Easter must break the Father’s heart. He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, Yeshua, to be our Passover lamb. Yeshua must hate it too. After all, he called those who lay aside His Father’s commandments to keep man made traditions hypocrites (Mark 7:6-9). Sunrise services, Easter baskets with dyed eggs, Easter ham; why must God’s people choose those things in which He has no delight? (Isa 65:12) Anyone who does a little bit of research can easily discover the origin of these pagan practices. In his book De Ratione Temporum, Christian scholar, the Venerable Bede (672-735 AD), was one of the first to assert that Easter was named after Eostre/ Eastre / Ishtar. She was the great mother goddess of the Saxons in Northern Europe, known in ancient Israel as Ashtoreth. Worship of this goddess–Ashtoreth (Easter)–infuriated God so much, according to 1 Kings 11:29-35, He ripped Israel in two, creating the House of Israel and the House of Judah.
1Ki 11:33 states: “…because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statutes and My judgments…”
HOW SERIOUS IS IT?
God’s word makes it very clear He does not permit those in covenant with Him to worship Him the way Nations not in covenant (pagan nations) worship their gods.
Deu 12:30 “Take heed to yourself that you not be snared to follow them after they have been destroyed before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? And I shall do so likewise…”
God is so adamant He ordered their complete destruction.
Deuteronomy 7:16 Also you shall destroy all the peoples whom the LORD your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
God even commands his people to never mention the names of pagan gods.
Exo 23:13 “And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.
SO WHAT DOES THE CHURCH DO?
In 325 AD, at the Council of Nicaea Constantine changed the date on which Christians were to commemorate the resurrection and outlawed keeping Passover. He also outlawed First Fruits, a shadow picture of Yeshua’s resurrection. In place of the God-ordained appointed Feasts, which YHVH said were to be observed FOREVER, they decide to to what is right in their own eyes. They decreed that now Christians were to celebrate Yeshua’s resurrection, not as Scripture has ordained, on First Fruits, but on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox. Then, adding insult to injury, they named this day after the pagan goddess, Ishtar (Easter in English), whose Hebrew name is Ashtoreth. 1Ki 11:33 states: “…because they have forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth…”
Deuteronomy 12:8 “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—”
Oh, but they did! And, sadly, they still do! But enough about the doctrines and traditions of men! Let’s see what God’s word says about First Fruits. Before we get started, though, you must understand that every one of YHVH’s appointed times, His Feast Days, are shadow pictures. They tell the GOSPEL! They are shadow-pictures of the Messiah!
WHAT WAS THE ORDER OF EVENTS?
Yeshua was executed on a stake on Passover, Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan.
At 3 p. m. in the afternoon, at the temple, the High Priest sacrificed the last Passover lamb, then in keeping with protocol, he cried out, “It is finished!”, and at the very moment, on the cross, so did Yeshua, our Passover lamb. Then Yeshua bowed his head and released his Spirit. His body was removed from the stake and placed in the tomb before sunset, when the High Sabbath of Nisan 15th–the the Feast of Unleavened bread–would begin at sunset, according to God’s time-clock. Yeshua arose 3 days and 3 nights later, as he said he would. (Matthew 12:40)
He was put into the tomb just before the close of Passover,on the 14th, and he remained there in the tomb all of the 15th, all of the 16th, and until just before sunset on the 17th. He rose three days and three nights, 72 full hours, later, just as He had promised. Yeshua, the Lord of the Sabbath, arose at the close of the weekly Sabbath (Saturday). When Mary arrived ‘early’ on the first day of the week (Sunday) while it was still dark, Yeshua was not there..
Good Friday is a myth started by the Roman Catholic Church. It is impossible to complete three days and three nights from Friday afternoon to Sunday. Do the math! And believers are called to worship Yeshua in Spirit and in TRUTH!
But something did happen after Yeshua appeared to Mary on that particular Sunday. While it was still dark that Sunday morning, John 20:1 tells us, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb to find the stone rolled away. A little while later, after she ran to tell the disciples that the Lord’s body had been moved, something rather curious happened. The disciples followed Mary and found the linens and grave clothes Yeshua had been wrapped in were now folded neatly. That was startling enough, but after they left, Mary saw two angels in white. They asked her why she was weeping, and she told them she was crying because the Lord’s body had been moved, and she didn’t know where it had been taken. It was then that the most curious thing happened. The scene went something like this: (John 20:2-17)
“Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek?”
Thinking that it was the gardener, Mary said, “Sir, if you carried Him away. Tell me where you put Him, and I will take Him.”
Then Yeshua said, “Mary!”
At that point, Mary must’ve reached to embrace him, for Yeshua told her, “Do not touch Me!”
For years, I wondered about that. For a few passages later, Yeshua told Thomas to go ahead, touch him, his hands and his side! So why was it okay for Thomas to touch Him, but not Mary?
Yeshua, our High Priest, had not yet ascended to present His body and blood to His Father in the Heavenly tabernacle. So he had to remain ceremonially undefiled (untouched) in order to perform his priestly duties–apply his blood on the mercy seat. Yeshua, our High Priest, had to fulfill his duties according to the pattern proscribed by the TORAH (God’s instructions). Remember, the earthly tabernacle is a copy of the one in Heaven. The rules for proper protocol in the earthly tabernacle are based on the rules of protocol in Heaven.
WHAT IS THE FIRST FRUIT OFFERING?
According to information at Jewishvirtuallibrary.org, “the Hebrew term bikkurim, and related terms for the “first fruits”, derive from the same root as bekhor, “firstborn.” The firstborn of man and beast belong to God. The first fruits are to be devoted to Him. The first grains to ripen each season are to be brought as an offering to YHVH. Every Israelite was under this obligation (Ex. 23:19; 34:26, Num. 15:17–21; 18:12–13; Deut. 26:1–11). A frequent synonym for bikkurim is “the first [fruits].”
Leviticus 23:9-14 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the (weekly) Sabbath, the priest shall wave it. And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD…It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
According to Leviticus, First Fruits is offered on ‘the day after the weekly Sabbath’ and the priest shall wave it. The bikkurim of the barley was marked by tying it together with a sheaf while it was still in the field. Then, when it was ready to be harvested, it was offered as the first fruits, and presented by the High Priest in the Temple along with a blood offering.
First Fruits begins the counting of 7 weeks ( called counting the omer) to Shavuot, that appointed time when YHVH gave the Ten Commandments. Shavuot (Pentecost) is also when the Holy Spirit was poured out on believers. One might say that we, who have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, are like the marked bikkurim of the barley in the field. For we have been marked for the harvest when Yeshua returns.
Have you ever wondered what happened to all of the dead that were broken out of their graves at the time of the crucifixion? Only Matthew speaks of it.
Mat 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Upon Yeshua’s death an earthquake occurred. Graves opened. Saints were ‘raised. They remained in their tombs until Yeshua’s resurrection, at which time they appeared to many. The scriptures are silent about this event after that. But we can see that when their graves were opened, these saints were marked. Later Yeshua presented them, like the marked barley in the field, as a ‘first fruits offering.’ It was His duty as the High Priest, and it could explain the 24 elders seen by John and recounted in the book of Revelation.
OUR PERFECT LAMB AND HIGH PRIEST
At the very moment the Temple High Priest waved the sheaf of the First Fruits before the Lord, our High Priest presented his sheaf of first fruits, His blood as the perfect blood sacrifice. Yeshua fulfilled the Feast of First Fruits perfectly, for like all of Yah’s Fest Days, they are shadows pictures of His reality.
1Co 15:20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruit of those having fallen asleep. 21 For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a Man. 22 For as all die in Adam, so also all shall be made alive in Messiah. 23 And each in his own order: Messiah, the first-fruits, then those who are in Messiah at His coming,
(Romans 8:23) Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.