Every year our Messiah, Jesus would have gathered with His family, as well as thousands of other Jews in Jerusalem and brought an offering to the temple. Two loaves of bread would have been provided as a sacrifice of worship to God. While this ancient agricultural festival seems so foreign to many today, it is for us nonetheless. Keep reading and find out why!
Shavuot & Pentecost
Yep, that is exactly what I said. You see, Pentecost happened the way it did because Shavuot was being celebrated in Jerusalem. The disciples in the upper room? That was Shavuot. They gathered together to pray all night because that was (and is) a common Jewish practice on Shavuot.
You think God knew this? Of course He did!
Shavuot is actually the culmination of the Counting of the Omer, which is 50 days of counting after Passover (learn more about Passover). After Jesus died and rose again, He walked around teaching and sharing with His disciples. During that time, they soaked up His words and continued to hope He would overthrow Rome and take His place as King of Israel, but Jesus had other plans. He knew that Shavuot was coming and He would send His Spirit to anoint His followers to be witnesses of all He had done!
Stay with me, there is more!
Shavuot is all about The Word...and fire.
Guys, the parallels between the biblical feasts and Jesus, His birth, life, resurrection, ascension, and second coming are insane! Just watch how it works with Shavuot. Not only was Shavuot an amazing agricultural holiday, but it also was a commemoration of the Torah (10 commandments) being given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
On Shavuot, Jewish families study God's word all night long, they eat foods made from milk and often honey, because God's Word is sweet and nourishing to our spirits.
Let's think back to Moses and Mt. Sinai. The first time we hear about this awesome mountain, it is when God reveals Himself to Moses via a burning bush (see Exodus 3). This bush was burning but not consumed. Why? I like to think this miracle is because God is the Word. Jesus was the Word made flesh. When we are soaked in God's Word, we aren't consumed, even if fire comes!
The next time we see Mt. Sinai, the Word is put on tablets. God strikes the tablets and puts His commands upon them for Israel so they can apply His word to their lives and be a witness to all the Earth that there is only one God.
Back to Pentecost.
So, are you still with me? Jesus spent 40 days teaching His disciples after He returned from the dead. They soaked in His word, I mean, He is the Word made flesh. Then He left. Ten days before Shavuot, He went to the Father. Except, He knew what was coming. His disciples would gather up to prayer during Shavuot, soaked in His teaching, in His word....and boom! The Holy Spirit would ascend, burn upon them, and give them power to be His witnesses to all the world.
Do you see the parallels? It is awesome! I get excited every time I think about it.
So there it is...should Christians celebrate Shavuot? I think so! We can celebrate Shavuot and Pentecost simultaneously. They are essentially the same for those of us who follow the Rabbi Jesus.
A freebie and a resource.
Are you ready to celebrate now? I have two ways I want to bless you and your family as you study more of this amazing holiday. Last Sunday, I had the privilege of teaching our Children's Church. As I prayed about what to share with the kids, God gave me some amazing ideas (they include real fire) and I want to give the entire lesson to you. It's free - grab it now.
Secondly, if you and your family want some step by step instructions, history, handcrafts, and recipes for Shavuot, check out our Branded Guide.