“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20).
Looking at the above verse two things are very clear; they are the bench mark for Christians to inherit eternity – that Christ is the first fruits and all who are truly asleep in Him were similar to Him while alive. This infers that not all Christians are indeed Christians.
So, what is first fruits? It is the fruit a farmer first plucks from the tree and finds it perfect. There are other fruits on the tree, but the one he plucks is the right one with the desired taste and is the bench mark for the remaining fruits on the tree. It appeared to the farmer as the perfect fruit.
Throughout the Law God demanded Israelites bring the first fruits of the soil as offering to Him. It is because they are with true taste, not damaged or complete and without any spot. Thus, Israel not only learned to give the best to the Lord but also effectively honor Him.
Christ Jesus is the true taste of the kind of sons the Father desires to have. He is the best. He attained the state of first fruits and so, was raised up from the dead. None have matched up to Him in giving joy and satisfaction to the Father. Now the point is everyone asleep as a Christian will one day be raised to eternity only if they have matched their life on earth to the nature of Christ, the Son of Man. This further brings the discussion to us inviting us to be Christ-like, the first fruits of those asleep so that we do not lose eternity. The Father has set the bench mark for perfect taste in Christ and only those who match up to that mark will see eternity.