Pentecost and History

The Feast of Pentecost is one of three Jewish holy days in which attendance was mandatory for all Jewish men. It falls on the fiftieth day following Resurrection Sunday. The number “fifty” indicates redemption. The Jubilee was every fifty years when the land was returned to the original owners. If you had sold your land due to circumstances, you got it back at the Jubilee. In effect, you were renting it out.

Many rabbis recognize that Pentecost, or Shavuot, is all about redemption, but they do not recognize why. Pentecost is an important day for the Church. Pentecost is considered by most as the “birthday” of the Church.

There is also an Old Testament parallel to the New Testament Pentecost. According to Hebrew tradition, Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments from the Lord on Pentecost. Scripture does not specifically say, but the timing given in the Bible agrees. The Ten Commandments were like a marriage covenant between God and the Children of Israel. On a later Pentecost, the Lord confirmed the New Covenant as recorded in Acts chapter two.

Sadly, at the time the Lord was giving a covenant to Moses, the “bride” was committing spiritual adultery with the Golden Calf.

The historian Josephus describes several unusual events that occurred shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. One of these supernatural events occurred on Pentecost. After sundown, which marked the beginning of the new day, the priests went into the Temple to celebrate Pentecost. There was a great earthquake and they heard a great multitude saying, “Let us leave this place.” (Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, chapter 5, paragraph 3)

I have written an article (please click HERE) showing the parallels between the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and the prescribed appointed times, or feasts, of the Lord. The various steps in the wedding process parallel the feasts. After the bride is chosen and the “bride price” is paid (Jesus paid the price for His bride on Passover), and after the marriage contract was accepted, the bride is ceremonially purified by immersion. I believe this step in the wedding process parallels the immersion of the Church (Acts 2:41), the Bride of Christ, on the Day of Pentecost.

Pentecost was a mandatory feast for Jewish men. Pentecost is of great importance to the Church. Just as Jesus fulfilled the three Spring feasts, Unleavened Bread, Passover and Firstfruits, I suspect that the Age of Grace in which we now live is the Feast of Pentecost being fulfilled by the Lord Jesus through His Church.

Pentecost is about redemption. Praise the name above all names (Philippians 2:9), the name of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, Messiah!

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