The Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 as the “birth of the Church.” This language ostensibly implies the start of something new. However, we should be cautious of such terminology lest we fall into the trap of “replacement theology.” The Pentecost event in Acts was not a replacement of Israel but rather the renewal of covenantal relationship and purpose with a radical expansion.
A Fire that Will Not Die “You will receive power… and you will be my witnesses…Acts 1:4,5,8 – The Resurrected Lord spent forty days with His disciples, preparing them to set the world on fire and carry out the Great Commission. However, He did not immediately send them out. Instead, He told them that they needed to wait and pray. While they knew the Father and spent years getting to know Yeshua, they would now need to receive and get to know the Ruach (the Hebrew word for “Spirit”).
Shavuot / The Sinai event was several things wrapped in one; perhaps most significantly, the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. In recounting the giving of the Law at Pentecost, Moses said, “Adonai came from Sinai and dawned on Bnei-Yisrael from Seir. He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came from the holy myriads— blazing fire for them from His right hand.” (Deuteronomy 33:2). Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), also known as Pentecost, is the traditional Jewish celebration of the reception of the Torah. It occurs seven weeks or fifty days after the feast of Passover, hence its name (the Greek word Πεντηκοστή – Pentēkostē, meaning “fiftieth”)
Starting from the second night of Passover, the Bible encourages us to all become “Pentecostals” by initiating a forty-nine-day minor festival culminating on the Day of Pentecost—“Pentecost,” meaning “fifty.” The first fruits festival, known as “The Counting of the Omer” or simply “The Omer,” marks a culmination of three unique historical events and has enormous significance in the life of a disciple of Yeshua – Jesus.
Holiday Mirrors: What Hanukkah and Christmas Have in Common. The rich tradition and theological substance of holidays like Hanukkah bind us together as a community. Why wouldn’t we want to remember and celebrate an event that caused heaven’s armies to pause and erupt in lavish praise? As much as the Nativity and Hanukkah have some profound differences, they also have some deep similarities. As such, they both deserve a place in our practice and our communal storytelling.
What is Thanksgiving? It is so much more than a holiday—it’s a lifestyle for Followers of Yeshua – Jesus! Being thankful when things are going well in our lives is one thing, but “always”? “In everything”? The Apostle (and Rabbi!) Paul gave clear directives to those early believing communities. He expected thanksgiving would be a constant among them, even when enduring challenges. Frankly, this seems a bit idealistic, don’t you think? How can believers be thankful all the time?
We have to ask: what is the Hebrew name for God? A deep dive into God’s name reveals not just who He is but how that reality affects our lives. How should we live now that we know God to be the Father revealed in Yeshua? This is why our journey deeper in God’s Word matters: it calls us to a new way of life.
Shemini Atzeret: According to Numbers 29:35, “On the eighth day there shall be for you an assembly. You are to do no regular work.” The holiday’s name literally means “Eighth Day Assembly.” Shemini Atzeret’s distinction is vital because its focus differs from Sukkot’s and ties directly to the “Lord’s Prayer” from Yeshua Jesus.
Sukkot celebrates God tabernacling among the children of Israel during their forty years in the wilderness as His presence led them as a cloud of smoke by day and as a pillar of fire by night. In light of this, there is a heightened theological significance of John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” I believe Yeshua-Jesus was born on Sukkot, for He is Emmanuel, God among us, the presence of the Lord dwelling among His people once again like He did in the desert.
The scapegoat represented the sins of the nation; Yom Kippur points to the ultimate redemption of the world, the fullness of redemption. A redemption is paid for, not by the blood of an animal, which still leaves a deficit, but by Yeshua’s blood, marking the debt PAID IN FULL.