As Shavuot draws near, do you find yourself asking, “What is the significance of this celebration?” If you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus fulfilled the law, making the Shavuot celebration obsolete, but that just isn't true. Discover the connection between Shavuot and Pentecost…
God’s Word tells us about this prophetic Feast of the Lord. The Word gives us the connection between Shavuot and Pentecost while affirming the relevance this celebration has in your life today.
An Overview of Shavuot
The word Shavuot literally means weeks. It is named for the 7-week (50 days) time period of the Counting Down of the Omer that occurs between Passover and Shavuot. For centuries, Shavuot has been recognized as the giving of divine knowledge from the LORD.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’”—Exodus 19:10-11
The story in Exodus goes on to share the events that happened as the rescued Israelites gathered at Mount Sinai and what they experienced.
“Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire…”—Exodus 19:16-18
Finally, the story concludes with Yahweh delivering the Ten Commandments—divine knowledge that is relevant even today.
What You Need to Know…
God’s divine instruction released on Mount Sinai gave Israel, and us as grafted-in Believers, wisdom and knowledge about how to relate to Him and others. It was a gift that released blessings.
“Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”—Romans 7:12
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”—Matthew 5:17
An Overview of Pentecost
Pentecost is taken from the Greek word pentekoste, meaning fiftieth. It is the ancient Greek name for the day of Shavuot.
Pentecost is the festival at which Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it is celebrated on the 7th Sunday, 50 days after Resurrection Sunday.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”—Acts 2:1-4
The Greek word for utterance is sophia, which refers to the intimate understanding of God’s Word and His commandments. When you have an intimate understanding of God’s Word, it changes you, shaping you into the image of Christ. The result is holy, upright living and divine knowledge. This is especially relevant today.
What You Need to Know…
The fire of the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, transforming us so that we can fulfill our destiny. Furthermore, He allows us to “see” the way God sees, giving us an intimate understanding of His Word.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”—2 Corinthians 3:18
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”—John 16:13
The Connection Between Shavuot and Pentecost
The timing of these two holidays is not a mere coincidence. They are tied together theologically and spiritually. There is a prophetic connection between Shavuot and Pentecost.
God’s Word gives clear instruction for living our best lives—equipping, correcting, and completing us for every good work that He has recorded in the Heavenly books. Without this revelation of instruction, we cannot experience everything He has for us.
The connection between Shavuot and Pentecost can’t be ignored if we want to unlock God’s covenant blessings in our lives.
Four Agreements | Making the Connection Between Shavuot and Passover…
1. Both events happened 50 days after Passover, establishing a covenant.
The same day that the Jews were celebrating God’s giving of His Law on tablets of stone, the Holy Spirit came and wrote His Law on the hearts of many, fulfilling prophecy.
Fifty days after sacrificing the Passover lamb, the Israelites received a covenant and promise from God. Fifty days after sacrificing Jesus, our Passover Lamb, Believers received the Promise and a new covenant from God.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel… I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord…”—Jeremiah 31:31-34
“But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’”—Hebrews 10:15-16
2. Both events happened to newly redeemed people.
Shavuot occurred after the Exodus, which marked the birth of the nation of Israel. Pentecost occurred after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah, jump-starting the movement of the One New Man—both Jew and Gentile Believers coming together as one in Christ. Because of His redemptive work that reconciles us to Him, He calls us His.
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.’”—Isaiah 43:1
“For… having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross…”—Ephesians 2:14-16
3. Both events occurred with physical manifestations on a mountain.
Mount Sinai was the place where the gift of the Torah was revealed. Mount Zion was where the gift of the Holy Spirit was released. In both circumstances, God’s Spirit descended in fire.
The fire on Mount Sinai was one fire visible to all, whereas the fire on Mount Zion was represented individually. One fire settled on each person, representing the established covenant between each individual person and God.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”—Psalm 125:2
“Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”—Isaiah 2:3
4. Both events had manifestations of fire and more.
In both circumstances, there was shaking, wind, fire, and smoke. The Hebrew word translated as thunder in Exodus is kolot, which means voices or languages.
“… there were thunder and lightning flashes… Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the entire mountain quaked violently.”—Exodus 19:16-18 (NASB)
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”—Acts 2:2-3
Why Is the Connection Between Shavuot and Pentecost So Important?
One event and one covenant did not replace the other. Rather, understanding the connection gives us deeper understanding into the prophetic purposes of God’s Word.
God’s intention was never for us to abandon our Jewish roots. As Christians, we are grafted into God the Father’s original family tree, as explained in Romans.
“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”—Romans 11:16-18
God didn’t make it a mystery for you to figure out. He wants His divine plan to be proclaimed and for you to walk in the fullness of His blessings. In order to do so, you must know those covenant blessings by heart so they flood your mind, will, and emotions.
Knowing your covenant blessings gives you a firm foundation to stand on, so you can firmly stand against anything that is blocking you from receiving your inheritance as His sons and daughters.
As you celebrate the Festival of Weeks this year, may God bless you to gain a deeper understanding of who He is and your spiritual inheritance in Christ!
The complete Word of God, the Old and the New Testament “… is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
These two events, Shavuot and Pentecost, are connected. When we understand their connection and their prophetic significance, we understand the Father’s heart toward us.
Through His Spirit, He gives us His manifold wisdom to make His glory known on earth and to have victory in the heavenly places (see Ephesians 3:10).
Receive the power He releases during this appointed time on His calendar—Shavuot or Pentecost—and discover their connection…