Peace Be Unto You

Dear Brethren,

When properly appreciated, the wave-sheaf offering brings a great message of hope and salvation to God’s people.  Jesus Christ is the wave-sheaf offering.  God gave this very special ritual to Israel long before they were to implement it.  The wave-sheaf was to be gathered in the Promised Land, and not before.

Leviticus 23:9-11  The Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

We have been given the superb New Testament fulfillment of Jesus Christ as the wave-sheaf offering.  It took place on the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, after Jesus had died on Passover.  Tomorrow, Sunday, is the anniversary of the wave-sheaf offering. 

“The first day of the week [Sunday] came Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher… And when she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.  Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father…my God, and your God.” (John 20:1,14,17)

In fulfillment of the wave-sheaf offering, Jesus ascended to His Father on Sunday, the first day of the week.  In the Old Testament, the wave-sheaf offering was offered to God by Israel's High Priest on behalf of the people. The phrase, “accepted for you,” is most revealing. It pictures Jesus Christ, the true unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, being offered to God the Father and accepted on our behalf.  When God the Father formally accepted the resurrected Jesus Christ, it became possible for us to become future sons and daughters of God.

That evening, after being accepted by the Father, Jesus appeared to His disciples, and the very first words out of Jesus’ mouth were, Peace be unto you.

John 20:19  Then the same day at evening, being, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.

Jesus had ascended to His Father.  He was the very first to be raised from the dead in God's spiritual harvest of mankind. Jesus opened the way for all men to have the opportunity for eternal life.

1Corinthians 15:20-22  But now is Christ 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 Christ shall all be made alive.

Before He died, Jesus knew full well that He would be offered to the Father to be received as an acceptable sacrifice.  He prayed that night, looking forward to that acceptance. When we are presented to the Father, we can know that we will be accepted as well.

Colossians 3:4  When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.

Jesus is the first of the firstfruits to be resurrected from the dead and accepted by His Father.  God the Father will accept us as a wave-sheaf offering as well.

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Brethren, we too, are to be firstfruits.

Revelation 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

The incredible truth is that those of the Church of God are included, with Christ, among the firstfruits.  James said it so well.

James 1:18  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Jesus Christ's presented Himself to God the Father as the wave-sheaf offering to be accepted as the first of the "firstfruits" resurrected from the dead to eternal life.  We, too, will be resurrected and accepted by the Father to eternal life as firstfruits.  The wave-sheaf ceremony shows us the completion of the perfect plan of God and our salvation in it. We can now have hope and full assurance that God the Father will accept us to glory, just as Jesus Christ was glorified during the Days of Unleavened Bread so many years ago.

Sermon:  "Peace Be Unto You"