His Cost on Passover, Our Cost on Pentecost

Today is Pentecost Sunday the 50th day after Easter/Passover. One of the first holidays from the Bible “Shavuoth” (in Hebrew) is translated “week” (literally, “a period of sevens”). That is why many modern translations call this holiday the Feast of Weeks.

9001951_origThe root, Shava, is translated as both “seven” and “oath.” Shavuoth fits both definitions. Firstly, it is the day after the seventh week after Passover, thus on the 50th day (Pentecost in Greek). Secondly, it is the day they swore an oath to learn and obey the Torah they had presently received at Mount Sinai.

The Bible stresses the importance of Pentecost by its connection to Passover. Passover was the night before the Exodus from Egyptian slavery when the lamb was sacrificed, eaten and its blood applied to the doorways of faithful Israelites to protect the first born males from the angel of death who passed over. Pentecost was when the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai and made an oath, becoming a nation dedicated to the Lord. Correspondingly, Passover was when Jesus (our sacrificial lamb of God) commemorated the Last Supper, was crucified, and saved us from the bondage of our sins. And Pentecost the day the church was founded in Acts 2.

The Bible commands the annual commemoration of Passover and Pentecost. Though an important day itself, Pentecost can only be figured out after Passover is set and the counting down to 50 days begins. I suggest that the connection to Passover and Pentecost is just as important figuratively to us today as it was literally to the Israelites in the Old Testament.

Observe, the Passover was their salvation day story when they were rescued from a bondage they could not overcome. They were delivered supernaturally based solely upon God’s grace: undeserved and unearned. At Pentecost they dedicated themselves back to their Savior, “who brought them out of the land of bondage.” They committed to being people of the Bible. Their objective was to learn and live the way of the Word in order to keep themselves from bondage again. To this day Jewish communities offer all night Bible classes in observance of Pentecost.

We Christians should take this same task seriously. Our Passover is our salvation from sin by Christ’s grace. Then comes our Pentecost, taking an oath to be people of the Word.

My concern is that our churches are greatly illiterate in the Scriptures. We are woefully ignorant and neglectful of meaningful study or committing it to memory. A blissfully Bible-ignorant church is headed for exile. Can most of us explain the main argument of Ephesians? Can we explain what we really believe more than our stance on certain ethic or moral issues?

This holiday should be a day of renewing our covenant to become Biblically literate families. There is nothing more important; nothing more meaningful, nothing more expeditiously necessary than the study of God’s Word. May we not be shamed for embracing Christ’s Passover but neglecting the oath of Pentecost.

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One Response to “His Cost on Passover, Our Cost on Pentecost”

  1. Andrew Boncella Says:

    Praise the Lord for the reminder to ready, memorize and study God’s word and to allow it to continue the transformation process in our lives.

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