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The Relationship Between the Day of Firstfruits and Thanksgiving Day
First, let us find out whether or not Thanksgiving Day is related to the Day of Firstfruits.

God appointed seven different feasts to commemorate the work of Moses, spanning from the time when he came out of Egypt with the Israelites, to his crossing the Red Sea and receiving the Ten Commandments, until the time of his gathering materials to build the tabernacle. Moses’ work was a shadow of Christ’s work, from the time when Christ led His people out of the sinful world, until the time He would gather the materials to build the heavenly temple.

The Day of Firstfruits is the third feast of the seven, appointed in springtime—the season when barley and wheat ripen. It commemorated Moses' crossing the Red Sea with the Israelites. On the day after the Sabbath, following the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the priest waved a sheaf of the first grain before God. This symbolically represented Jesus Christ’s resurrection as the firstfruits among the dead.

Lev 23:10-14 『Speak to the Israelites and say to them: "When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath...You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God (on the Day of Firstfruits). This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live."』

The Israelites couldn't eat the new grains until they presented the wave offering of a sheaf of the first grain to God on the Day of Firstfruits. This prophecy revealed that no one could resurrect until Jesus had first risen from the dead.

1 Cor. 15:20-24 『But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [physically died]...But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits...』

Jesus resurrected as the firstfruits among the dead, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy concerning the Day of Firstfruits. In the Old Testament times, the Israelites kept the Day of Firstfruits on the day after the Sabbath, following the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was fulfilled by Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Sunday —the day after the Sabbath, following the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Mark 16:9 『When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week...』

Jesus' resurrection was prophesied during the time of Moses, and the exact day of His resurrection—the day after the Sabbath—was even appointed.

Now, in the New Testament times, should we still commemorate the Old Testament’s Day of Firstfruits? We should commemorate Jesus' resurrection instead. If there is anyone who keeps Thanksgiving Day, trying to draw a connection between Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Firstfruits, then he is still within the parameters of the Old Testament. Jesus established the new covenant, so if we try to follow the regulations of the old covenant, it is as if we are rebelling against Jesus and crucifying Him once more, isn’t it?


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2007.02.27
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