Summary: We know the "Feast of Weeks' better by the name "Pentecost." The last major Pentecost in Scripture was where about 3000 people were baptized into Christ. But was there a FIRST Pentecost in the Bible... and if so, what can that Pentecost mean to us?
We’re going to have a quiz today. I’m gonna give you a famous quote and ask if you think it is in Scripture:
1. "To the victor go the spoils." (False—It’s a quote from "Life of Jackson" by William Learned Marcy)
2. "Can a leopard change his spots?" (True—in Jeremiah 13:23 God says evil people can’t do good stuff)
3. "A drop in the bucket." (True – God spoke of the nations as being a “drop in the bucket” Isaiah 40:15)
4. “Holier Than Thou” (True—God said He was holier than you & I in Isaiah 65:5.)
5. "Money is the root of all evil." (Partial credit – I Timothy 6:10 says it’s the LOVE of money)
6. "The serpent tempted Eve to eat the apple." ( Partial credit – Satan did tempt Eve of the tree of knowledge of good and evil… but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t an apple).
7. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (True – Abraham Lincoln said it quoting Jesus from Mark 3:25)
8. "Robbing Peter to pay Paul." (False – this is from a work by John Wycliffe – who translated the Bible into English)
9. "No man is an island." (False – from a poem a 15th century poem by John Donne)
10. "No rest for the wicked." (True – God declared there’d be no rest for the wicked - Isaiah 48:22)
There are a lot of phrases you might not have realized were in the Bible: "In the twinkling of an eye" (I Cor. 15:52); "Den of thieves" (Matthew 21:13); "Keep the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7); "Old wives' tale" (1 Tim. 4:7); "Apple of his eye" (Deut. 32:10); “It is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35); and “The blind leading the blind." (Luke 6:39).
It’s amazing how many Bible phrases show up in our culture that most people don’t realize come from Scripture. And that’s cool. But what’s even cooler are little mysteries God puts in Scripture (for us to find). Kind of like the mystery of the Feast Of Weeks.
Have you ever heard of the Feast of Weeks? (Many indicated they hadn’t) Well, that’s odd. The feast was one of only 3 major festivals that God commanded Israel to observe. It was very important to Old Testament worship.
Now, just a few facts about this Feast Of Weeks - the Feast of Weeks started 50 days after Passover, and on the 2nd day of the feast, worshippers were to bring in bundles of new wheat to present to God at the temple as the first-fruits of the harvest. And oh, by the way, this feast would be better known to us by the name “The Feast Of Pentecost.” Pentecost was the name that the New Testament gave to this Old Testament festival. Same festival… just 2 different names.
Pentecost meant “50”, because Pentecost took place 50 days after Passover. And this is where the “mystery” comes in. You see - on that day we think of as Pentecost (in the book of Acts) - THAT Pentecost was 50 days after Jesus was crucified (at Passover). And on THAT Pentecost Peter stood before a huge crowd and he preached a powerful sermon about Jesus being the Messiah God had sent, and about His being crucified and rising from the dead.
And then Peter said “Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this (the crowd was) cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” and Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:36-38
THAT WAS THE PENTECOST WE REMEMBER
Now, there’s a couple things I want you to remember about this mystery of the feast of Pentecost – of the Feast of Weeks: 1) Pentecost took place 50 days after Passover and 2) the major focus of the Feast was the celebration of the 1st fruits of the harvest.
So let’s explore this mystery together: The last major reference to the Pentecost is spoken about in Acts where ABOUT 3000 were baptized into Christ. And that was the last major time we’re told about Pentecost. But… if there was a LAST Pentecost in the Bible… when was the first one?
Well, remember, Pentecost took place 50 days after Passover. So if we want to know when the Pentecost took place… we have to ask when was the first Passover? So, when was the first Passover? That’s right it was held the last night that Israel was in captivity in Egypt. On that Passover, God commanded the Israelites to gather with their families at their homes. They were to slaughter a perfect lamb and take the blood from that lamb and paint it on the doorposts and lentils of their homes. And God promised that when He saw the blood of that perfect lamb on the frames of their doors, He would PASS OVER their homes and they would escape the plague of death. That’s why it’s called “Passover” because God passed over the homes of those with the blood of the perfect lamb.