Yeshua the Firstfruits: First-born of those who are being saved

Humans and donkeys have something very important in common, according to the words of God: Both have to be redeemed by the blood of a lamb. The purpose of the memorial of Unleavened Bread is to remind us those who trust God have crossed over and what was before is destroyed and is gone. The past is destroyed just as the Egyptian army was drowned into the Sea. 

“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.” (Leviticus 23:10 NASB)

The Hebrew word for harvest is קָצִיר qatzir (Strong’s lexicon No. H7105) and the Hebrew word for first fruits is רֵאשִׁית reshit (H7225). At this time of year the first fruit that is harvested is the barley, which has a symbolic meaning. It is a representation of Yeshua, who was the first to come out of the grave. He was the one without blemish who was the first to experience full resurrection. 

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Sanctify to Me every first-born, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.’ 

Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the LORD brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten…Now when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, you shall devote to the LORD the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the LORD. But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.'”(Exodus 13:1–3, 11-13 NASB)

The donkey is the only first born animal who is to be dedicated to the Lord but can be redeemed by the death of another animal. Yeshua rode into Yerushalaim on a donkey, He was the lamb who redeemed that donkey. 

“Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.” (Matthew 3:13–15 NASB)

Yeshua was the first-born and He had to go through water, just as the children of Israel went through water. The children of Israel “died” in the Red Sea and Yeshua was buried and raised in baptism. 

“After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'” (Matthew 3:16–17 NASB)

When we enter the water, we enter into death, we come out the other side into life. 

Is the matzah the “bread of affliction” because it causes indigestion? No, it’s called that because the children of Israel had to leave Egypt in haste. 

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NASB)

Have you crossed through the Red Sea? It’s not the Purple Sea, Black Sea or the Mediterranean Sea. 

How are the first born sanctified? How are we sanctified?

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”(John 17:17 NASB)

What is the Hebrew word for sanctify? It’s קָדַשׁ qadash/kadash (H6942). Though means to set apart for a purpose.

God refers to Israel as His first-born. How was Jacob/Israel was the first-born when Esau was actually born first? God did not make Jacob/Israel His first-born because Jacob was the eldest son, because he was not. The reason that Jacob/Israel was the first-born is that God set him as the progenitor of His holy people. 

When we accepted Yeshua as our Savior, we chose Him as our first-born. We have made Him first in our hearts. 

It wasn’t just the men who crossed the Red Sea, women and children walked through too. They were all baptized into God’s community just as we are all baptized into Messiah Yeshua: male, female, slave, free, Jew, Gentile. 

The first-born is chosen by God before he is born. The first-born is the chief of His people. 

“Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;” (Genesis 4:4 NASB)

“…and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth:” (Genesis 25:13 NASB)

“Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me…'” (Genesis 27:19 NASB)

The title of first-born is more of a spiritual title than a physical title. Remember Joseph and his two sons. When Jacob came to bless them, he swapped the blessings so the younger son received the first born blessing. That is why God calls Ephraim His first born. 

When we are baptized, we are baptized into Yeshua’s death. When we come out of the water, we are “resurrected” with Him. We are not like the Egyptians who went into the sea but never came out. 

Everything God does and says has a purpose. 

“Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt…Now when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, you shall devote to the LORD the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the LORD. ..But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.” Exodus 13:7–8,11-13 NASB)

The first-born donkey and the first-born human males are so special to God that he must be redeemed by the blood of a lamb. 

“And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every first-born of my sons I redeem.'”  (Exodus 13:14–16 NASB)

When the children of Israel left Egypt, they went to Succoth and from there they went to Etham on the edge of the wilderness and camped there briefly but once they left Etham, they had to travel day and night without rest until they arrived at  Pi-hahiroth. 

“Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea.” (Exodus 14:2 NASB)

They had three-day lead on the Egyptians who were chasing them. Pharaoh thought they were trapped but God deliberately trapped the children of Israel there. Why? Fear was overwhelming the Israelites, they could not go forward and they could not go back either. They were nearly at the point of death. They had to see themselves as the donkey. The first-born donkey was destined for death. We are like that donkey and we have to choose a lamb to die in our place. 

“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.'” (Exodus 14:13 NASB)

The Israelites did not know where God was taking them. 

“So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.” (Exodus 14:20 NASB)

The Egyptians were in darkness and the children of Israel were in the light from the same cloud, but then in the morning, around midnight or so, God lifted the darkness from the Egyptians and they gave chase and the Egyptians drowned in the sea. 

God saved them from Egypt, from sin and darkness. He is going to take them to the promised land where they can live by His laws, not the law of sin. 

Moses was a representation of the Father and Aaron was a representation of the Messiah. 

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.” (1Corinthians 10:1–5 NASB)

The spiritual food is the word of God. 

The purpose of the unleavened bread is to remind us that we have crossed over and what was before is destroyed and is gone. The past is destroyed. We have a hard time understanding that the past is gone. We think too much about our faults and sins. God will complete His work. You can talk to God about the smallest thing or the biggest thing. He will respond. Following Yeshua will cost you as much as it cost the Apostles. They said Yes before they fully knew what it meant. We also said Yes before we full knew what that meant. God is taking us on a journey. 

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22–24 NASB)

We are members of the first-born, just as the children of Israel who were called out and the first-born to be sanctified and holy. We are called out to be sanctified and holy. We need to seek the strength and power of God. We can’t correct our weakness, only God can correct our weakness and to strengthen our spirit. If you beat your flesh, your flesh will fight back, the only weapon you have that is the word of God. 

This study was conducted on the seventh day of the festival of Unleavened Bread (Khag Matzot). Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy. 

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