Monday Morning Encouragement -- Our Hope In Life and Death


"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." 1 Corinthians 15:20

The more I study the New Testament, the more I see how crucial it is to study the Old Testament. Everything written in the OT is a foreshadowing of things to come. Trying to take it all in is like trying to drink from a fire hose. 

This morning I'm specifically looking at 1 Corinthians 15:20 and pondering the word "firstfruits". Christ is the "firstfruits".  I've kind of taken that for granted in the past, however today I wanted to study that word. What is the context of that word?

I'm grateful to be able to go to online commentaries for an explanation, and so I went to one of my favorite pastors, David Gruzik of Enduring Word. Here's what he writes about this subject:

"Firstfruits is the ancient Greek word aparche. In the Septuagint, this word is used for the offering of firstfruits and in secular usage the word was used for an entrance fee.

i. Jesus was the firstfruits of our resurrection in both senses. In the Old Testament, the offering of firstfruits brought one sheaf of grain to represent and anticipate the rest of the harvest (Leviticus 23:9-14). The resurrection of Jesus represents our resurrection, because if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5). The resurrection of Jesus also anticipates our resurrection, because we will be raised with a body like His. “As in the firstfruits offered to God, the Jews were assured of God’s blessing on the whole harvest; so by the resurrection of Christ, our resurrection is insured.” (Trapp)

ii. The Feast of Firstfruits was observed on the day after the Sabbath following Passover (Leviticus 23:9-14). Significantly, Jesus rose from the dead on the exact day of the Feast of Firstfruits, the day after the Sabbath following the Passover.

iii. The offering at the Feast of Firstfruits was a bloodless grain offering (Leviticus 2). No atoning sacrifice was necessary, because the Passover lamb had just been sacrificed. This corresponds perfectly with the resurrection of Jesus, because His death ended the need for sacrifice, having provided a perfect and complete atonement.

iv. The resurrection of Jesus is also the firstfruits of our resurrection in the sense that He is our “entrance fee” to resurrection. Jesus paid our admission to the resurrection!

I don't know about you, but I never knew that "Jesus rose from the dead on the exact day of the Feast of Firstfruits, the day after the Sabbath following the Passover." This is so significant!

More and more I see that to understand our own Christian faith, we need to know more about the Jewish faith. Jesus came to fulfill all the requirements of the Law. He is the sacrificial lamb. He atoned once and for all for sin. So those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus for eternal salvation -- for the forgiveness of sins and a restored relationship with God -- are no longer under the law, but instead under His grace.

I'm overcome with amazement at what Jesus did for us on the cross. He is our hope in life and in death. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jesus!

Today's music video Christ Our Hope In Life and Death from Keith and Kristyn Getty, and sung by Matt Papa is a modern version of an old hymn. I hope it will be a great comfort to you, as it is to me.

I love you, I'm thinking of you, and I'm praying for you.


  1. Good Morning Nancy. This is very significant in how it follows the resurrection of Jesus. The music is beautiful. Happy New Week. Hugs. Kris

  2. If I knew it before it wasn't fresh in my mind about Firstfruits and Jesus' resurrection. Repetition is the mother of learning. So much to learn from the Word of God. Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Hope you have a beautiful week, Nancy.

  3. I did not know that either. (Jesus rising on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits.) Thank you for this wonderful information. I'm going to share this with Dennis when he comes home from work. And yes, I do believe we have to know the history of the Old Testament in order to understand the New.
    I hope you're having a wonderful Monday.
    Blessings and hugs,


  4. He is our hope in life and in death. This is so true and without Him I would have no hope at all.
    I may have already shared this because I read it around a month ago and it has stuck with me. It's from a book titled, One Minute After You Die by Erwin W Lutzer. He writes, for Christians, death is the "gift" that escorts us into the presence of God. How glorious is that!
    This statement made a huge impression on me and totally changed my perspective of death. It is a gift, the same gift that you speak of in this post :)
    Thank you for another wonderful Monday message.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  5. When I learned everything in Sunday school a million years ago, it was in small quick bursts. I love revisiting things as an adult, there's obviously so much more depth and understanding, thanks for sharing.

  6. We sang that song in church yesterday! Love it.
    The Bible is a STORY. So yes, we must read and understand the whole thing, OLD and NEWTestaments.

  7. Thank you Nancy for this lesson! I have so much to learn from the Bible and God's word! I hadn't heard of firstfruits, but it is amazing! The song's words are so perfect. I am thankful that Jesus has my soul and has prepared a place for it in his Heavenly Home! xoxo Marilyn

  8. I did a study on the feasts a few years ago and learned about the firstfruits. So interesting and so wonderful!

  9. It was a good text. There were things in it that I did not know before; those observations about firstfruits.

  10. I didn't know Jesus rose on the Feast of Firstfruits. This is so remarkable. I never cease to be amazed at God's precision. Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts, sweet friend.

  11. Hi Nancy, love reading your thoughts! Praise God for all he has given us. With God anything is possible!


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