Biblical Study

Shavuot

We are in the holiday of Shavuot. This year begin at the evening of June 8th and ends the evening of June 10th (Shavuot falls on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan). Originally a harvest festival, today Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. If you haven’t heard of Shavuot is probably you are more familiar with its Greek name, Pentecost. Unlike other feasts that began on a specific day of the Hebrew calendar, this one is calculated as being “fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15-16; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

On Shavuot, also called “the feast of the weeks”, Jews celebrate the events that took place on Mount Sinai. The Bible tell us that 50 days after the Hebrews were rescued from slavery in Egypt, Moses returned to the same spot where God spoke to him through the burning bush. Moses spends 40 days where he was given the Ten Commandments and the Torah.

The Feast of Weeks takes place exactly 50 days after the Feast of First fruits. It normally occurs in late spring, either the last part of May or the beginning of June. Unlike other feasts that began on a specific day of the Hebrew calendar, this one is calculated as being “fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15-16; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

Like other Jewish feasts, the Feast of Weeks is important in that it foreshadows the coming Messiah and His ministry. Each and every one of the seven Jewish Feasts signifies an important aspect of God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.

On the very same day of Shavuot, God expanded that covenant made long ago with Moses and the Nation of Israel. A new covenant was born. A covenant that does not replace the old but expands it. Fifty days after His resurrection and after ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as promised to indwell the disciples and empower them for ministry. We read of those events on Acts 2. Then the disciples were filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

On the Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, the “first fruits” of the church were gathered by Christ as some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel after the Holy Spirit had empowered and indwelt the disciples as promised. With the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the first fruits of God’s spiritual harvest under the New Covenant began. The harvest continues today and but there is another one coming whereby God will again turn His attention back to Israel so that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

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