We believe in Jesus Christ… who rose again from the dead on the third day.
I Corinthians 15:20
“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
The day after the Passover Sabbath, the Israelites were commanded to present the first sheaf of the year’s harvest in the Temple as an offering to God (Leviticus 23:9-11). That first armful of grain was a form of promise: it was the first instalment of the full harvest to come.
Like the other cultic requirements of the Old Testament Law, this ceremony was a ‘shadow’ of something much more profound; it pointed forward to something that Jesus would do as part of His fulfilling of the Law (Matthew 5:17). And it was on the day after the Passover Sabbath that He was raised from the dead…
Christ’s resurrection is many things: it is the proof that He is Israel’s Messiah, the vindication of His ministry and the completion of His atoning sacrifice. But more than that, it has forever changed the way that Christians look at death. For those who have committed themselves to Jesus are ‘united’ with Him. We have ‘died’ with Him (as demonstrated in our baptism), and one day we will be resurrected with Him to the same glorious, indestructible life. His resurrection and ours are part of one and the same ‘harvest’.