A Happy 'Shavuot' to You
Leviticus 23:9-14, 19, 20
ILLUS: Recently, on Sunday before Passover, I performed the Jewish Seder. The Seder is a memorial of the Passover. Every Jew is required to keep this feast in memory of their deliverance from bondage.
On the night before they left Egypt, they were required to sacrifice a lamb, and apply the blood to the doorposts and the lintel. Of course, you and I know that the Lamb represents Jesus Christ, sacrificed for us. In the New Testament, Paul wrote, ''For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us'' (1 Cor. 5:7).
Though I had a few of the things I needed to perform the Seder, I didn't have everything. So, I decided to go right to the source - a Jew. I found everything I needed in a store in Jerusalem. This week I received an e-mail from them, wishing me a ''Happy Shavuot.'' Shavuot (meaning ''weeks'') is the Feast of Weeks, or the ''Feast of Harvest,'' celebrating the harvest season in Israel. It is held 7 weeks after Passover, the celebration taking place on the 50th day.
1. The Feast of Weeks is also referred to in the Bible as the ''Feast of First Fruits.'' As we can see from our text, the Jews were required to offer to the Lord the first fruits of their animals and their crops.
2. In the New Testament First Fruits, or ''Weeks of Harvest,'' was celebrated on ''Pentecost,'' signifying the 50th day after Passover. It says in Acts 20:16, that ''Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.''
3. It's not by accident that Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after the resurrection of Christ. You will remember that Jesus appeared on earth for 40 days following His resurrection. As he ascended back to heaven, He told the disciples in Luke 24:49, that they were to wait in Jerusalem until Pentecost, or in His words, ''Until ye be endued with power from ...
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