The scripture for today is 1Corinthians 15:19-28 (NIV).
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
First fruits are found in numerous places in the bible: Leviticus 23:10, Leviticus 23:11, Leviticus 23:17, 1 Corinthians15:23, 1 Corinthians 5:6-7, Romans 11:14-16, Revelations 14:4, and more. So what are first fruits? Since God is the creator of everything and our provider, we should give the first and best of what we have to the Lord in obedience to scripture and out of respect and love for Him. In other words, give God the first and best of your harvest or whatever you have. In Exodus 23:19a it says, “The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” In Numbers 18:13, it says, “The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours.” This first offering is like the precursor or sign for the harvest to come -it is the promise of fullness and abundance. In Matthew 6:33; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” First fruits is exactly that…putting God first in time, order and importance.
Jesus Christ, through his resurrection, is referred to as the first fruits of the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15: 20-23, it says, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” This means that on Christs’ second coming, the faithful that are asleep in the Lord will rise or be made alive. What a great reassurance that Christs’ return will mark the resurrection of his faithful followers.
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul teaches that Christ in his bodily resurrection is the "first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." Therefore, He is the guarantee that those who belong to Him will be raised from the dead at his second coming. In the natural world, the first sheaf of the crop was to be brought to God (Leviticus 23:10 Leviticus 23:11 Leviticus 23:17) as a promise that the rest of the harvest would follow. This will also be true in God's redemption harvest. First, Christ the "first fruits" has triumphed in his resurrection; then, the rest of his crop, "the redeemed, will be raised triumphantly at his second coming “(1 Cor. 15:23). We have God’s promise that we can share in Christ’s glory in living and dying as His children.
Dear God, Thank you for the gift of your son’s redemptive actions that make it possible to share eternal life with you. Amen
Prayer Concern: Those who struggle with unbelief and seek to find their faith in You. Amen