Jesus in the Feast of Weeks
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
This coming Sunday, May 27, marks the last of the spring “Feasts of the Lord.” It is called the Feast of Weeks because it was to fall seven weeks and a day from Firstfruits. It is also known as Pentecost (Acts 2:1), meaning fiftieth. On this day, the children of Israel were to bring the firstfruits of the wheat harvest and two loaves of bread to the temple. In contrast to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, these loaves were to be baked with fine flour and leaven.
The ultimate significance of this feast is unmistakable. If the Feast of Firstfruits represents Yeshua’s (Jesus) resurrection, the Feast of Weeks points to the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of “the Church.” This account is described in the second chapter of Acts. It occurred precisely 50 days after Yeshua’s resurrection. To remove all doubt, it occurred while the Jews had gathered to celebrate the “day of Pentecost.” The significance of the timing couldn’t be clearer.
The two loaves represented Jew and Gentile, now made one in Yeshua with the coming of the Holy Spirit. To the believers at the Church in Ephesus, Paul wrote: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation…to create in Himself one new man from the two [Jew and Gentile], thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:14-15).
The presence of leaven was to indicate that sin would be present within the body of believers known as the Church. It is evidence of the threefold nature of the believer’s salvation. We have been saved from the penalty of sin (our justification: Luke 7:50); we are being saved from the power of sin (our sanctification: Romans 5:10); and we will one day be saved from the very presence of sin when we reach heaven (our glorification: 1 Corinthians 3:15; 5:5). This side of heaven we will continue to contend with sin in one form or another.
AS I SEE IT
According to Jewish tradition, Pentecost was also the day Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai-the giving of the law. For Christians, this gives the Feast of Pentecost even more meaning. In one day, the old gave way to the new. The Law of Moses, which no one was able to keep, gave way to the Law of the Spirit-Jesus, through the indwelling Holy Spirit would keep the law for us as we submit to Him. The old law that brought death and condemnation gave way to a new law that brought life and freedom. The old law written on stone gave way to a new law written on our hearts.
It amazes me how intricately God has woven biblical history into these feasts. It should, however, do a lot more than amaze us. He did it to change us. The truth will make us free, but we must believe and accept it. Too many Christians are still living as though they were still under the law-doing good in order to earn God’s favor. If we’re His child, we are, in His eyes, already as accepted as we can be. He wants us to draw near to Him in intimate fellowship so that more of Him can “rub off” on us. The more intimate our relationship with Him, the more obedient we will automatically be. He wants us to cease striving and rest in Him. That’s the freedom Christ purchased for us. The question is Will we accept it?
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
The largest knight at King Arthur’s table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his massive girth from eating too much pi.