We are introduced to the bread of the firstfruits in Leviticus 23:17-20. Yahweh of Hosts, who is the Son, revealed that two loaves of leavened bread were to represent the firstfruits. This bread was a new offering initiated during Shavuoth of the Old Covenant. The symbolism of this bread would eventually be fulfilled during Pentecost (Greek) or in Hebrew, Shavuoth, of the New Covenant.
What is the bread of affliction? This was the description of unleavened bread given to Moses in Deuteronomy 16:3. Moses was told this:
Thou shalt eat no unleavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, (even) the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste; that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.
Physical Israel that was rescued from oppression in Egypt would eventually become the wife of Yahweh’s son at Mount Sinai. (Isaiah 54: 5) Yahweh gives Moses his proposal to the nation of Israel in Exodus 19: 3-7. The Israelites accepted his proposal in verse 8. The marriage covenant at Mount Sinai was confirmed by a marriage supper described in Exodus 24:11. Representatives of all physical Israel attended this supper. (Exodus 24:9)
The representation of the marital relationship between Yahweh and the nation of Israel is done with unleavened bread. It was initiated during Passover because this was when Messiah, Yahweh of Hosts, passed over Israel and killed the first-born Egyptians. The first-born of Israel were saved on this night.
The first-born Egyptians had to die to free the first-born Israelites from the affliction of Israel. Lambs were sacrificed at Passover as a representation of the Lamb of Yahweh, who would be sacrificed by his wife to end the marriage covenant. The end of this marriage covenant would allow for the beginning of a new marriage covenant.
The bread of affliction is a reminder of the marriage that went wrong. Israel’s husband killed the first-born Egyptians to secure the freedom of his future wife, the Israelite nation, from their affliction. The unleavened bread is also a reminder of the affliction Messiah would suffer as a result of this marriage.
Just as Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, would initiate unleavened bread as a symbol for his first marriage, he would initiate leavened bread as a symbol of the new marriage. The two loaves of leavened bread were a prophecy of what would happen on the day of Pentecost, following the Messiah’s death.
The Spirit of Yahweh came upon the disciples and thousands of others at Pentecost, as revealed in Acts 2. Yahweh’s Spirit was freely given to thousands of firstfruits and would result in the down payment of the seed of Messiah’s Spirit. This seed of Messiah’s spirit would develop over time. Paul describes this process in Galatians 4:19: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Messiah be formed in you.”
In Revelation 2 and 3, John tells the seven assemblies that they must overcome to receive the promises that are offered to the firstfruits. The full development of the Spirit of Messiah is required for the baptized to be eligible for the resurrection when Messiah returns, and that baptism must be in the name of YahwehShua.
Paul informs us in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that the firstfruits are espoused to Messiah as a chaste virgin. Paul is indicating that the marriage has not yet occurred. This relationship between Messiah and the firstfruits will be confirmed by the marriage supper after the resurrection.
The meal attended by Messiah and his disciples before his death was not an old covenant Passover. It was a new covenant Passover. The old covenant Passover required unleavened bread. That type of bread symbolized the old marriage covenant and was considered the bread of affliction. This reference to affliction relates to the oppression of the Israelites, the death of the Egyptians, a difficult marriage and the eventual death of Messiah.
Out of that disastrous marriage with the nation of Israel will come a new marriage. The symbol for this new marriage is leavened bread. The unleavened bread of affliction does not have much flavor and is in reality “dead bread”. The leavened loaves of Pentecost are infused with a bubbling, lively force of fermentation, which allows for the raising of the bread. This is a symbol of the raising of Messiah and the firstfruits from death.
Remember, that Messiah said he was, “the bread of life.” (John 6:48) Messiah has life in him. He is the bread that has been raised (fermented) by the Spirit of his Father, Yahweh. (In the same way as leaven.) Yahweh will also raise the firstfruits, the bride of Messiah. The firstfruits are the 144,000 saints, introduced to us in Revelation 14, and are symbolized by the bread of the firstfruits.
This coming Passover will be celebrated with a deeper understanding of who the firstfruits are and how the bread given to the disciples was leavened, and not unleavened. The meal Messiah had with his disciples the night before he died was outside of the days of the old covenant Days of Unleavened Bread. The unleavened bread represents a former marriage covenant that ended with the death of the husband. The leavened bread represents the resurrected body of Messiah, as well as his saints or firstfruits. Eleven of the twelve disciples who were at that dinner that night were to become firstfruits on the Pentecost after his resurrection.
From that day forward until his return only 144,000 saints or firstfruits are created. Yes, the firstfruits are a new creation that is in process, but not yet completed. (2 Corinthians 5: 17) All the firstfruits will be resurrected when Messiah returns. They will reign with Messiah for 1000 years, judge a resurrected mankind, as well as angels, on the Last Great Day, and will “ follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.” (Revelation 12: 4)
The old covenant Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread are reminders of the time of affliction. But out of that affliction a new covenant and a new creation is born.
John gives the firstfruits a joyous message that must be remembered when we eat the leavened bread and drink the fruit of the vine: “Beloved, now are we the sons of Yahweh, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
As Eve was created out of Adam (Genesis 3:22), the firstfruits are created from the Spirit of Messiah. Eve became the wife of Adam. The firstfruits are espoused to Messiah.
The marriage of Adam and Eve led to affliction. Messiah’s marriage with Israel was one of affliction. The outcome of this afflicted marriage was the death of the husband at the hands of the wife.
The new covenant is represented by the bread of life, rather than the bread of affliction. Messiah has chosen those who will receive his life and become his bride.
The new covenant Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread are days of celebration and joy for the firstfruits. The old covenant Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread are a somber reminder of what the husband of the firstfruits had to endure to create his bride.