This day (also known as the “Day of the Wave Sheaf Offering”) occurs during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is the day after the weekly Sabbath – known today as Sunday. It was not a commanded day of rest, but simply a day when an omer (a little over two litres) of the early barley grain was waved or raised by the priest at the temple. None of the season’s barley was to be eaten until after this ceremony each year. The sacrifices that accompanied the waving of the omer were a male lamb, unleavened bread and wine. Interestingly, these were the elements the Messiah used in His “Last Supper”, with Himself as the lamb!
There is not much said about this day in Scripture, but from the Apostolic authors we see that it was symbolic of resurrection. Yeshua’s first appearance after His resurrection was to Mary (Miriam) in the garden. It appears that He may have been about to ascend to His Father for the heavenly ceremony of the first fruits. John 20:17 tells us, “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.”
Notice that Yeshua’s first appearance was early on Sunday – but His actual resurrection was not observed. I believe He rose very late on the Sabbath, just as the first day of the week was about to begin. This would then fulfill the “three days and three nights” in the tomb. Although christianity has changed from the Sabbath to a Sunday, it’s interesting to see that there had been a Sunday ceremony at this time since the days of Moses. It was not something new!
So, it seems that Yeshua’s first appearance after His resurrection was the foreshadowed event of the first fruits ceremony, also including a possible presentation before His Father in heaven as the First Fruits of all those who would be resurrected after Him. Interestingly, there were a number of saints resurrected in Jerusalem at that time also, further displaying the power of Yeshua as the First Fruits of the resurrected. In fact, without the First Fruits, our own resurrection would have no sure foundation to stand upon!
“But now is Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they that are Messiah’s at his coming.” (1 Cor 15:20-23)
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