Its drink offering
shall be the
fourth part of a hin for the one lamb
The Gospel of John
is the fourth of the four canonical gospels.
It contains a highly schematic account of the
ministry of Jesus,
with seven "signs"
culminating in the raising of Lazarus and
seven "I am"
discourses culminating in Thomas' proclamation
"my Lord and my God".
(Jesus, Mary 5 demons, Peter speaks at Pentecost)
for the year 2023 is celebrated/ observed on
Sunday, May 28th, 2023
Pentecost is celebrated on the seventh Sunday
50 days after Easter Sunday.
A Christian holy day known also as
Whit Sunday, White Sunday and Whitsun
decent of the Holy Spirit
Apostles and followers of Jesus Christ
Jerusalem according to Acts 2:1-31.
The word has its roots in the Greek word
which means '50th day. '
Pentecost is a major festival in the Christian church and
is celebrated by believers on the Sunday that
falls on the 50th day of Easter.
THE TORAH SINGLES OUT RESURRECTION SUNDAY!
GUEST BLOG BY JONATHAN MILES OF SHEVET ACHIM
point so clearly to Jesus.
His connections with Passover are well-known to most of us.
But did we know that the
Sunday of his resurrection is also singled out in the Torah?
When my family and I first came to Israel in 1990, we’d hear occasional references to the day of Jesus’ resurrection as the “Feast of First Fruits.” I didn’t really understand where the name came from, and when I finally learned more I had to ask in astonishment:
Why have I never been told this before?
LEVITICUS HOLDS THE
The origin of First Fruits is in Leviticus 23, the chapter which
provides the fullest
description of all the holy days of Israel.
If we’re not paying attention it’s easy as we read to skip right past the few verses which describe what takes place during Passover week:
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them,
When you come into the land that I give you and
reap its harvest,
you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of
your harvest to the priest,
and he shall
wave the sheaf before the LORD,
so that you may be accepted.
On the day after the Sabbath the
priest shall wave it.
And on the day when you wave the sheaf,
you shall offer a male lamb
a year old without blemish
as a burnt offering to the LORD.
And the grain offering with it shall be
two tenths of an ephah of
fine flour mixed with oil,
a food offering to the LORD with
a pleasing aroma, and
the drink offering with it shall be of wine,
a fourth of a hin.
And you shall
eat neither bread nor grain parched or
fresh until this same day,
until you have brought the offering
of your God:
it is a statute forever throughout your generations
in all your dwellings.’”
So the Sunday of Passover week, the day after the Sabbath,
is set apart
Moses as the Feast of First Fruits:
the barley harvest in the land is just
and the first sheaf
must be presented before the LORD before all the rest
may be gathered in.
Immediately we think of
Paul’s picture of Jesus
first fruits of those risen from the dead:
“But in fact
Messiah has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also
the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Messiah shall all
be made alive
But each in his own order:
Messiah the first fruits,
his coming those who belong to Messiah.”
How amazing that Messiah was presented
alive before the Father on
on this very day of First Fruits, just as
the lamb with bread and wine
presented in the temple
But the story in Leviticus doesn’t end there…
“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath,
from the day that
you brought the sheaf of the wave offering.
You shall count fifty days to the day after the
Then you shall present a
grain offering of anew grain to the LORD.
You shall bring from
your dwelling places
TWO loaves of bread to be waved,
made of two tenths of an ephah.
They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven,
as first fruits to the LORD.”
S0 this Resurrection Sunday,
Feast of First Fruits,
Is the trigger
start the countdown
seven weeks to something BIG:
Feast of Weeks
the second of the three pilgrimage holy days each year when
is called to assemble in Jerusalem.
The Torah gives no explanation of why this
day is to be set apart,
which led ancient sages to call it
"unfinished holy day.”
(Later traditions linking the day to the giving of the law at Sinai are not taught by the Torah itself.)
So we have two holy days which are
unique in falling
on a fixed day of the week, Sunday;
all other Torah holy days fluctuate from day to day
based on the lunar calendar.
Now let’s return to Jesus, raised from the dead
first day of this countdown.
For forty days
appeared to and taught his disciples;
Paul even records appearing to 500 at one time.
Then on the Friday he
ascends from the Mount of Olives
right hand of the Father,
charges them to wait in Jerusalem.
Nine days yet remain in the
launched by his resurrection.
Exactly Seven weeks after
when the Day of Pentecost had Fully Come,
The unfinished holy day
was fulfilled as the long-promised
Holy Spirit of God
was poured out,
before the astonished eyes of the Jews who had gathered from
across the known world.
who like the other disciples was previously fearful,
confused and vain–suddenly
spoke out with the boldness
The Lion of Judah
The word of God
from his lips to the
multitudes cut them to the heart,
and they asked
“What shall we do?”
Friends, what a day.
This is the power
we disciples still need if we’re to
task Jesus gave us
THE REAL PENTECOST
Why are we not thrilling to remember
countdown each year from Resurrection Sunday,
cherishing each day of “counting the omer”
(the days since the first fruits offering)
just as the Jewish people still do?
This is particularly a weakness of the non-liturgical Western churches in which many of us grew up in the faith.
We can allow this precious day of Pentecost to come and go without even a mention in our services.
How the traditions of man can blind us to
The Word of God
In this case not only Christian but rabbinic tradition has
led us astray
Second Temple was destroyed
(the prediction of which was one of the chief charges against Jesus),
fell to the Pharisees
to rewrite the book of what became normative Judaism.
As opposed to the literal interpretation of other
Jewish schools of thought
(Sadducees, Karaites, and Samaritans),
the Pharisees claimed that “the day after the Sabbath” of Passover week wasn’t really Sunday, but rather whichever weekday happened to fall after the first day of Passover, since that day also was treated as a day of rest.
The word Sabbath
comes from a Hebrew word meaning rest.
Before the Resurrection of Jesus Christ,
the Sabbath day commemorated
God's day of rest
He finished the Creation.
It was a sign of the covenant between
God and His people.
There is no Torah precedent however for such an interpretation
and anew reading of the text had a radical effect:
Feast of First Fruits,
Pentecost seven weeks later,
would no longer fall on a fixed day of the week.
Especially the Torah would not single out so
uniquely the Sunday of Passover week,
the day on which certain heretical Jews claimed the
Messiah was raised from the dead!
So in the year of 2020, for example, the rabbinic calendar has the counting of the omer starting on Friday, April 10, meaning Pentecost is also celebrated on a Friday, May 29. For those of us living among the Jewish people,
this misplaced holy day can easily cause us to miss the
true and intimate connection
Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost Sunday
that we allow the
real Pentecost to pass by unnoticed on
Sunday, May 31.
We who desperately need the
power of God
can ill afford to ignore the day long ago
for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The spouse who blithely forgets
a wedding anniversary does not jeopardize the
nevertheless the partner is grieved to know that
gift of covenant love
valued so lightly.
Friends, just as we
honor Resurrection Sunday
honor Pentecost Sunday seven weeks later:
is the raising of Jesus
that made it possible for God
to dwell in us through his
Full article on the Shevet Achim website, published here with permission
“Fundamental to the Shevet Achim identity is the understanding
that we as non-Jews have
through Messiah been brought near and grafted in to
the salvation history of the people of Israel.
So it’s our privilege while living among the Jewish people to honor the
Shabbats and holidays
which are, according to the
Law and prophets,
of their covenant with God.”
Shevet Achim communities help children from Gaza, Iraq and Syria
come to Israel
The name “Shevet Achim” comes from this
“Behold how good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to
dwell together in unity!”