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Thematic menu of biblical articles

“Those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ”

(Colossians 2:17)

Harvest festivals: the prefiguration of the different resurrections

“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. You will observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread. You will eat unleavened bread for seven days, just as I have commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Aʹbib, for at that time you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. Also, you are to observe the Festival of Harvest of the first ripe fruits of your labors, of what you sow in the field; and the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the results of your labors” (Exodus 23:14-16).

Israel's three annual festivals coincided with the harvests of the agricultural seasons. We will note, with the Bible, through the resurrection of Christ and the birth of the Christian Congregation or Christian Church, that these "harvests" of spring and autumn, are the prefiguration of the different resurrections: that of Christ (the presentation of the "firstfruits" (harvest of spring)), the 144,000 (heavenly resurrection) (festival of Pentecost (spring harvest)) and the earthly resurrection of the righteous (the festival of booths (autumn harvest)). The main key to understanding is the resurrection of Christ, which by domino effect makes possible to understand that these harvest festivals are the prefiguration of the different resurrections: "For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16).


The Resurrection of Christ and the

Festival of Unfermented Cakes

The Harvest of Barley (in spring)


Jesus Christ died on the Nisan 14th (Jewish calendar month), like the Passover Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: "See, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). Thus, death of Christ as sacrifice, on Nisan 14th of AD 33, was the prophetic fulfillment of the Passover, as the Apostle Paul, a specialist of the Mosaic Law, wrote under inspiration: "Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5: 7).

On Nisan 16th, God raised his Son Jesus Christ on the third day: "God raised this one up on the third day and allowed him to become manifest" (Acts 10:40). What did the Law require on the same date of Nisan 16th? "Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you eventually come into the land that I am giving you and you have reaped its harvest, you must bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he will wave the sheaf back and forth before Jehovah to gain approval for you. The priest should wave it on the day after the Sabbath" (Leviticus 23: 10,11).

Interestingly, Jesus Christ died the day before a Sabbath, a Friday (John 19:31). On the Sabbath (Saturday), the second day, Christ was in the grave. "The day after the Sabbath" (Sunday), the third day, Jesus Christ has been resurrected (John 20: 1 "On the first day of the week" is Sunday in the Jewish calendar). Therefore, the "firstfruits" of the harvest represent the resurrection of Christ. And it is confirmed by the Apostle Paul, under inspiration: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death" (1 Corinthians 15:20). This biblical text shows that the resurrection is a future "harvest" of humans brought back to life by God, through Christ: "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death".


Pentecost, the harvest festival, the festival of weeks

The heavenly resurrection of the 144,000

 To have confirmation of this point of biblical teaching, namely that the harvest festivals are the prefiguration of the different resurrections (harvests of humans brought back to life), this time, we will begin from the reasoning of the Apostle Paul, under inspiration: "For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. But each one in his own proper order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence" ( 1 Corinthians 15: 22,23). Who are those who "belong to Christ"? This group appeared during the celebration that followed, the feast of unfermented cakes, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, during the harvest festival, the festival of weeks, Pentecost, Sivan 6th of the year 33 (Month of Jewish Calendar) ( Exodus 23:16; 34:22).

What happened at Pentecost of the year 33, in the spiritual fulfillment of the Harvest Festival and the weeks? The birth of the heavenly congregation of the 144,000, which belongs to Christ through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit over the first 120 disciples of this group: "Now while the day of the Festival of Pentecost was in progress, they were all together at the same place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven, just like that of a rushing, stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed, and one came to rest on each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak in different languages, just as the spirit enabled them to speak" (Acts 2: 1-4; 1: 15 "the number of people was altogether about 120"). The new birth (for each of the disciples of Christ) of this heavenly congregation, which belongs to Christ and definitely completed, just before the great tribulation, by the death and instantaneous resurrection of the 7000, is their announced resurrection (as a group), just before the thousand years (Revelation 11:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:17):

"And I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. Yes, I saw the souls of those executed for the witness they gave about Jesus and for speaking about God, and those who had not worshipped the wild beast or its image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand. And they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for 1,000 years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and they will rule as kings with him for the 1,000 years" (Revelation 20: 4-6).

The Festival of the Booths, the Festival of Tabernacles, the Festival of Ingathering

The earthly resurrection

After the resurrection of Christ "the firstfruits" and "those who belong to Christ", the 144,000, the book of Revelation, alludes to a last resurrection: "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were ended" (Revelation 20: 5). This last earthly resurrection is also described in a vision in the same chapter of Revelation, as that of the "resurrection of righteous and unrighteous" (Acts 24:15):

"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. The dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds" (Revelation 20:12).

And this last "harvest" of humans resurrected, this time on earth, was without a doubt foreshadowed by the celebration of the Festival of the Booths, the Festival of Tabernacles or Festival of Ingathering, that took place in autumn, from Ethanim 15 to 21 (Tishri 15 to 21)) (Month of the Jewish Calendar) (Leviticus 23: 34-43, Numbers 29: 12-38, Deuteronomy 16: 13-15):

"With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away" (Revelation 21: 3,4).

"The tent of God is with mankind", which shows that the reign of the thousand years will be the world-wide fulfillment of the Festival of Booths, by the earthly resurrection: "Everyone who is left remaining out of all the nations that come against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to bow down to the King, Jehovah of armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths" (Zechariah 14: 16).