Why Christians Should Celebrate Shavuot
Most Christians today don’t celebrate or are knowledgeable about Jewish (Old Testament) holy days. Yet, there is great benefit to believers in digging into and experiencing the culture and meaning behind the various festivals. Today, we’re looking at why Christians should celebrate Shavuot.
Perhaps you desire to know more or want to connect the Old Testament and New Testament in a way that will help your kids remember it.
Celebrating the Feasts of our Lord is the best teaching tool we as parents and grandparents can use to instill God’s Word, story, and truths in the hearts of our children.
If you have a longing to teach them all that God is and why it matters, this is a great addition to family traditions.
I still remember stories that were told to me when I was very young.
In fact, in grade school our music teacher was also the music leader at his church. So our musical in 4th grade school was Daniel in the Lion’s Den. I ‘ll never forget those songs or stories.
The same is true today.
As we teach God’s Word to our kids – let them sing the stories, read the stories, enact the stories, and celebrate the stories – they too will never forget.
I hope you agree that these are great reasons as to why Christians should celebrate Shavuot.
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Why Is Shavuot So Important?
Shavuot is one of those favorite stories to relive. God has something important to convey in it and that’s why He set it aside as one of the Feasts of our Lord.
In fact, it was so important that God commanded the Jewish people to come to Jerusalem each year to celebrate Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks.
But why is the festival of Shavuot so important to us today?
Glad you asked.
This is my personal take on Shavuot and why we as Christians should celebrate this Jewish tradition every year.
1. God’s Holy Law
Fire Thunder Lighting Giving of the LAW
Shavuot is a reminder of God’s laws (the ten commandments) written on the tablets of stone. It helps to always be reminded of how God delivered the laws on Mt Sinai and read as a family the verses where the experience was recorded.
And all the people were watching and hearing the thunder and the lightning flashes, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it all, they trembled and stood at a distance. Exodus 20:18
Lightning, flashes, thunder, smoke (fire). Things we can all relate to.
Jewish teachings relay that Moses received the Law on the 50th day after Passover. (Exodus 19:1)
We can also note that when Moses came down from the mountain 40 days later, there was a golden calf waiting for him. The people had rebelled against the God who rescued them out of slavery and sustained them day-to-day and created their own god.
The Lord was understandably angry. On that day around 3,000 Israelites were killed.
God is very serious about His Words and His promises!
2. Promise Delivered
We see Shavuot celebrated in the book of Acts as the disciples, who were Jews, plus many more people gathered together.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, distributing themselves, and a tongue rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out. Acts 2:1-4
This experience told to us by Luke is an example of God delivering on His promise from the book of John.
…but an hour is coming and now is when true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-4
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit who the father will send in my name he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you! John 14:26
That is reason enough to celebrate the Feast of Weeks – Shavuot!
We need reminders of what God has given us. We need the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance all that God’s Word teaches us.
Jesus the Messiah delivered on His promise! And He is still delivering on His promises today.
Shavuot is about deliverance from bondage and also deliverance from the evils of this world. These are amazing promises of the Lord!
The Feast of Weeks is celebrating God’s faithfulness in maintaining His covenant and fulfilling His promises. There’s a distinct connection between fulfilled promises of the Lord and Pentecost, when Shavuot begins, in the early church.
This particular Pentecost, or Shavuot, is when God gave the law written in the hearts of the people through the Holy Spirit.
In my upbringing, we rarely talked about the early disciples’ Pentecost experience because it brought up the hard-to-answer question about ‘tongues’.
This is not hard to explain when it’s learned in the context and original language of the time.
When God delivered the tablets of stone – the laws – in Exodus 20:18, it says “the people perceived the thunder and lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking and when the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance.”
This thundering is each person hearing God’s voice.
The Israelites on the mountain were hearing God speak.
The tongues in Acts are the languages to spread the Gospel to all peoples.
The people outside the room where the disciples were being given the gift of the Holy Spirit heard the Gospel for the first time in their own language.
People traveled from miles around, there would have been people in Jerusalem from all over. Some authorities say there could have been a million people in Jerusalem that day.
The sound coming from the room to the outside was the Gospel and those hearing it were being saved in their own language. Around 3,000 were saved that day.
It was never about confusion. That’s a misinterpretation. Tongues mean languages. It was and always is about the Gospel.
And the people who needed to hear it. Heard it in their language.
Today we have the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with all people. God will supply the words. We are not to let nationalities or languages cause us to hesitate our call.
Check out this video where I explain more about the reasons why Christians should celebrate Shavuot.
Shavuot is a feast of thanksgiving.
Thanking God for the harvest, historically wheat and barley.
People bring gifts as a sacrifice, gifts from their produce.
We too need to celebrate with a feast of thanksgiving.
Thanking God for the complete assurance of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
Gratitude for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is our helper.
Celebrating Shavuot helps us teach our kids about the Holy Spirit and how He guides us on a daily basis.
At Passover, we removed all the leaven from the home. (Leaven represents sin in our lives.)
During Shavuot, we’re given new leaven.
Leaven also means teachings.
Yeshua explained that leaven represents teachings and we are not to learn from the Pharisees, who focus on traditions and doctrines.
Instead, we’re to learn from God’s Word.
In the first chapter of the Treasures of Healthy Living Bible Study, we discuss how there’s as much to unlearn as there is to learn.
As we study scriptures for ourselves and teach our kids to do the same, the Holy Spirit guides us.
There are many gifted and blessed teachers we can learn from. Yet the Word is always the final authority.
As we celebrate Shavuot, it doesn’t have to be in the traditional Jewish nature.
We celebrate with music, singing, sharing praises, enjoying a feast, fellowship, and reading the story of Ruth with some fun antics added in.
Then we pray for our nation and for Israel.
Consider Acts 2:42-43: They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship to breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
Later, in chapter 3, a man was healed.
And leaping up, he stood and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Acts 3:8-9
This is why we celebrate the Feasts of Our Lord. We are to live in such a way that people say, “Times are hard. Why are you walking and leaping and praising God?”
Our world can be chaotic and worrisome.
Just in the most recent times our gas was shut down, we have COVID fear, and bombs are going off in Israel.
There are always a host of hard, painful, and tragic things occurring in this broken, fallen world.
Yes, I know these things. I don’t ignore them, but I know the God who knows all and loves me beyond all measure. That He is still good and He is still in control.
Therefore, I’m going to walk and leap and praise God.
The Bible isn’t just great stories. It’s Jesus in real time.
And because of Him, we rejoice in His Word, His revelation, His redemption, and so much more.
Shavuot is another great opportunity to take a break from our normal routines and set aside special time to remember and celebrate God’s faithfulness.
Are you ready to celebrate Shavuot with your family? I hope and pray so!