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WHO IS IT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR? This is the question Jesus asked Mary on His magnificent Resurrection Morn. All four gospels record that morning happened during the Holy season known as Passover. Originally appointed by God to memorialize the night the death angel “passed over” those protected by the blood of the sacrificial lamb, the season also included God’s appointed Feast of Firstfruits the day after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week.

John 20:1-18 records that unforgettable day. “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!'”

“So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.”

“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?'”

“'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don’t know where they have put him.' At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus."

"He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'”

"Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'”

"Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'"

"She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,'“Rabboni!" (hrab-bon-ee' which means “Teacher”.)

"Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

“Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: 'I have seen the Lord!' And she told them that he had said these things to her.”

If we follow the precise appointment given by the Almighty in Leviticus 23 for the death and resurrection of Jesus, we cannot miss the fact that God appointed the 14th day, which began at twilight of His first month, March 27 and continued to the evening of March 28 on our 2021 calendar, as the anointed time when the blood of the Passover Lamb would mark the entrance to the homes of His Chosen People, protecting them from certain death. Using the observation method to determine the new month by watching for the new moon, that would place the death of Jesus the afternoon before, Abib 13, between 3-5 pm, March 27 on our 2021 Gregorian calendar.

Using the appointment God gave for the first Sabbath In Exodus 12, the 15th of Abib was a weekly Sabbath. The day after the Sabbath, appointed during the Passover season as the Feast of Firstfruits, the 16th of Abib, March 30 on our 2021 Gregorian calendar, is the anniversary date appointed in God’s Word for the resurrection of the Incarnate Son of God.

When Jesus was raised from the dead, exactly 3 days and 3 nights from His death, He was brought forth as the “Firstfruit”, the first-born Son of God Almighty, and the first-fruit of mankind to be raised from the dead, and never die again. This holy day festival, appointed by God on His calendar 1500 years before in Leviticus 23, was to begin on the morning of the 2nd day following Passover, the day after Sabbath. It was an offering of the first and best of mankind and his harvest. If the Almighty accepted this perfect offering, it would guarantee His blessing on His people.

When Jesus was raised from the dead on the 16th, the day after the Sabbath following the Passover feast, but had not yet ascended to the Father, He was on His way to God's Throne as the “Firstfruit” of the resurrection of mankind, an event also marked by God on His calendar 1500 years before. “…Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those those have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthinans 15:20

Also appointed for the Passover season were 7 Days of Unleavened Bread, a memorial of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, beginning on Abib 15. Using this reference, the 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus, pins down the Resurrection date emphatically. "But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them." Antiquities of the Jews 3.10.5.

Jesus is further revealed as the Firstfruits harvest offering when we examine the last part of Josephus' statement "for before that day they do not touch them." Remember Jesus's statement to Mary in the tomb? "Do not hold onto me, ("do not touch me" in some translations) for I have not yet ascended to the Father..." John 20:17

Even though Jesus had preached to multitudes, telling them He would save them from the penalty of their sins through His death and resurrection, they still didn't understand. The religious folks of the day believed that God’s word taught the resurrection of ALL Jews at the end time. The raising of Jesus from the dead just didn’t fit the timing they had come to believe and observe.

Like most religious folks of Jesus day, God’s timing still doesn’t fit our modern schedules, either. April 4, 2021 is the arbitrary date set for the Resurrection of Jesus. Its timing fits our need to schedule on our calendars, in our tradition. In 325AD, the date was decreed by the Roman Council of Nicaea as a memorial to Christ’s death, called Easter, to be celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. That date is still used today, even though Easter wasn’t celebrated in America for 100 years, until the 1870’s. In fact, in the beginning of our country, our Puritan fathers rejected this European tradition, and continued to observe the Passover celebration every year after their arrival.

The scriptural truths and timing of the Passover season, which includes the Day of Passover, Firstfruits, and the week of Unleavened Bread are vital and foundational to understand God’s plan of delieverance for His people through Jesus the Christ, who died to give us life. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the final harvest, or resurrection of all mankind.

Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:20


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Fontana Community Church
 20 Fontana Church Road, P.O. Box 93
Fontana Dam, NC 28733

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