Following His resurrection Jesus was with His disciples and “He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. ‘Which,’ he said, ‘you have heard me speak about; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.’” (Acts 1:4-5) Shavuot was only 10 days away and they did as Jesus had commanded them – they waited.
Shavuot is a celebration of the day that God gave the Torah to His people on Mt. Sinai. It occurs 7 weeks after the first day of Passover. The Greek term used for this celebration is Pentecost which means fiftieth – the 50th day after Passover and our Christian Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter. It is so fitting that the One Who gave the Law on Mt. Sinai on Shavuot would also give us the Holy Spirit on the same day. It was a fulfillment of the promise made to the nation of Israel in Jeremiah 31:31-33:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
At Pentecost the very Spirit of God filled His believers, transferring the written Law of God into a personal understanding of Who He Is and who we are in Him. Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law, but rather to fulfill the law. (Matthew 5:17) He fulfilled the law on the Cross and He completed the full purpose of the law by giving us His Spirit to guide us into all truth including the truth of the law and the truth of grace. Acts 2 marks a new beginning for God’s people – an opportunity to live intimately with the One Who Was and Is and Evermore Shall Be.
Next week we will continue to look into Acts 2 – the Birthday of the Church – to see what this new beginning means for us in the here and now.
This Bible study was presented to the Agape Life Bible Study Class of the First Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas, on Sunday, March 13, 2022. It is part of a series of Bible study sessions from The Gospel Project – a Bible study curriculum developed by Lifeway Christian Resources. Handouts with slide content can be requested at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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