Shavuot/ Feast of Weeks/ Pentecost
and how after 12 years of walking with the LORD I still learning things I have never known before.
Until recently, I had never heard of (or appreciated) the LORD's Feasts and Appointed Times. I mean, they are right there - in the "front" of the Book...but I must have skimmed over them as "old stuff" like I did most of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). Sure they were great for Bible storied for the kids...but totally irrelevant for "New Testament" Christians, right?
Tomorrow we will be celebrating the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)/ Pentecost. Here is why:
"And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven...."
If you go back to the beginning of Acts you can see the context. Jesus (Y'shua) had finialized his time on earth by telling the disciples to STAY in Jerusalem until their helper (the Holy Spirit) came to them. Then Y'shua ascended into Heaven to be with the Father. About 10 days later, there were suddenly thousands of Jews from every nation under heaven dwelling in Jerusalem who just-so-happened to witness the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples (Pentecost). I never stopped to wonder WHY thousands of Jews just-so-happened to be in Jerusalem at that time. But now I get it...
They were in Jerusalem to celebrate one of God's Appointed times...the Feast of Weeks (or Shavuot). This was one of the three times each year that Jews from all over the world traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate one of God's commanded Holy Days. They were all there celebrating the Feast of Weeks (a celebration of the harvest and a time when they remembered the giving of the law (Torah) to Moses on Mt. Sinai). It is no coincidence that God gave the Holy Spirit to His people THAT day at THAT time. 3000 Jews put their faith and trust in Y'shua Messiah (Jesus Christ) that day and also received the Holy Spirit themselves. The Holy Spirit who would be a helper to them - to guide them in Truth and write the Law (the same Law that they were celebrating) on their hearts. How amazing is that!
So let me rewind a little and run down the "Spring Feasts" that we have been celebrating and how they tie in to our Messiah...
Passover: A time to remember when the LORD "Passed Over" the homes of the Israelites during the last of the Plagues in Egypt. The firstborn sons of all of Egypt were killed that night. The Israelites placed the blood of a pure and spotless lamb over the door of their homes so they would not suffer the the death the Egyptians were suffering. Jesus died on the cross on Passover...he is more than "figuratively" our Passover Lamb. He gave up his Spirit roughly the exact time the priests began killing the passover lambs for all the Jews in Jerusalem. The blood of our pure and spotless lamb excuses us from the wages of sin and death. The blood of Jesus allows us to enter in to eternal life.
Unleavened Bread: When the Israelites fled Egypt, they did not have time to let their dough rise. So, they ate unleavened bread. Yeast, throughout the Bible, is used to represent sin. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life as represented by the bread made without leaven. Even today, Jewish people eat matzah during the Feast of Unleavened Bread - it is "striped and pierced" in tradition before it is baked. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions and by His stripes, we are healed...hmm, see a connection?
Firstfruits: This was a holiday to celebrate the start of the harvest. The best of the new harvest was brought to the LORD as an offering. Jesus rose from the dead on Firstfruits. He is the perfect Firstfruits offering to the LORD...the beginning of the harvest of souls that was to occur through belief in Him.
Counting of the Omer: The Israelites were commanded to count 7 Sabbaths from the Celebration of Firstfruits until the Feast of Weeks (or 50 days). Jesus was with the Disciples for 40 of those days and told them to STAY in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came.
Feast of Weeks/ Shavuot: A celebration of the harvest and remembrance of the giving of the Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The Holy Spirit came to live in Believers and guide them in Truth on this day.
Isn't that amazing. Things I never learned in church. If you want to learn more about the Feasts and Appointed times, they are in Leviticus 23. I also highly recommend checking out Robin Sampson's book A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays . We have been using it for school and have really enjoyed learning about the Feasts of YHVH (the LORD).
I tried to paint a very simple and clear picture of what we have been learning. There is soooooo much more to it. And soooooo much more that I have to learn! But the simplicity of God's order and structure and have helped me understand and appreciate my Creator so much more. Isn't it amazing how it ALL happened on His already appointed times. He had it all planned from the very beginning. AMAZING!
To my friends who have been observing Biblical Feasts and Holidays much longer that I...please feel free to leave a comment and correct me where I may be confused. I welcome your knowledge and input.To friends who may have questions about this...ask away...I probably don't have the answer but I can find out!
Chag Sameach Shavuot!