And if you offer a meat offering of your first fruits to the LORD…
Having viewed the minchah as a type of Christ, and having considered the feast upon it as expressing fellowship with God in him, we proceed to consider the offering of the firstfruits, which is still the minchah under yet another form. The text brings before us -
I. THINGS PECULIAR TO THE OFFERING OF THE FIRSTFRUITS. These are:
1. The matter of the offering.
(1) It is specified as "green ears of corn." Still, observe, it is of the nature of bread, and so still typifies Christ, the Bread of Life.
(2) But in this case the life is in the grain. In this view Christ compares himself to a corn of wheat (John 12:24). In this passage there is also a reference to Psalm 72:16, which is construed by learned Jews thus: "He shall be a corn of wheat in the earth on the top of the mountains."
(3) It is specified as "firstfruits." As the firstborn of every animal was the Lord's (Exodus 12:29; Exodus 13:12, 13; Numbers 18:16), so did he claim the vegetable firstfruits. And as Christ is "the Firstborn of every creature" (Colossians 1:15), the Anti-type of every firstborn, - so is he the Firstfruits of everything in the creation. Through him all things are blessed to our use and benefit.
(4) In this character Jesus will come out in full form in the resurrection. He is the "First-begotten from the dead" (Revelation 1:5). The "Firstfruits of them that slept;" and still sleep (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14). Thus is he "the Beginning [or Chief] of the [new] creation of God ' (Revelation 3:14).
2. The treatment it received.
(1) The corn was dried by the fire. It was not allowed to dry gradually and gently in the air, but was violently scorched. Here was set forth expressively that fire of grief and sorrow which parched the soul of Jesus. The fires of his zeal for the glory of God, which was outraged by the sinfulness of men, entered into his very soul (Psalm 119:139). So did the corresponding flames of sympathy for that humanity which he had so wondrously assumed; consuming, because of its sinfulness, under the fires of God's anger.
(2) It was beaten. This threshing of the wheat represented the severity with which Jesus was treated,
(a) in the court of Caiaphas;
(b) in the hall of Pilate;
(c) at the place called Calvary (Isaiah 53:5, 8).
II. THINGS COMMON TO THE FIRSTFRUITS AND OTHER FORMS OF THE MINCHAH.
1. It was offered upon the altar of burnt offerings.
(1) Touching the altar, it became a sacrifice to God.
(2) Consumed in the fire, it was accepted by God.
2. It was offered with oil.
(1) The natural use of this was that the offering thereby became more readily consumed. The flame of oil is bright and fervent.
(2) This was a symbol of the Holy Spirit's grace, which without measure rested upon Christ (see Psalm 69:9; John 2:17).
3. It was offered with frankincense.
(1) The physical use of this would be to take away from the tabernacle the smell of a slaughter-house, and to fill the courts with a grateful odour.
(2) The spiritual use was to prefigure the fragrance of the merits of Jesus,
(a) in his sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2);
(b) in his intercession (Revelation 8:3, 4).
Thus the offensiveness of the flesh in us is destroyed, and the living sacrifice becomes acceptable (Romans 12:1). - J.A.M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.