When the Israelites left Egypt, God began leading them toward Mt. Sinai where He would give them the 10 Commandments. He was giving them the law to live by when they entered the Promised Land. The law would set their boundaries and guide them in all they were to do. Included in the law were instructions for celebrating His appointed times or Feasts. These feast times were centered around their agricultural society, making special times of sowing, reaping and giving thanks for their harvests. Little did they know how these feasts would play into God’s grand scheme of revealing the Messiah and His plan of Redemption. As the Israelites gathered, witnessing that God descended upon Mt. Sinai in fire to give Moses the Law, they became the nation of Israel. They were united through the Law, with God as their Leader.
On the day following Passover, the Priest would cut the first grain sheaf and wave it before the Lord. This celebration was called Early Firstfruits. After counting the Omer for fifty days after Early Firstfruits, God instructed the Israelites to bring a new grain offering of two loaves of bread made with leaven that would be waved before the Lord. This celebration was called Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest or Latter Firstfruits (Ex 23:16, Num 28:26).
These feasts were kept faithfully for generations according to the command of the Lord (Ex 23:15-16). Once Jesus was born, He began to show them how the symbolism of the feasts pointed to Him, but many of them had very little understanding. In John 12:24, He was telling them the grain sheaf of Early Firstfruits represented Him. (John 12:24) After Jesus died, He rose again on this same day presenting Himself as a Firstfruits to God. (1 Cor 15:20)
Just before His ascension to Heaven, he told the disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them and He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received this promise (Acts 1:4-8). Exactly fifty days after His resurrection, they were in the upper room celebrating the Feast of Weeks, which the New Testament calls Pentecost, waving the two loaves before the Lord (Acts 2:1-4). Suddenly, the Holy Spirit poured out on them like fire, and they became the church, united in the Spirit, with Jesus as their Head. The two loaves were the symbols for the Jewish and Gentile believers that would make up the church. The leaven acknowledged that there would be sin in the church.
Jesus tells us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). He is the Truth given through the Law. He is the Spirit, poured out on believers. When we rely on the Spirit to enlighten our eyes to Truth, then we receive revelation which brings us into true reality. As we celebrate Pentecost this year, we are seeking a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will bring us into greater revelation of the Truth, the Truth about our soon coming King and His Kingdom. This understanding will bring us closer to the true meaning of this feast, the Feast of Harvest. God was always pointing to the Great Harvest of Souls that He’s had on His heart since the beginning. Let us receive, and then resolve to partner with Him with greater passion, clarity and faith for the desires of His heart. Holy Spirit fall on us! Holy Spirit fall on Israel!