Jan1SunJanuary 1, 2017
This year, 2015, we celebrate two important commemorations on one date – Saturday, 23 May. What is so significant about this day? On this day, Rabbinic Jews and Messianic Believers celebrate the Holy Day of Shavuot, while Christians celebrate the Holy Day of Pentecost. What is the difference in these two days? Not as much as you may imagine.
Shavu’ot is the Festival of weeks, as mentioned in Leviticus 23. God instructed the Israelites to count seven weeks, 49 days, from the day of Passover, when Israel escaped from Egypt, until they stood at the base of Mount Sinai. Here they waited until the 50th day, when Yahovah, our Magnificent God, spoke His Life Instructions (Torah) to them. The Hebrew of this instruction is most interesting and has rarely been translated accurately in English translations. However, what the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 22:23 reads - For who is there of all humanity that has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the fire. Yes, fire came from God and from within the fire His voice was not only heard but was seen as well. His voice of fire spoke aloud the Life Instructions He gave to His people.
Pentecost, Greek for fifty, is the day commemorated as the giving of the Blessed Holy Spirit to the Disciples of Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, and, through tongues of fire, spoke His Life Instructions to them deeply into their hearts. At that moment they received the words of Wisdom and Knowledge they needed to share the Gospel of our Lord and Master to the world. We read of this in Acts 2:3,4 - The festival of Shavu‘ot/Pentecost arrived. . . . Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. What is so different between Shavu’ot and Pentecost – only the passage of time. In both occasions Almighty God spoke His words to those who were charged with sharing His Word to the nations: the Israelites were called a light to the nations (Isaiah 49:6), meaning they were to go forth and show the nations of the world how to follow God’s Life Instructions (Torah), and Yeshua’s Disciples were called to spread the Good News of Salvation to the pagan world, as well as to the Jewish Nation, as we read in Acts 18:4 - Sha’ul (Paul) also began carrying on discussions every Shabbat in the synagogue, where he tried to convince both Jews and Greeks, and Galatians 3:22 - Yeshua the Messiah did this so that in union with him the Gentiles might receive the blessing announced to Avraham, so that through trusting and being faithful, we might receive what was promised, namely, the Spirit.
Here we have, then, one Holy Day with two names and one meaning – God constituted His People, His Assembly at the base of Mount Sinai of the Festival of Shavu’ot and at the Temple in Jerusalem at the Festival of Pentecost.
May this Festival of Shavu’ot/Pentecost bring you multiple blessings of joy, love and a deeper relationship with the Ruler of the Universe and the Lover of our souls.