The Feast of Pentecost: Jewish Roots & Spiritual Meaning

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place(Acts 2:1 KJV)

As Pentecost Sunday draws near, let’s revisit our understanding of this significant event. This devotional examines the Feast of Pentecost as it is portrayed in the Old Testament and how it is fulfilled in the New Testament.

In Exodus 23:16, God instructed the Israelites to observe Pentecost. Known as Shavuot in Hebrew and Pentecost in Greek—Pentecost, meaning ‘fiftieth’—marks the Feast of Weeks, occurring 50 days after Passover.

Pentecost was also named the Feast of Weeks or Harvest in the Old Testament. It got the title Feast of Weeks from its occurrence seven weeks post-Passover. Additionally, it earned the name Feast of Harvest due to its timing at the grain harvest’s conclusion, usually in May or June. However, in later Judaism, Pentecost became associated with giving the Law on Sinai. Interestingly, God does not intend to link Pentecost with the Law-giving in the Old Testament. This connection arose from Jewish religious practice, not divine commandments.

Acts 2:1-4 unveils the prophetic significance of Pentecost. On Pentecost day, God gave the Holy Spirit—not the Law. Although the Old Testament feast might not seem related to the Spirit, the outpouring of God’s Spirit in Jerusalem on Pentecost day provides the clearest divine explanation of its meaning.

You’re living in the fulfillment of Pentecost. The Father has poured out His Spirit. Live daily in the fullness of the Spirit—it is your Father’s blessing to you.

Meditate

How does the divine concept of Pentecost differ from Judaism’s interpretation, as discussed above?

Apply the Word

Do you want to fulfill Pentecost every day practically? Be filled daily with the Spirit and bring in a glorious harvest of souls and good works by the power and wisdom of the Spirit. Pentecost is not for Pentecostals but for every believer and every child of God. The Spirit, as rain, has been poured out from heaven. Let the ground of your heart and life yield the fruit that glorifies God. 

Pray

Thank the Father for the magnificent gift of His Spirit.

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