Sunday, May 20, 2012

Shavuot Fulfilled!

Shavuot 2012
            Just as Jesus perfectly fulfilled the first three feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits, the Holy Spirit came precisely on time and fulfilled the Feast of Weeks.  Shavuot means “weeks” and begins seven weeks after Passover.  In Jewish tradition it is the remembrance of God giving the Torah.  Christians call it Pentecost, or “Fifty” and see it as the birth of the Church.
            In the book of Acts, the first Believers were praying in an upper room on Shavuot and Holy Spirit came into the room, baptizing them with tongues of fire that empowered them to witness on the streets of Jerusalem about the Resurrection of Jesus.  This was a direct fulfillment of the promise Jesus had given that they would be filled with power.  They were changed from a fearful, hiding band of men and women to an energized, bold fire-brand that operated under the direction and power of Holy Spirit.  The result: thousands of people were added to the Body of Christ overnight!
            This coming week Pentecost (Shavuot) will be celebrated on May 26 at sundown.  It is marked in Jewish circles by staying up all night reading Torah and the book of Ruth (in remembrance that David is a direct descendant of Ruth).  Messianic believers in Israel are calling the Church to a renewed Pentecost by spending the night in prayer inviting Holy Spirit to come and fulfill Joel 2:28-29.  Yes, this was fulfilled in Acts 2—Peter uses Joel 2 as the basis to explain the strange behavior of the freshly baptized Believers.  But the total fulfillment of Joel 2 has yet to happen.  Holy Spirit will be poured out on “all mankind” in “the last days”.  We believe we are living in those last days.  There is a Messianic remnant living in Israel again.  Expectancy is growing, as it did in that upper room.
            Our prayer is “Come, Holy Spirit, baptize us afresh with the power to witness about Jesus Christ to our world that is lost and dying.  We need You.  Come, overwhelm us with Your Presence.  Remove the fear of man from our hearts.  Embolden us with a fresh fire that will draw all men into the Kingdom of God.”
            Join us this week in praying for this outpouring of Holy Spirit.  Gather with other Believers and pray expectantly!  The Father earnestly desires to pour out His Spirit on those who ask for Him (Luke 11:13)!