About fifteen-hundred years before Jesus went up Mount Calvary, Moses went up Mount Sinai. Moses received the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law.
The Law given to Moses included detailed instructions concerning seven annual feasts. One-thousand, five-hundred years before Jesus was crucified on Calvary’s cross, God told Moses to gather the nation to celebrate the freedom bought by the innocent lamb. Celebrate the Passover, God instructed, “in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight” (Leviticus 23:5). On the exact day that the Israelites celebrated the Passover, Jesus became the Passover (I Corinthians 5:7), “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, ESV).
The second annual feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, started the following day. Unleavened, unfermented, un-decayed, unstained by sin, Jesus’ body lay in the grave as the nation commemorated their ancestor’s hurried exit from Egypt.
The third annual feast occurred on the “day after the Sabbath.” Foretold fifteen hundred years earlier, Jesus came out of the grave on the day the nation celebrated the Feast of First Fruits. On the exact day! The day after the Sabbath... Resurrection Sunday! So, it should be no surprise that the fourth feast, the Feast of Weeks should foreshadow an important New Testament occurrence.
The fourth feast occurred fifty days after the feast of First Fruits. “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Leviticus 23:15-16, ESV).
Wheat harvest generally arrived about seven weeks after the barley harvest. Whereas the Feast of First Fruits celebrated the early harvest of barley, the Feast of Weeks celebrated the later harvest of wheat. The Jews brought the first fruits of the harvest to the Temple, where the priest ceremonially waved the sheaves of wheat before the Lord. As God accepted the offering, He promised an abundant harvest.
In the New Testament, the Feast of Weeks is given another name: Pentecost. (The name Pentecost is derived from the Greek word meaning fifty.) Pentecost came fifty days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
After Jesus’ triumphant resurrection, Jesus walked the earth for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then ascended to heaven. Before leaving His disciples, He proclaimed, “I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high” (Luke 24:49, CSB).
“When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying ... Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:1-4, CSB).
Think about it. Fifty days earlier, God had marvelously fulfilled the meaning of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. Now, at Pentecost, Jerusalem was crowded with worshippers from every corner of the Roman empire (Acts 2:9-11). Thousands had come to celebrate the Feast of Weeks... Pentecost. The multitude watched and heard as God visited Jerusalem with His powerful and glorious presence, leaving behind His Holy Spirit and a new-born church.
God’s eternal blueprints predate Eden’s establishment. And yet, every detail of His plan becomes reality at just the right time... just like He planned...
Soon, “the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, ESV). Ready?
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor