“We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:23
In New Testament times, the Feast of Weeks was known by another name. If you count forward seven weeks from the Passover (forty-nine days), the following day (the fiftieth day) was known as Pentecost.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place…” (Acts 2:1). Luke says that “there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven” (2:5). They had come to celebrate the Feast of Weeks.
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell, not just on the Apostles, but on all the believers. This was the beginning of the harvest that would come through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Later Paul takes up this theme and says that the Holy Spirit is given to us as the “firstfruits.”
The Holy Spirit gives us a sample of the life to come—a taste of the love of God, a glimpse of the glory of Christ, a beginning of the new life that will be ours forever. That taste, that glimpse, that beginning is the pledge or promise of all that is to come.
The Feast of Weeks (or firstfruits) points us both to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ great promise ties these two together: “I will not leave you as orphans [the promise of his resurrection]; I will come to you [the promise of the Holy Spirit]” (John 14:18). Christ is with us. That’s worth celebrating!
How does understanding the Holy Spirit as the “firstfruits” strengthen your hope?