Jesus, Holy First Fruits Offering

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

The context of John 20:17 is the first thing in the morning. This is the day after Jesus was crucified. It was a God appointed Feast Day, the day of First Fruits.

The third of God’s holidays is First Fruits or Reshit Katzir in the Hebrew. The one day holiday begins on the day after the Sabbath or Sunday on our calendar.

The directions for First Fruits are noted in Leviticus 23:9-14. The priest is to make a barley offering of the first portion of the harvest to the Lord. The priest intervenes of behalf of the people. The reality of the holiday for the people of Israel is this. The people bring their grain sheaf to the priest. They are to sacrifice a lamb without blemish. The offering is also to be presented with bread and wine.

Jesus is very specific in His directions to Mary. “Do not cling to Me.” The Greek word translated as “cling” is ἅπτομαι/haptomai. HELPS Word Studies defines the term as: to modify or change by touching, properly, “touching that influences” (modifies); touching someone (something) in a way that alters (changesmodifies) them, i.e. “impact-touching.”

John 20:17 translated another way. “Don’t touch Me. You can’t touch Me.”

Jesus is using very strong, directive language to Mary. Why?

Jesus is now in His glorified state and body. His resurrection had overcome sin and death. He was as Holy and pure as One could be. Jesus had not yet gone to His Father in Heaven.

Jesus tells Mary, “for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

Jesus has unfinished business for this appointed day. He is going to Heaven to be the First Fruit offering before God the Father in Heaven.

Jesus is our High Priest and representative before God the Father.

Jesus is the first portion barley offering before the Father. Jesus is also bringing a grain sheath offering with Him before His Father. Matthew 27:52-53 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Christ is the sacrificed Lamb for sin.

And we remember His death until He comes again at communion with wine and bread.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

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