Summary: A look at the Feast of Pentecost
A This evening, in just a few hours, Jews all around the world will celebrate Shavuot.
1 Shavuot in Hebrew means “weeks” (7 weeks, 49 days & on the day after 49, 50, celebrate Feast of Weeks) since the Feast of First Fruits.
a “Pentecost” is Greek for “50". (Used by Greek speaking Jews; Hellenistic Jews)
aa Feast of First Fruits (50 days earlier) was to thank God for the Barely (The first of the winter harvest to ripen)
bb Pentecost was to thank God for the Wheat (The last of the winter harvest to ripen)
b God’s Appointed Time per Lev. 23.15-21. 'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths.16 'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.17 'You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah ; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord.18 'Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.19 'You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.20 'The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the Lord; they are to be holy to the Lord for the priest.21 'On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. Lev 23:15-21 (NASB)
2 Traditionally, the focus of this feast was an offering of wheat & animal sacrifice.
a The bread was leavened, different than matzah bread of Passover, which symbolizes sin.
aa Priest would wave two loaves in every direction in the Temple (Public statement that God provides for all His people.
bb Sin must still be dealt with, removed.
b Enter the blood of the lamb, bull, and two rams.
aa These animals were innocent, w/o blemish . . . that’s what was needed to remove sin from the people.
bb Lev. 17.11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.' Lev 17:11 (NASB)
cc To this point, all of the element of Shavuot point to the Messiah’s atonement for sin.
3 Since AD 70, Shavuot has changed, new traditions have been implemented.
a Rabbis discovered (Ex. 19.1) during the third month after Passover, God had given Moses the Law, Torah, Instruction.
aa Today, Synagogues are festively decorated with flowers, greenery, baskets of fruit to symbolize the slopes of Sinia in the Spring, harvest of Shavuot, and the beauty of Bethlehem in the Spring.