Saturday, March 21, 2009

Festival of Harvest-Pentecost

Thanks for sticking with me as I've looked at the celebrations spoken of in Leviticus 23. I know it's been a little tedious, but I've learned much. I'm going to wrap up this thread of posts though, by writing about the final spring festival.

The Festival of Harvest is celebrated 49 days after the Feast of First Harvest. (50 days total, which is where we get the word Pentecost.) The Festival of Harvest was a time when the spring wheat harvest was being gathered.

Historically it correlates with the Israelites receiving the Torah, or Law. When the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai, they purrified themselves for 2 days and were to receive God's word on the third day. They were not to approach the mountain. It was covered with dense clouds, fire, smoke, and there was thunder and lightening. God wrote his commands on 2 tablets of stone. It's also significant that when Moses came down from the mountain and found the people worshipping a golden calf, God judged the nation and 3,000 people died (Ex. 32:28).

God used this festival to point to the giving of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Jesus's resurrection and the beginning of a harvest of believers. God offered a new covenant through Jesus and the Holy Spirit was given as a promise to those that entered the covenant. Acts 2 tells us about the Holy Spirit's arrival at Pentecost. When Peter, who is filled with the Spirit, speaks to the crowd gathered to celebrate Pentecost, 3,000 people believe and enter the new covenant.

Pentecost was celebrated by offerings, one of which was a new grain offering. They were to offer 2 loaves of bread. These were not unleavened loaves, but rather loaves made with yeast. This is very different from the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover. Why the differnece? My readings told me that Christ was represented by the unleavened bread in the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover. He was without sin, so therefore, the bread was without yeast. However, the bread at Pentecost represents the nation of Israel and the church. Both contain sin, so the bread contains yeast.

The Festival of Harvest was the last of the spring festivals and the beginning of the gathering of grains. In the fall, another set of festivals would be celebrated that correlates with the gathering of the fruit harvest. We are living in the times of plentiful harvest. Let us pray to the Lord of the Harvest and ask him to send out workers. Let us also be about the work that God has given us. The fall festivals give us information about Jesus second coming and the Final Harvest. I'll be studying, but unless I find something that I just have to share with you, I think the blog will take a break from all this celebrating. (I know some of you are dancing with joy!)

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