As the first green heads of grain formed on the spring barley in Israel, workers would tie a ribbon around each budding stem to set them apart from the still immature barley. When this marked grain ripened, it was harvested for the temple in Jerusalem because God had commanded that when they came to the feast, they should “not appear before the Lord empty-handed” (Deut. 16:16).

In the Jewish calendar, today is the Day of Firstfruits. And though most Christians don’t observe this Jewish holiday, it’s a good reminder to ask ourselves: “What do I have to give to the Lord?” It can be easy to fret over what we think we must do to please Him so that we are not empty-handed. Some of us are so busy doing things to please the Lord that we forget to rest in what Christ has already accomplished.

Paul refers to the risen Messiah as “the firstfruits” (1 Cor. 15:20). This means that Jesus has gone ahead of us and stands before God to satisfy our required offering.

Believers also are called firstfruits. “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18).

Because Jesus is our firstfruits, we have infinite value and will never come before Him empty-handed.