Israel, the ancient olive root “…It is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.” Romans 11:18b
Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 6:00 pm
The Messenger, May 2, 2013
By E.C. Wiggins
Special to The Messenger
We have now come to Pentecost, the “Feast of Weeks.”
In order for us to understand this marvelous celebration and all it represents, we must go back to the Hebraic roots of our faith. We should never forget that we are the children of Abraham’s faith, which was counted unto him as righteousness, as well as sons and daughters of our Lord God’s faithfulness to his covenant.
Our Christ is the Jewish Messiah who came not to do away with the Law for us, but to fulfill it, to complete every single, solitary part of it.
The feasts and celebrations are very important parts of the Law, commanded by God and associated with it. Acts 2:1 says, “When the day of Pentecost had fully come …” The original language denotes a mental, spiritual and physical planning for these divine appointments with God, as well as an expectation and longing for God to manifest Himself as He had done in the wilderness — in manifestations of water, smoke/wind and fire.
Many forms of temple worship included symbols of these manifestations such as altar fire, lamps, water poured out, incense and waving tree branches. Two of the seven feasts God established in Leviticus 23 are held on Sunday: the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Pentecost. These two feasts are separated by 50 days.
The count does not begin with Passover; instead it begins on the day after the regular Sabbath, the first day of the week, the Feast of Firstfruits (Jesus’ Resurrection Day) following Passover.
Several things happened on the first Pentecost. The Lord came down upon Mt. Sinai as fire, so much so the mountain looked like a furnace and could not be seen for the smoke. Then the mountain quaked. There was thunder and lightning and the sound of the trumpet. According to the Midrash, a Jewish book about the Torah (law), the children of Israel heard the voice of the Lord speaking the Law and saw the sound waves as a fiery substance that went throughout the camp and then wrote the Law on tablets of stone. (Exodus 19:5, 20:18; Deut. 5:4-5, 24-26)
As a memorial of the day of Pentecost (day 50), God set an appointment with Israel that every Jewish man would meet Him in Jerusalem and bring an offering. When the fulfillment of the Day of Pentecost in Christ came, the disciples attended the temple with all the Jewish men who came to the Temple. They heard the Law read that was written on the stone tablets. But when the promised Holy Spirit was given, the Law was written on their hearts by the Grace of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the Law for them.
The Jewish tradition of God giving the Law at Mt. Sinai is strikingly similar to Luke’s description of the Holy Spirit as “tongues of fire” coming upon each head of those disciples in the house. (Acts 2:1-4)
The Church was birthed on the Feast of Pentecost, 50 days after the Aviv 17 resurrection of Jesus as the Firstfruits of the Ressurrection of the Dead. (I Cor. 15:20) Because the Feast of Pentecost is also a High Day Sabbath, the city of Jerusalem was crowded; Jews from all over the known world were there to meet God at His appointed time.
More than 5,000 heard the good news in their own language and became believers in Jesus.
Editor’s note: EC Wiggins is an author and the teacher of the Rhemé Bible Class, a non-denominational scripture and study group for women which meets each Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the family living center conference room at Union City First United Methodist Church, located at 420 East Main St.