Some Christians just celebrated a Jewish holiday without knowing it!
If you or someone you know is a Christian who celebrated “Pentecost Sunday” on May 20, then you (or they) celebrated an event rooted in ancient Jewish life – and that’s a good thing!
The Jewish name for Pentecost is “Shavuot” which means “weeks.” Long before that very special day of Holy Spirit-empowered gospel outreach (later known as the birthday of the church), God commanded the Jewish people to celebrate Shavuot as a harvest festival. That’s why the fact that the disciples suddenly found themselves speaking in all different languages was so cool – because Jewish people from many different countries had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. Everyone got to hear about Jesus in their own language!
We don’t think it’s a coincidence that God chose a Jewish holiday to pour out the power of His Spirit on the followers of Yeshua (Jesus). God has a way of tying things together so that we can see how consistent He is and trust all the more that there is perfect continuity in the way He relates to the human race.
The ancient harvest festivals reminded the Jewish people of our dependence upon God for rain and crops. These were times of thanksgiving, rejoicing and commemorating how God has provided for us in the past – to help us continue trusting Him for our present as well as our future needs.
The day of Pentecost that we read about in Acts 2 reminds followers of Jesus (whether Jewish or not) that we depend on Him to provide everything we need – including the power to obey His command to make disciples “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Check out some great articles about Shavuot (a.k.a. Pentecost) and may you experience God’s power to fulfill the destiny He has for you!