On Pentecost God Gives Us the Holy Spirit as Our Guide to Replace the Law
Pentecost occurs fifty days after Resurrection Sunday (Easter). It’s a significant event in the early church. That’s when the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus’s followers in an extraordinary way.
The Holy Spirit empowers team Jesus to share his good news with others with amazing power. This is the gift Jesus promised to give them, which he told them to wait for in Jerusalem.
Interestingly, Pentecost only pops up three times in the Bible (Acts 2:1, Acts 20:16, and 1 Corinthians 16:8). This New Testament word doesn’t appear at all in the Old Testament. Where did it come from?
Pentecost is a Greek word. It means fifty days. Pentecost first occurred fifty days after Jesus’s death (Good Friday)—and after Jesus instituted the first Communion, which occurred on Passover.
Festival of Weeks (Shavuot)
Let’s go back to the Old Testament and look at the Festival of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-22). This occurs fifty days after Passover. Interestingly, the Festival of Weeks is an Old Testament term and doesn’t show up in the New Testament.
Though I prefer to use the Bible to study the Bible, in this case I needed to consult nonbiblical sources. Here’s what I learned:
The Festival of Weeks in the Bible is now known as the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Fifty Days. This may be better known as Shavuot, the day cited as when Moses descended from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and the Law of God, the Torah.
Connecting the Old and New Testaments
Think about it. In the Old Testament, fifty days after the first Passover, God gives his people the Law—the rules he expects them to follow.
In the New Testament, fifty days after the first Communion (which occurred on Passover), God gives his people the Holy Spirit—his indwelling presence to guide them in following him.
In the Old Testament, God gives his people the Law through Moses. In the New Testament, God gives his people the Holy Spirit through Jesus. So amazing! Thank you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Read more about the book of Acts in Tongues of Fire: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church from the Book of Acts, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. [Originally published as Dear Theophilus Acts.]
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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