Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits: Leviticus 23:6-11

Leviticus 23:6‑11  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
The Passover was followed by the feast of unleavened bread which lasted seven days. It tells us of that practical separation from evil which is the result of the knowledge of salvation through Christ. Just as when the leper had been cleansed by the blood, he then washed himself and his clothes. As soon as the sinner has learned what Christ has done for him, he then realizes that he is in a new position to which new desires are suited. The precious blood of Christ has put our sins away and sheltered us from judgment, while the death of Christ is the end of all that we were in the flesh before God. The unleavened bread might seem flat, and tasteless, but it was eaten willingly and joyfully by the Israelite who realized the wondrous deliverance God had accomplished for him from Egypt’s slavery, and so the heart that realizes what has been accomplished for him by the wondrous work of Calvary, would gladly, through the constraining love of Christ, reckon himself to be “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:1111Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:11)). This is not just on Lord’s day, but seven days in the week, just as the children of Israel put leaven out of their homes for seven days following the eating of the Passover. Each day of the week there was to be an offering to the Lord. This separation is not primarily the thought of what we give up, but a fresh daily occupation with Christ, the Source of all our blessings. All we do is now to be for Him as we seek, by His grace, not to live unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:1515And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)) — precious privilege indeed!
The Feast of Firstfruits
The next feast is the feast of firstfruits. When the children of Israel reaped their harvest, they were to present the firstfruits to the Lord. Then on the day after the Sabbath, which is the first day of the week, the priest was to wave this sheaf of firstfruits before the Lord. How beautifully this typifies Christ in resurrection. The work of redemption having been accomplished, God has been glorified about the question of sin, and now here, in figure, we see that blessed Man who accomplished the work in resurrection — the firstfruits of a new harvest. There was no fruit for God from the first man, but here is One, the true Corn of Wheat who fell into the ground and died (John 12:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)), who has glorified God His Father in all that He did. Now He comes forth from the grave, the risen Man — the head of new creation. How blessed to think of this!
We are told here that when the sheaf of firstfruits was waved before the Lord, it was to be accepted for them. How beautiful to think of Christ in this way, first bringing glory to God where man had so dishonored Him, and then, as we see later in the type, the harvest will all be gathered in. An Israelite could not reap his harvest until he had brought the firstfruits to the Lord. There could not be any harvest (of which we who are saved are a part, through grace) until the Lord Jesus had died, risen, and gone back to heaven as the glorified Man.
Along with this waving of the firstfruits there was the offering of a lamb of the first year and also a meat (meal) offering of two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil — an offering made by fire. These were to be accompanied by a drink offering of wine.
For Further Meditation
1. What does the feast of firstfruits represent?
2. The fact that our Lord Jesus Christ not only died but rose again is essential for the foundation of Christianity. A worthwhile project would be to read through the book of Acts and to write down every time that His resurrection is referred to when the early Christians were preaching to others. How many references are there?
3. You can download a free ebook entitled The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ by A. J. Pollock by going to joyfulnews.org. You will find the essential nature and wonder of the resurrection clearly presented there.