any better than the wave sheaf offering.
The sheaf had to be accepted first, by God and only to God. The sheaf offering had to be performed even before the barley harvest reapings could be utilized or eaten, made into bread or roasted (cf. Leviticus 23:14). The sheaf offering took the priority before anything else.
Pertaining to the uniqueness of the sheaf offering: whereas ALL (each individual) firstfruits offerings (not just for the barley harvest but for all harvests, animals, etc) were offered to the Eternal (through Temple activity performed by the Levitical priesthood) on behalf of each household or individual, only the one wave sheaf offering was offered to the Eternal (by the priest in the Temple) on behalf of all the people.
Each household or individual was responsible to give a personal firstfruits offering to the Eternal (through the priests in the Temple) and firstfruits offerings were performed “year round.”
However, the sheaf offering was strictly arranged by the priesthood, and performed by the priest in the Temple; done so for all of Israel. The sheaf offering was offered only, once a year; it was a communal offering for the entire nation; only offered in the springtime, during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Generally understood, the priests from the Temple, in preparation of the sheaf offering for all the people would perform the following. They would initially select a bundle of barley from the field, as a type of firstfruits selection. From this selected and tied barley bundle; on the evening of the Sabbath (as the Sabbath was coming to an end), a cutting was performed by the priests. They would take this bundle and cut out or select out about three pints worth and bring it into the Temple. This cut out or selected out portion was called the sheaf. There in the Temple the sheaf was prepared, ground into barley flour. This preparing was performed throughout the night. The fine barley flour was then presented to the Eternal at the Wave Sheaf offering ceremony during the day. The sheaf was not burned on the alter, but only presented symbolically before God. The preparing of the Sheaf took place during the night of the first day of the week, on the morrow after the Sabbath, and during the day it was waved before the Eternal.
What is important to acknowledge, unmistakably and indisputably, is the fact that the sheaf was part of the firstfruits; the sheaf was taken from among a portion of the firstfruits. The firstfruits is considered dedicated and holy unto God. So too is the sheaf considered holy and dedicated unto God, but with one greater distinction. The sheaf is the first of the firstfruits; the sheaf is the lead, the head of the firstfruits, taking precedence among the firstfruits; the sheaf is foremost among the firstfruits.
The English word sheaf is translated from the Hebrew word omer ((pronounced omar) Strong’s 6016)). Omer means a sheaf or a small dry measure. Exodus 16:36 uses the word omer (Strong’s 6016) explaining that an omer is the tenth part of an ephah. Although today there is no exact equivalent, it is generally understood that an omer is somewhere around three pints to two quarts, as we know today.
An omer, a sheaf of the firstfruits was waved before the Eternal.
You shall wave the sheaf before the Eternal (Leviticus 23:11).
This small and unique portion of ground up barley was offered up, along with the lamb sacrifice, grain offering and drink offering, to God in a ceremony that required the sheaf (omer) to be waved before God. And this ceremony took place on what the scriptures call: the morrow after the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:11, 15).
Just what do we know about the morrow after the Sabbath?
Leviticus 23:11 states: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Eternal, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath shall the priest wave it.
The phrase on the morrow is translated from the Hebrew word mochorath (Strong’s 4283). Mochorath means the morrow, tomorrow, next day.
In Leviticus 23:15 (KJV) we read: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering ….
Referring to the Masoretic text, we read: And you shall number to you from the day after the Sabbath, from the day you bring the sheaf of the wave offering ….
In these verses we read of the Hebrew word mochorath. Whether we translate this Hebrew word to read (in the English) the morrow after or the day after, we clearly understand we are talking about a day which is after a specified day. In this case the specified day is the Sabbath day. We are talking about a day after the Sabbath.
Notice the following scriptures in which we find the Hebrew word mochorath used and translated as either on the morrow or next day or on the morrow after. In all instances, we are reading of a next day, a tomorrow. Exodus 9:6; Numbers 11:32; Numbers 33:3; 2 Judges 9:42, 21:4; 2 Samuel 11:12; 1 Chronicles 10:8
The wave sheaf offering ceremony takes place on the morrow or the next day after the Sabbath. The morrow is the primary day under consideration. However, this primary day could not be known unless a specific, defined or distinguished day (before it) was also known. In Leviticus 23:11, that specific, defined, distinguished day is called the Sabbath.
We are talking about the next day, the tomorrow; the morrow after the Sabbath.
But what is this Sabbath?
What is meant by the word Sabbath?
Is the Sabbath as expressed in Leviticus 23:11 and 15 a Saturday – the seventh day of the weekly seven-day cycle? Or is the Sabbath a Holy Day, specifically the Holy Day called the First Day of Unleavened Bread (cf. Leviticus 23:6) or as known in Judaism as the Passover (cf. Luke 22:1)?
Is the Sabbath a Saturday or a Holy Day?
Why is this question raised? Why should we need to know?
We need to know simply because there has been a controversy regarding just exactly what this particular Sabbath day is.
There are two schools of thought regarding just exactly what day this Sabbath refers to.
It is important to know what this Sabbath and the morrow after [the Sabbath] are and it is important to know exactly when they occurred.
Because the morrow after [the Sabbath] serves as a reference point; it is an important calendric day.
The morrow after [the Sabbath] was the actual day on which the wave sheaf offering had to be performed and the morrow after [the Sabbath] serves as the day on which to start counting 50 days in order to arrive at Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-16).
Notice the following commentaries:
The time fixed for celebrating Pentecost is the fiftieth day from the day after the Sabbath of the Passover … The precise meaning of the word Sabbath in this connection, which determines the date for celebrating this festival, has been from time immemorial a matter of dispute. The Boethusians and the Sadducees in the time of the second Temple and the Karaites since the eighth century of the Christian era have taken the “Sabbath” in the sense of the “seventh day of the week” and have maintained that the omer was offered on the day following that weekly Sabbath that might happen to fall within the seven days of the Passover [Days of Unleavened Bread]. … (Festivals – The New Unger Bible Dictionary; 1988; Page 415)
In the intertestamental period and later, Pentecost was regarded as the anniversary of the giving of the law. … The Sadducees celebrated it on the fiftieth day (inclusive reckoning) from the first Sunday after Passover (taking the ‘Sabbath’ of Leviticus 23:15 to be the weekly Sabbath); their reckoning regulated the public observance as long as the Temple stood and the church is therefore justified in commemorating the first Christian Pentecost on Sunday. The Pharisees, however interpreted the ‘Sabbath’ of Leviticus 23:15 as the Festival of Unleavened Bread (cf. Leviticus 23:6) and their reckoning became the normative in Judaism after 70 AD, so that in the Jewish calendar Pentecost now falls on various days of the week. (Pentecost, Feast of – New Bible Dictionary Second Edition; 1982; Page 909)
The expression, ‘the morrow after the sabbath’ (Leviticus 23:11), has sometimes been misunderstood as implying that the presentation of the so-called ‘first sheaf’ was to always be made on the day following the weekly Sabbath of the Passover-week. This view adopted by the Boethusians and the Sadducees in the time of Christ, and by the Karaite Jews and certain modern interpreters, rests on the misinterpretation of the word ‘Sabbath (Lev. 23:24, 32, 39). (The Temple, Its Ministry and Service; 1994; Page 203)
Following the logic of the dispute (as we have read in the above mentioned commentaries; and there are many other commentaries available to read), the wave sheaf offering day fell on either a Sunday (the (morrow) day after a Saturday) or on the 16th day of the first month (the (morrow) day after the First Day of Unleavened Bread – which is the 15th day of the first month).
According to the governing religious authorities at a particular time, the wave sheaf offering day was to fall on either a Sunday (during the Days of Unleavened) or on the 16th day of the first month. It was one or the other.
History confirms there clearly have been two interpretations of the meaning of Sabbath when related to the Wave Sheaf Offering Day. Which one is correct?
Rather than reading the commentaries, which are many; rather than taking the word of the historians or the interpretations of the leading religious or political bodies of that time, can we look into the Bible, the very Word of God to find the answer?
Yes, we can!
Let us review the scriptures to understand
what is meant by the Sabbath.
Does the word Sabbath, in Leviticus 23:11 refer to a Saturday (seventh day of the week); or does the word Sabbath, in Leviticus 23:11 refer to a Holy day, specifically the 15th day of the first month?
When reading Leviticus 23, we come across the English word Sabbath(s) a total of 12 times. The following verses have the word Sabbath or Sabbaths in them: Leviticus 23:3 (2x); 11; 15 (2x); 16; 24; 32 (2x); 38; 39 (2x).
On their face, in each verse we simply read either the word Sabbath or Sabbaths. However, going a step further, if we were to read the original Hebrew words (text) used to communicate the idea of the Sabbath, we would come to an interesting revelation.
Of the twelve times Sabbath(s) is used in Leviticus 23, nine times is the English word Sabbath translated from the Hebrew word shabbath (Strong’s 7676). The other three times, the English word Sabbath is translated from the Hebrew word shabbathown (Strong’s 7677).
Clearly, the original Hebrew language reveals that two different words are used. The problem is both Hebrew words were translated into the one English word Sabbath. So let us learn what Moses originally wrote and meant.
Notice: Leviticus 23:3: “… but the seventh day is a Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work; it is the Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) of the Eternal in all your dwellings …” (This scripture reinforces the fourth commandment; cf. Exodus 20:8.)
Leviticus 23:11: “And you shall wave the sheaf before the Eternal, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) the priest shall wave it.”
Leviticus 23:15: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) from the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths (Strong’s 7676) shall be complete.”
Leviticus 23:16: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) shall you number fifty days …”
Leviticus 23:24: “… In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath (Strong’s 7677), a memorial of blowing of trumpets; an holy convocation.”
Leviticus 23:32: “It shall be unto you a Sabbath (Strong’s 7676) of rest … from evening unto evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath (Strong’s 7676).”
Leviticus 23:38: “Besides the Sabbaths (Strong’s 7676) of the Lord and besides your gifts …”
Leviticus 23:39: “And also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath (Strong’s 7677), and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath (Strong’s 7677).”
Commonly understood, the Sabbath is known as the seventh day of the weekly seven-day cycle. Today the seventh day of the week is still known as the Sabbath and is called Saturday.
The Sabbath is the day of rest, the day to keep holy. Sabbath (Shabbath – Strong’s 7676) means cessation, intermission, Sabbath. And clearly distinguished, Shabbathown (Strong’s 7677) means a sabbatism or special holiday – Sabbath, rest.
Notice Leviticus 23:24 and 39. The Holy Days mentioned in these two verses are Trumpets, Tabernacles and the Eighth day. These three days are called Shabbathown (Strong’s 7677).
Having read (above) the eight verses from Leviticus 23, we saw the term “Sabbath(s)” was used 12 times. Reading them, we clearly see a difference of Hebrew word usage – shabbath versus shabbathown.
Shabbath refers to the weekly Sabbath day, a Saturday and shabbathown when used, refers to a Holy Day.
Back to Leviticus 23:11, when we read on the morrow after the Sabbath we are reading of the seventh day Sabbath and not a Holy Day Sabbath; we are reading of a shabbath and not a shabbathown.
We are not reading of the morrow after a Holy Day (shabbathown); we are reading of the day or morrow after the Sabbath, a Saturday. The original Hebrew clearly reveals we are reading of the shabbath (Strong’s 7676) in Leviticus 23:11.
The morrow after the Sabbath (shabbath (Strong’s 7676), Saturday, the seventh day of the weekly seven-day cycle) is always only a Sunday (which is called the first day of the week).
In Leviticus 23:11 we read that the wave sheaf offering took place on the first day of the week, a day we today call Sunday. The wave sheaf offering took place on the morrow (the next day) after the Sabbath (Saturday).
The morrow after the Sabbath is a Sunday.
Sunday is the day when the Wave Sheaf Offering took place.
In the year of Christ’s death and His subsequent resurrection, Jesus Christ was offered to the Father, as the Wave Sheaf Offering on the first day of the week, on Sunday.
This He was able to perform, because He was resurrected late afternoon/evening of the Sabbath. Jesus Christ died on the evening of Wednesday and three days and three nights later, on the late afternoon/evening of Saturday, He was resurrected; about the same time the sheaf was selected by the priests.
Jesus Christ is the first to rise from the dead
When Christ was brought back to life, He became the first of the firstfruits of the harvest. He became the sheaf.
Jesus Christ became the first that should rise from the dead (Acts26:23). By this, it is meant that Christ was the first to rise from the dead to eternal life, to spirit being. Christ was not resurrected back into the flesh, into human being; rather He was resurrected into spirit being, to God being.
The phrase first that should rise from the dead is an interesting one, not to be overlooked. This phrase is consistent among all translations and original manuscripts. Clearly, what we read is exactly what the author of the Book of Acts (Luke, the Physician) wanted us to know. Christ was the first that should rise from the dead.
But what exactly does this phrase mean?
How is it that Christ was first?
Understanding this truth, will clarify the understanding and importance of Christ, the first of the firstfruits.
Clearly, in Biblical history, there were many recorded incidents of individuals who were resurrected, who were brought back to life, who did rise from the dead before Jesus Christ did. So if we are talking of a time element (as first, second, etc in chronological order) of human beings to be resurrected, then Christ was not first.
Consider the following as some examples of recorded incidents where God brought people back to life; long before Christ died, was buried and finally resurrected.
2 Kings 4:32-37, records the miracle of the Shunammite’s son being brought back to life under the work of Elisha.
2 Kings 13:20-21, records the incident of a Moabite who, being buried, touched the bones of dead Elisha, and revived, coming back to life.
Then we read of the multiple times, Christ Himself requested the Father to bring back to life individuals who had died.
Notice Luke 7:11-17. Here is a record of a dead man, the son of a widow, who was being carried out in a bier to be buried. Clearly the man was dead. Christ touched the bier, commanded the man to arise and the man came back to life.
Another example of one rising from the dead is found in Luke 8:40-56. In this incident, Jairus’ twelve year old daughter (Mark 5:42) died. Christ took her by the hand and commanded her to arise. She did arise, coming back to life.
Finally, who, familiar with the New Testament, cannot call to mind the famous resurrection of Lazarus?
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, loose him and let him go (John 11:43-44).
Notice then too, John 12:1. Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
It is clear; there have been others who were raised from the dead before Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.
Obviously then, we are not talking about a human time element, as to who was the first to be resurrected. We are talking more than just a human time element; more than who was first in time sequence.
How is it then, that Jesus Christ is considered the first that should rise from the dead?
What is meant by being first?
The answer is simple.
Jesus Christ is the first to be resurrected to Eternal Life, to Glory.
Jesus Christ is the first to be born again; given a spirit body.
Jesus Christ is the first among all other human beings to be resurrected to eternal life
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was unique, a first time ever, event; a reality which never before in the history of man, occurred. Jesus Christ was resurrected, being brought back to life, only the life He was brought back to was Eternal Life, not physical life. Christ was the first human being to be resurrected to immortal life.
Jesus Christ was already alive on
Sunday, the Wave Sheaf Offering Day
When Jesus Christ was resurrected, He clearly, was not resurrected on Sunday morning. As the scriptures give clear proof, it was early in the morning of that Sunday, while it was yet dark, the tomb was found empty, for Christ had already been resurrected.
Matthew 28:1 as translated directly from the Greek language reads as follows: After the close of the Sabbath, as it began to grow light into the first day of the week ….
Mark 16:2 reads: And very early on the first day of the week, they came upon the tomb at the rising of the sun.
Luke 24:1 reads: Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning ….
John 20:1 reads: Early on the first day of the week, when it was yet dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the sepulchre.
We can logically understand; the weekly Sabbath day was over, as the Sabbath always ends (as do all seven days in the week) after the light of the evening sun was extinguished. Once the sun sets and the light of the day is gone, the day ends. A new day begins with the darkness of the night.
The Sabbath had ended with the departure of the sun’s light and the first day of the week commenced with the night. The night then progressed and 12 hours (of darkness) later (generally speaking) the light of the day began to dawn.
After some 11-12 hours of darkness transpired, it was getting closer to the time of sunrise, as the night of that first day of the week was coming to a close and the day(light) of the first day was approaching. The women then came early on what we call Sunday morning, while it was yet dark (John 20:1) only to find the tomb empty, for Christ had risen, already (Mathew 28:6, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6).
As the scriptures give full proof; the sun had not yet arisen over the eastern horizon, yet Christ was already gone. The tomb was already empty; He was not there, for He had already risen; He had already been resurrected before sunrise on Sunday morning.
Having been resurrected during the evening of the Sabbath, which was the third day (cf. Luke 9:22, 24:7); Christ was then in preparation on the first day of the week to become the Wave Sheaf Offering, As the Sheaf Offering, He would later that day be waved before His Father, at His Father’s throne.
When we understand the Old Testament law as it truly reveals to us, the Sabbath referred to in Leviticus 23:11 is the weekly Sabbath, a Saturday. Understanding this fact we can understand that Christ was offered up to the Father on the first day of the week, on a Sunday.
Christ offered Himself to the Father on the morrow after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week; on that Sunday.
The New Testament proves Christ presented Himself
to the Father on that Sunday
Let us first read John 20:10-17: Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
What a wonderful narrative. John relates the great concern Mary Magdalene had for her beloved Master and teacher (Rabboni). Wishing to maintain the dignity and honor He was due; not wanting some mischief to befall her Lord’s body, she desired to find out what was wrong; who stole His body from the sepulchre.
Not realizing Jesus was resurrected, Mary had hoped to make right the wrong she was confronted with; to get the body back in the grave, to give him a proper anointing with the ointments she, Mary the mother of Jose and Salome had bought and prepared that previous Friday. No doubt she would have to employ the help of the disciples, perhaps Joseph Arimathea as well. She wanted to put Jesus’ body back in the tomb as she had no clue He was resurrected.
At first, she supposed Jesus to be the gardener; and why not?
The last thought on her mind was that Jesus would be alive.
But of course, something radically different occurred. Mary saw the resurrected Christ. He was alive and she was no doubt shocked, yet none the less excited, ecstatic, overwhelmed.
From the evidence of the narrative, it seems that Mary was about to touch Christ, either to hug Him in joy and exaltation or bow at His feet in worship. In any event, Christ told Mary, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; unto my God and your God.
This verse reveals a relevant fact as relating to the Wave Sheaf Offering, as Christ was about to present himself to be.
In presenting Himself to the Father, before the Father’s throne, Christ forever opened the door, making it possible for human beings to approach the Father, and His throne.
Jesus Christ was resurrected to eternal life. His death was the sacrifice to atone for all sin; to take the place of all the sacrifices as required by the Laws of God.
In that Christ was now alive, but with a spirit body; as the firstborn among the dead, the first to be raised from the dead, His body, Himself was now perfect spirit, and He was a perfect offering.
No longer a sacrifice for sin (for He accomplished that responsibility); He now became an offering – Jesus Christ is the Wave Sheaf Offering.
In that He was an offering to be presented to the Father, He was to remain pure and undefiled by common hands. Just as the priest had the only right to offer up an offering to God in the Temple, Christ as our High Priest only could and would offer up Himself, as an offering to the Father in Heaven’s Temple, the very throne of God; a perfect, pure offering acceptable to the Father.
Christ told Mary not to touch Him, not to defile Him, for He had to ascend to be presented before his Father. Christ had to present Himself pure, Holy and uncompromised, undefiled before the Father, as the Wave Sheaf Offering.
Can we know that He did ascend up, being presented before His Father on that first day of the week, on that morrow after the Sabbath, that Wave Sheaf Offering Day?
Let us continue. John 20:19-20: Then 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 midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Mary’s encounter with Christ (John 20:14-17) was in the morning of the first day of the week. By reading the chronological flow of events which occurred on that first day of the week, that morrow after the Sabbath, we see that the afternoon had passed and the evening was now evident.
Notice Luke 24:12-35. This section of scriptures reveals the story which is commonly understood by Biblical literates as the Emmaus Walk. At some time during that first day of the week, that morrow after the Sabbath Christ walked with these two disciples. It was then late in the afternoon, toward evening (cf. Luke 24:29), Christ sat down with these disciples to eat, giving a blessing over the bread. Then without warning, He vanished from their sight; He left in order to get to Jerusalem to the room in which some of the Twelve were gathered.
Now as we read in John 20:19, it was the same day, in the evening of that day, some 10 or so hours after the time Mary was told not to touch Christ. In the evening Christ presented Himself to the disciples who were now behind closed doors, for fear of the Jews. It was the evening (the ending of the day) of the first day of the week, the morrow after the Sabbath that Jesus Christ presented Himself, materialized, becoming visible to the disciples.
Read the parallel to John 20:19, which is Luke 24:36: And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Toward the end of that first day of the week, that Wave Sheaf Offering Day, as it was the evening of that day, Christ appeared before His disciples. Earlier in that day He told Mary not to touch Him for He had not yet ascended to His Father. The day’s events proceeded; it was now evening. Notice what He told His disciples.
Continuing Luke 24:37-39: But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
Notice, Christ said handle me. The Greek word from which the word handle is translated is pselaphao (Strong’s 5584). Pselaphao means to verify by contact, to search for, to feel after, to touch, to handle.
Earlier in that day, Christ told Mary not to touch him. The word John used in his gospel account (haptomai (Strong’s 680)) reflected a more aggressive touch such as an attachment or an embracing hug.
Nevertheless, the message was clear; Christ said, “Don’t touch me because I have to ascend to my Father first.”
Christ ascended to His Father sometime during that day – that morrow after the Sabbath; that Wave Sheaf Offering Day. Now that the evening was evident He told the disciples, “Touch me – it is really me.”
Why would Christ now (that evening) allow for human hands to touch Him, to handle Him?
The answer is simple; logical. Christ now allowed Himself to be touched because He had ascended to the Father. Christ fulfilled His responsibility as the Wave Sheaf Offering acceptable to His Father, God.
Being resurrected, the glorified Christ was and is the perfect offering, pure, clean and perfect, holy, undefiled. Being resurrected from the dead, He came up anew, fresh, unsullied, and holy; like unadulterated new fruit, new grain, with a new body composed of spirit, holy, eternal, immortal; the best of the best.
Like produce freshly picked, freshly harvested from the ground, Christ was harvested perfectly, now being incorrupt (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). He would then present Himself this way, completely undefiled before the Father. The sheaf of the firstfruits, the best of the best.
Untouched by common hands, Christ presented Himself before the Father, at the Father’s throne. Once He fulfilled that duty, once Christ, the Wave Sheaf was accepted by the Father, He could then be touched.
Jesus Christ, as the sheaf, the first of the firstfruits, fulfilled the responsibility as the Wave Sheaf Offering. He is the sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest (Leviticus 23:10).
When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, He qualified to be called the firstfruits of them that slept (1 Corinthians 15:20). Christ [is] the firstfruits (1 Corinthians 15:23). Not only being the firstfruits He is the first of the firstfruits; He is the sheaf.
Notice: 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 (Colossians 1:18).
Additionally we read Romans 8:29 … that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Jesus Christ is the First of all. His brethren are called the firstfruits (cf. James 1:18). 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 firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4).
Christ was resurrected first and His firstfruits will be resurrected at a time yet ahead. … In Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:22-23). Then the rest of the dead (the harvest) will be resurrected after the 1000 year period is complete (Revelation 20:5).
For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
All mankind will be resurrected. However, Christ’s servants, His faithful brethren, His firstfruits will be resurrected to a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35), a resurrection to eternal life. Notice 1 Corinthians 15 which reveals the truth about the resurrection to eternal life for the saints, which is called the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).
Those who are baptized into Christ become His brethren and just as He was resurrected to eternal life so they will be. Christ of course is first. His brethren will be resurrected yet in the future, when Christ returns to the earth.
Know you not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For as we have been planted [Greek sumphutos (Strong’s 4854) meaning closely united] together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection (Romans 6:3-5).
How shall the firstfruits be resurrected?
Just like Christ, the sheaf of the firstfruits was; to eternal life; to honor and glory; to immortality and incorruption, pure and perfect.
Christ is the firstborn of every creature (Colossians 1:15).
Consider further, Hebrews 1:5-6 … thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstborn into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
We can further read in Revelation 1:5 … Jesus Christ … the first begotten from the dead ….
As was symbolically understood, now the reality became evident: without the selection and refining of the omer; without the waving of Christ Jesus, the Sheaf offering, acceptable to God the Father, the firstfruits would be incomplete.
The sheaf is part of, selected from, the firstfruits; being the first, the best of the firstfruits, yet still considered firstfruits.
In that Christ is the sheaf, the Wave Sheaf; He is part of the firstfruits. Christ is the firstfruits; yes! And He is the first of the firstfruits; absolutely, unequivocally!
If we are baptized into Christ’s body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13), we are like Him and we are a part of Christ, we have put on Christ (Galatians 3:27); as partakers (involved with and co-equal to) of Christ (Hebrews 3:14). We are co-heirs with Christ, joint- heirs (Romans 8:17).
Both we, as His brethren, and Christ are firstfruits; but Christ has the greater distinction – He is the sheaf, the first of the firstfruits.
We both are holy and acceptable to the Father. As we read in Romans 11:16, if the firstfruit is holy, then the lump is also holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Christ said I am the vine, you are the branches: he that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing (John 15:5).
But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrew 7:24-25 NIV).
After Christ was presented to and accepted before the Father, as the first (sheaf) of the firstfruits, the throne of God became completely accessible, available to all the firstfruits, all of Christ’s brethren, to all those who are holy and undefiled before God; who are dedicated to God, their Father.
The Wave Sheaf offering was necessary in order to guarantee you have full access to the throne of God, as being holy before Him, through Jesus Christ.
Christ is the sheaf, the first of the firstfruit and He was presented to God, the Father on a most important and unique day in all of history – on that Sunday, that first day of the week; on that morrow after the Sabbath, the wave sheaf offering day.
Jesus Christ, the wave sheaf offering, fulfilled yet again the will of God, for the benefit and salvation of His creation.
Jesus Christ is the Wave Sheaf Offering.
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