New Testament Pentecost – Its meaning and fulfilment of the Old Testament festival.
I would like to talk about the festival of Pentecost and its meaning seen from the Old Testament perspective. I have already pointed to you in the past, that everything that we find in the Old Testament is in some way a foreshadow of something in the New Testament. A few examples:
“From Egypt I have called my son“ – nation of Israel saved by Moses
- Joseph, Mary and Jesus came from Egypt after the death of Herod
All sacrifices of the Old Testament were pointing to the final sacrifice of the Lamf of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Jerusalem – city with the temple of God – new Jerusalem, new temple of God... etc.
Leviticus 23 describes the “appointed times“ of the Lord. Along with the weekly Sabbath, these periods in the Hebrew year were set appart as festivals or feasts. Notice, this religious festivals were appointed by the Lord! God instituted religious festivals (this is for those who say, that to celebrate our christian festivals is not such an important thing). Our Christian festivals are the fulfilment of the Old Testament festivals and those are God´s ordinances.
I believe that God has described and hidden in some way the whole history of salvation in this OT festivals as they follow in the Bible.
The feasts divide naturally into two groups.
In the first group, all related to Passover, are
1. Paschal sacrifice, (Pesah) - and the feast of Unleavened Bread, (Lev 23:4-8)
2. the feast of First Fruits, - the feast of harvest (Lev 23:9-14)
3. the Day of Pentecost or feast of weeks (Shavuot) (Lev 23:15-22)
In the second group, all observed during the month of Tishri, the sacred seventh month, we find:
1. the Feast of Trumpets, (Lev 23:23-25)
2. the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Lev 23:26-32)
3. the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) – the feast of ingathering (Lev 23:33-44)
This second group is called fall feasts, because these happen during the autumn – in the northern hemisphere.
The hebrew word for feast is hag, which comes from the root meaning “to dance or to be joyous“ and applies exclusively to the three so called “pilgrim“ festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, in which all males were to appear before the Lord in the sanctuary. These three festivals are marked by formal meals too. Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur were two solemn holy days of repentance and sorrow.
(joy – one of the first fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Gal 5:22)
No man may appear at the Teple empty-handed on the day of Pentecost (Deut 16:16). Each man must be generous according to his ability. So this festival includes both prayer and charity. Receiving and giving are part of the OT pentecost festival. We should be aware of this as we speak of receiving of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit was given to us for this reason: that we could give to others the blessings poured upon us.
So the first group of festivals connected with Passover, begins with Passover. On the second evening of passover begins a period of seven weeks. We read this in Leviticus 23:9-14. On this day the priest brought the sheaf into the temple – the first sheaf of the harvest that has started.