Pentecost: A Fulfillment of the Jewish Feast

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
John 14:16-17 NKJV

The Feast of Weeks
The Feast of Weeks was the festival celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest (Exodus 34:22). This was the feast at which the Hebrews offered their firstfruits of the harvest to the Lord at the tabernacle. It was one of the three major Jewish feasts, along with the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles (see Exodus 23:14–17; 4:18–23; Deuteronomy 16:1–17).

According to Leviticus 23:15, 16, the Feast was celebrated for seven consecutive weeks beginning “the morning following the Sabbath day” of Passover. Thus comes its title, the “Feast of Weeks.” Later in the Old Testament this feast became known as “Pentecost” (“fiftieth”), since it was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover.

Pentecost
The Jewish Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled as described in Acts 2. On this Day of Pentecost came the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ, as Christ Himself had promised (John 14:16, 17).

The Orthodox services for Pentecost place their emphasis on the descent of the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. His descent means that the Mosaic Law, given by the Lawgiver and honored on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, is now transcended: “The All-Holy Spirit, who freely distributes gifts to all, has descended and come to earth; not as He formerly had in the Law’s dark shadow, shining in the Prophets, but now in very truth, He is bestowed in us through Christ” (Vespers, Thursday after Pentecost).

The worship services for Pentecost repeatedly emphasize how Old Testament prophecies of the Holy Spirit are fulfilled on this day. Two of the greatest of these prophecies are found in the Old Testament readings for this Feast—Ezekiel 36:24–28 and Joel 3:1–5. St. Peter directly quotes the passage from Joel in his exhortation to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16–21). A third reading—Numbers 11:16–17, 24–29—relates how the Lord commands Moses to select seventy of the elders of Israel, who, when the Spirit comes upon them, prophesy at the tabernacle. The comment of Moses regarding this event, “Would that all the Lord’s people might be prophets when the Lord would put His Spirit upon them” (Numbers 11:29), is prophetic of the Day of Pentecost.

Excerpted from a study article in the Orthodox Study Bible.

How have you felt the Holy Spirit working in you? Please share below!

Bible Study

More
  • Biblical Advice on How to Navigate Modern Teen Life

    Biblical Advice on How to Navigate Modern Teen Life

    Sometimes when we make bad choices we continue on that... Read more
  • the genealogy of Jesus

    The Genealogy of Jesus

    One purpose of Matthew's Gospel is to prove to Jewish... Read more
  • god-assumes-full

    God Assumes Full Responsibility for Our Needs When We Obey Him

    God has promised to meet our needs, but, in this time... Read more

Comfort

More
  • Be Thankful for Jesus, the God-Man

    As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, only one... Read more
  • Strong in Grace

    Strong in Grace

    In Paul's letter to Timothy, we see the picture of a... Read more
  • The Suffering of Job and the Goodness of God

    The story of Job is a strong lesson on suffering and... Read more

Devotional Reading Plans

More
  • Guide to Family Worship: Help Your Child Learn How to Handle Fear

    Dear Parent, One of the most common issues of... Read more
  • Daniel: God Still Reigns

    If you re a Jew in Babylon, you’ve got reason to... Read more
  • Living a Balanced Life

    This 7-day devotional offers reminders of what is most... Read more

Prayer

More
  • Scripture Engagement Practice Picture It

    Scripture Engagement Practice: Picture It

    Picture it, one of the practices found in the abide... Read more
  • Start the New Year Studying Proverbs as a Family

    Many people start the New Year making resolutions on... Read more
  • Does Anything Prevent God from Answering Our Prayers?

      Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come... Read more

SpeakLight

More
  • Romans 8:28 SpeakLight Danny Gokey

    Romans 8:28 / #SpeakLight / Danny Gokey

    And we know that all things work together for good to... Read more
  • James 5:16 - Steven Malcolm

    James 5:16 / #SpeakLight / Steven Malcolm

    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for... Read more
  • 2 corinthians 5:17 phil joel

    2 Corinthians 5:17 with Phil Joel

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new... Read more

Spiritual Growth

More
  • Scripture Engagement Practice Picture It

    Scripture Engagement Practice: Picture It

    Picture it, one of the practices found in the abide... Read more
  • Biblical Advice on How to Navigate Modern Teen Life

    Biblical Advice on How to Navigate Modern Teen Life

    Sometimes when we make bad choices we continue on that... Read more
  • a light has dawned

    A Light Has Dawned

    During the season of advent, we remember that Jesus is... Read more

Topical Reading Plans

More
  • Keys to Revelation

      Key Word: The Revelation of the Coming of... Read more