What does it mean, Christ is “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”?


The Firstfruits – A Type of Christ

Paul wrote, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The term “firstfruits” comes first from the Old Testament. The ancient Israelites were commanded to present the first sheaf of the barley harvest to the priest, who waved it before the Lord as a pledge of the full harvest that was to follow. This ceremony was to be performed on the 16th of Nisan (Abib; Leviticus 23:10; v. 11). And the Passover supper was eaten on Nisan 14 (verse 5), and on the 16th came the offering of the first fruits.

The wave sheaf of the firstfruits of the harvest was a type of Christ, or the pledge, of the great harvest that will follow. At that time, all the righteous dead will be raised at the second coming of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14–16). The Bible tells us that Christ rose from the dead on the very day that the wave sheaf was presented in the Temple (Leviticus 23:14; Luke 23:56; 24:1).

It should be noted that Christ was not first in point of time to rise from the dead. Others, such as Moses (Matthew 17:3; Luke 9:28–30; Jude 9) and Lazarus (John 11:43), had died and been raised to life before Jesus came out of the tomb. However, they did so only because of, and in hope of, Christ’s own resurrection. Therefore, without Christ’s triumph over death, no other resurrection would have been possible. In this true sense, Christ is the firstfruits of those who are made alive – the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18).

The Savior was the “first” in prominence as the author of life (Colossians 1:15, 16; 3:4). Because He conquered death (Acts 2:24; Revelation 1:18), He guaranteed life to all who trust in Him and in His power. Only Jesus “brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10). Thus, the triumphant Christ led the way on the resurrection morning. Eventually, He will be followed by many of His saints who have been sleeping.

The term “firstfruits” means that the Savior was first to proclaim that the dead shall live through faith in Him. Jesus said, “…I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment …” (John 5:21–29 also 11:23–26). Christ became one flesh with humans, that we may become one with Him. It is through this union that believers will be raised from the grave. In addition, through this same unity, the redeemed can be “transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

1 thought on “What does it mean, Christ is “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”?”

  1. It should be noted that Christ was not first in point of time to rise from the dead. Others, such as Moses (Matthew 17:3; Luke 9:28–30; Jude 9) and Lazarus (John 11:43), had died and been raised to life before Jesus came out of the tomb. However, they did so only because of, and in hope of, Christ’s own resurrection. Therefore, without Christ’s triumph over death, no other resurrection would have been possible. In this true sense,
    Christ is the firstfruits of those who are made alive – the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18).
    Humbly speaking, and thanks to the Holy Spirit, who is the only light for us humans sent by Jesus Christ from the Father, I believe that the verse :
    Christ is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” is not a reference to Jesus’ dead body as such, but to His spirit; The fact that it says Christ, not Jesus.

    Now Jesus’ spirit was sacrificed and SLAIN LIKE A LAMB FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD Rev.13:8

    Just read what you very well said hereunder:

    Therefore, without Christ’s triumph over death, no other resurrection would have been possible.
    That’s right!
    Now what did occur on Jesus’ death by which death he triumphed and became Christ?
    What kind of triumph?

    Jesus, as mentioned in Rev.13:8 as a spirit, was sacrificed and slain like a lamb from the beginning of the world. That means that in order for the sake of truth, eternal life, redemption, and resurrection of the entire NEW ETERNAL creation, Jesus EMPTIED himself and as an infinitesimal divine spirit poured Himself precisely as the source and life of all, in all creatures’ hearts no matter whom and what, till justice , truth and redemption was achieved on the cross immediately on Jesus’ death, obviously in the flesh, “THE WORD” made flesh, the Son of Man, but in that precise instant of Jesus’ death again, in his flesh, Jesus’ spirit, originally slain…..Rev.13:8 was not slain anymore but ALIVE IN ALL CREATURES’ SOULS/HEARTS, both in HELL, in the HEART of the earth, and on EARTH, no matter whom and what.

    On Jesus’ death, THE END OF THE OLD CARNAL COVENANT, the fact that Jesus died in His flesh, the entire human race till Pentecost, THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW SPIRITUAL and ETERNAL COVENANT, was more holy than Adam and Eve were in the Garden before their fall, plus that THE WORLD, became THE NEW PARADISE, Luke 23:43, simply PURIFIED AND RECREATED ANEW BY JESUS’ OWN BLOOD, HENCE, THE FATHER OF IT.
    THE FATHER OF THE NEW CREATIOIN IN JESUS CHRIST, THE FATHER OF THE NEW WORLD TO COME, Isaiah 9:6. Thus, Jesus as a spirit again, originally slain…..Rev.13:8 restored and reestablished HIS SPIRIT, “THE WORD”, Hebrews 4:12, as the TRUTH, the LIFE, and the only sovereign spirit at all costs, within the entire creation, and SOULS/HEARTS OF THE HUMAN RACE . Luke 23:34, thus Christ is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”

    FALLEN ASLEEP!

    NOT DEAD, a clear reference to all those SOULS, who fell asleep from Adam’s sin, but since Jesus, ETERNAL LIFE before the world was, was sacrificed/slain from the beginning of the world within all SOULS/hearts, THEY BECAME ALIVE IMMEDIATELY ON JESUS’ DEATH, by Jesus’ spirit then glorified as Christ. Luke 23:46 originally and purposely God all-knowing, Slain like a lamb from the beginning of the world Rev.13:8

    JESUS THE MAN, “THE WORD” MADE FLESH, ETERNAL LIFE, GLORIFIED AS CHRIST ON HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS, WHILE PRE-EXISTED ALSO AS A SPIRIT, AND WAS SLAIN LIKE A LAMB WITHIN ALL SOULS LIKE A LAMB FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD.

    Thus, JESUS’ SPIRIT, “THE WORD” MADE FLESH, THE SON OF MAN, GLORIFIED AS CHRIST is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”

    Peace and love in Jesus Christ

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