The Wave Sheaf Offering.

During the days of Unleavened bread, there is a time to remember a small - but significant - and symbolic event.

This event has been largely overlooked by the Christian churches, but it points to the most important event in the life of a human being.

Lev 23:9-11 NET.  The LORD spoke to Moses:  (10)  "Speak to the Israelites and tell them, 'When you enter the land that I am about to give to you and you gather in its harvest, then you must bring the sheaf of the first portion of your harvest to the priest,  (11)  and he must wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for your benefit — on the day after the Sabbath the priest is to wave it.

From v14 we learn that the Israelites were not to eat (cooked or raw) from the new harvest, until the Wave Sheaf had been offered.

Lev 23:12-14 NET.  On the day you wave the sheaf you must also offer a flawless yearling lamb for a burnt offering to the LORD,  (13)  along with its grain offering, two tenths of an ephah of choice wheat flour mixed with olive oil, as a gift to the LORD, a soothing aroma, and its drink offering, one fourth of a hin of wine.  (14)  You must not eat bread, roasted grain, or fresh grain until this very day, until you bring the offering of your God. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all the places where you live.

Some points to note.
  1. The Wave Sheaf was waved (brought to God's attention) before the harvest could begin.
  2. The Wave Sheaf was only a small representation of the total harvest.
  3. It was presented on a Sunday - a work day.
  4. Once it was accepted by God, it was for the people's benifit.
Not a lot is said about the Wave Sheaf in the Bible, but the New Testament fulfilment by Jesus helps to bring it all into focus.

New Testament.

The priest holding up the first-fruits of the crop, and waving it before God, is a small imitation of Jesus ascending to heaven and standing before God the Father, and then being accepted by God. And He, as the pioneer, is showing us the way. It would seem to be obvious that Jesus did not want to be touched by humans, lest He be contaminated before He was to be presented to His Father.

Joh 20:17 NET.  Jesus replied, "Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "

Mat 28:9 NET.  But Jesus met them, saying, "Greetings!" They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him.

Since his feet were touching the ground, and no doubt had dust on them, it seems that humans touching that part of his body, was not considered to be "contamination".
Once Jesus was "accepted" by God, then human contact was not a problem. He had passed His "judgment day" appointment  before God, and now was beyond being affected by sin, or contaminated by sinful people.

Jesus wanting to remain pure before coming before God, highlights the point that, He wanted to be in the best possible condition. For a human, there comes the time when you are either accepted or rejected by God.  If accepted, you are invited to become part of the family of God.

Rev 22:14 NET.  Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can have access to the tree of life and can enter into the city by the gates.

1Jn 3:1-3 NET.  (See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God's children — and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him.  (2)  Dear friends, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.  (3)  And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).

If rejected (considered to be unfit for such a position), then that person's body and soul are destroyed.

Mat 10:28 NET.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Rev 20:15 NET.  If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, that person was thrown into the lake of fire.

Another way of saying it is - the Wave Sheaf offering represents our time of coming before God, and being judged for what we have done in our life-time. The time when we learn our fate.

Do we experience the third birth (by the spirit)?

Joh 3:5 NET.  Jesus answered, "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water [experienced repentance] and spirit [changed from physical to spirit] , he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

The waving before God of a sheaf of the first-fruits, is, of itself, a small and short act.

However, coming before God the Father, and being accepted into the God family - the Kingdom of God - will be the greatest moment of our physical lives.

Bob Orchard  April 2012

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