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The Meaning of Shavuot, Passover and Pentecost
By Minister Daniel Sweet

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In this article you are going to learn about Shavuot, why Christians should celebrate Passover, what Pentecost is; how they all tie together, why the Day of Pentecost is a very important event and how Pentecost applies to us today.

The subject of Pentecost is vast, so this article is a brief overview touching on most of the major points.

What is the “Day of Pentecost”? A Brief History

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Pentecost is a Greek word meaning: "the fiftieth day") In Hebrew it is known as the harvest festival of Shavuot (pronounced shah-voo-awt), which translated in English means “Feast of Weeks”.

It is a national holiday for the Hebrew culture commemorating God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the original “Passover” event that preceded the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt.

What Passover is: In the book of Exodus, chapters 11-12, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Hebrew slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of every firstborn male, from the Pharaoh's son to the firstborn of the Egyptians, the Hebrews, and even the firstborn of all the livestock and pets.

The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of death passed over these homes and no one in them was harmed, hence the term "Passover".

Since that first Passover event, the Jewish people celebrate Passover with a great Passover celebration once every year.

What Shavuot is: Shavuot, the “Feast of Weeks,” in English (Ex. 34:22; Deut. 16:10), Pentecost in Greek, is a major Jewish holiday. It is also known as the “Feast of Harvest,” (Ex. 23:16) or the “Feast of First Fruits,” (Num. 28:26). It is called Pentecost in the Greek because it was held on the 50th day after the second day of Passover.

Day of Pentecost: Fifty days after the Passover celebration is the Day of Pentecost. This particular Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts Chapter 2, is the day that God decided to begin the Grace Administration and the Christian Church as we know it today was born.

It was on that Pentecost that people were for the very first time “born again” receiving holy spirit sealed inside them by grace instead of just upon them through their own works under the Mosaic Law. That “Day” ushered in a new age, one that was literally undreamed of by anyone before. It's also interesting to note there was no laying on of hands when holy spirit was received by the Apostles.

The Grace Administration

It is called the Grace Administration because Christians enjoy the grace of God in a manner and to an extent that was not given to people of previous administrations. God has always given grace to mankind at different times, but He has given us the fullness of His grace by superceding the Law of Moses with our own self control. We are now to use the Law of Moses in the Bible as our moral compass and do that which is right on our own accord.

Under the Law of Moses a person could only be rewarded with holy spirit upon them by their works, which was strict adherence to the Law at all times; and that was a hard road to follow. Under grace we are no longer servants to the law, we enjoy placement as a Son of God though adoption, not by our own works, but only by the grace of God through what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross.

Why the Day of Pentecost is Important to Christians

Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-4

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ but before his ascension, Jesus told his disciples to wait for power from on high to come and that when holy spirit came, believers would have power.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when holy spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” (Meaning everywhere)

Christ was crucified the day before Passover; 50 days after the annual Passover celebration is the Feast of Weeks celebration AKA Pentecost.

God chose this Day of Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of Book of Acts to change administrations, give a new set of rules and anoint “power from on high” to anyone who asks for it.

So that is the meaning of Shavuot, why Christians should celebrate Passover, what Pentecost is; how they all tie together, why the Day of Pentecost is a very important event and how the Day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2:1-4 applies to us today.

- About the author Minister Sweet

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