Traditionally, we pay a lot of attention to the celebration of Pesaj, and we are rightly moved to remember the departure of our ancestors from Egypt, because in this way we show our obedience to the commandments of YeHoVaH. However, we often pay very little attention to the Bikkurim or First Fruits Celebration, which shows us the resurrection of the first saints who were presented by Yeshua before YeHoVaH on the designated day.
Let’s read closely the words of Matthew 27:50-53:
Yeshua shouted again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split. The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.
If we really consider that nothing in the scriptures can be added on a whim, here we have a problem to solve, because no one has truly explained the rationale or the hidden meaning of the details described here.
Note carefully that when Yeshua died, the graves were opened, but the bodies of the saints did not come out until after the resurrection of Yeshua, an event that took place on the Shabbat of that week, thus fulfilling the prophecy announced by himself as the only sign that would be given to that generation of unbelieving leaders:
But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:39-40)
Thus, exactly three days and three nights after giving up his life on Wednesday at the chosen hour, Yeshua rose again along with those saints whose graves had been opened at the time of their death, and it was then that “they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matthew 27:53)
And John 20:1 describes what happened afterward: “On the first day of the week [Sunday], Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” Moments later, Yeshua appeared to Miriam, and after a short dialogue, told her: “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father—to my God and your God.” (John 20:17)
In those moments, Yeshua was on time to present to the Father the offering of the First Fruits – Bikkurim: the first resurrected who had been raised on Saturday afternoon after he had risen. Thus, while the high priest presented the cut sheaf the night before and the food offering that they had prepared during the night (Leviticus 23:10-11), Yeshua presented before YeHoVaH the resurrected First Fruits.
There are those who would affirm that Yeshua alone is the First Fruits, but if so, then we would have another dilemma, because the Torah gives a very clear instruction in YeHoVaH’s pronouncement in Exodus 23:15 – “No one is to appear before me empty-handed.”
So, since Yeshua had to fulfill the Torah perfectly, he could not appear before the Father that morning with no offering! He had to bring something to present to his Father, because that was precisely the day of Bikkurim – the Day of the First Fruits. Could Yeshua enter the Heavenly Sanctuary saying, “Here I am; I am the First Fruits”? This clearly makes no sense, for Yeshua had to take something with him as an offering of First Fruits to his Father, and this provides the only possible explanation for the resurrection of those saints referred to in Matthew 27:50-53 – they were the First Fruits that Yeshua presented as his Bikkurim offering before our father YeHoVaH.
Perhaps we are wondering: who were those who were resurrected? Unfortunately, the story tells us nothing further about it, but we do have records in the Tanakh or Old Testament that many righteous prophets and kings were buried in and around Jerusalem. Therefore, we can infer that some of them who were chosen by YeHoVaH were resurrected and therefore are in heaven with Yeshua and with YeHoVaH. Will they be the 24 elders referred to in the Book of the Revelation? It is probable, because the truth is that the rest of those who have slept are awaiting resurrection on the day of the Messiah’s return.
Let us rejoice, because when there are First Fruits, this means that there is going to be a harvest later, and in the very manner that those saints were resurrected, we will also be, if the Messiah does not come before.
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