This is in continuation of my treatises about the Feast of Passover, and Unleavened Bread in which I touched mainly on procedural matters, seeing that I have dealt with the scriptural background of both feasts in blog posts of years past. I had mentioned the WAVING OF THE SHEAF Offering as part of the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD | https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/feast-of-unleavened-bread/, again stating procedure and the material and physical significance of observing it, and that in so doing, we as Jews are enabled to consume FIRST FRUITS (and their end products, even before they are officially presented before YAHWEH during the Feast of First Fruits/Pentecost. First Fruits being Grains or Cereal crops and their products.
Beyond the physical or material connotation, is the spiritual significance, which I cannot simply embark on now without some background information as to what preceded it. It will interest you to know that the main subject of the matter here is our Saviour, Yahshua Ha’Mashiach. In the year he was impaled, he was arrested Tuesday night, after THE LAST SUPPER with his disciples, while in the Garden of Gethsemane (where he prayed earnestly asking that the CUP be taken away from him, to no avail). By 3pm the next afternoon he was dead, thereby escaping the “breaking of legs“ (fulfilling the key condition for the Passover Lamb, whose bones must in no wise be broken), a treatment that was meted out to the other two beside him to hasten their death, so that the Jews may proceed to prepare and partake of the Passover scheduled for that Wednesday evening. He was thereafter buried by a certain Joseph of Arimathea, a friend and secret follower of Yahshua, and a member of the Sanhedrin, just before Passover at evening.
In consonance with prophecy, that the son of man will lay in the belly of the earth, like Jonah in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, as Yahshua proclaimed that he’ll pull down/destroy the temple (his body) and rebuild it in three days, one of the allegations for which he was impaled on a stake/tree, because the religious hierarchy at the time misunderstood the spiritual for the physical; He spent three days and three nights in the subterranean, from Wednesday evening (14th Abib/Aviv/Nisan in Hebrew/Jewish Calendar) to Thursday evening (consisting of a night and day), Thursday evening to Friday evening (consisting of another night and day), and from Friday evening to Saturday evening (consisting of the final night and day). You will find no other combination of nights and days that fulfills this requirement like I have stated here, not even the Christian Easter count from Friday to Sunday fulfills this, but that argument isn’t for this place, so I’ll let that lie.
People who were close to Yahshua, like his mother Miriam (anglicized Mary) and Miriam Magdalene (whose closeness to Yahshua have been severally given the interpretation of something beyond the mere platonic by some other sources besides the classic scripture), must’ve felt to find time to come and properly do right by the body of Yahshua, even if it is just to apply ointment on the body, seeing the haste with which he was buried, before the Passover on Wednesday evening. They couldn’t have been able to do it then, and Thursday was devoted to preparations for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was entered into in the evening and lasted till the evening of Friday, in which the HIGH SABBATH (SHABBAT) was heralded. The only opportunity they had since Yahshua’s burial, was after the Sabbath (Saturday evening), while the High Priest was Waving The Sheaf (of the First Fruits) before YAHWEH, to be accepted for the people, and they made haste to be there to anoint his body, as well as do other things they were required by law and custom to do with the body of a dead loved one.
It is recorded that on getting there, both Miriams were accosted by an angel, whose presence triggered an earthquake, which led to the guards stationed by Yahshua’s tomb (to authenticate the truism behind the possible resurrection of Yahshua, as rumoured by his followers, and possibly thwart it, in the event that such come to pass) to feign a state of unconsciousness if not even dead. This angel informed them that Yahshua had already risen pointing them to his shroud in the empty tomb, asking them to proceed to inform His disciples of the state of affairs. On their way to the disciples, who had gone underground for fear of persecution, they encountered Yahshua, who confirmed what the angel had told them, before they continued their journey to the disciples. Yahshua would make further appearances to the disciples and others in small and large groups before finally leaving them, but not without the promise of the Holy Spirit which was fulfilled on the day of the Feast of First Fruits, symbolized by the appearance of Tongues of Fire on the head of each apostle present on the said day.
It wasn’t until the Apostle Paul (Sha-Ul/Saul) broached it, that the spiritual connotation of Yahshua’s Resurrection from the dead became apparent, coinciding with the time of Waving of Sheaf by the High Priest in the temple at Jerusalem. Thus Yahshua became the First Fruit of Resurrection, which is at the core of Messianic Judaism, and belief in Resurrection, that as Yahshua resurrected from the dead, so will our dearly departed in Him also resurrect, and we will be reunited with them once again. This is how such a small ceremony, overlooked by many denominations, even amongst certain section of Jewry casts a huge meaning on the very pillar upon which our faith lies, such that it is impossible to fathom resurrection and it’s scriptural backing without the strong foundation that the Waving of Sheaf avails. It is this promise of Resurrection that helps the many deal with the sense of loss of loved ones, and by extension makes death less scary to us the living, when we understand that it is not the end, rather a (new) beginning. Selah