Shavuot (Pentecost) expands the Kingdom of God

Shavuot and the sabbatical years of the jubilee are based on three ideas: liberty, restoration and acceptance. Both stand on the same foundation.

What foundation does man stand upon? Dirt + water + breath of life = Man. We all began with Adam and Eve without exception. God gave Adam and Eve the Breath of Life and we have all inherited this because of them.

“You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, 49 years. You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the 10th day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land. You shall thus consecrate the 50th year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. You shall have the 50th year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its after-growth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field. On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property.” (Leviticus 25:8–13 NASB)

Shavuot is the end of a count of 50. It’s broken up into seven sets of seven, which is 49. The count of the Jubilee and the count of Shavout are similar. This is not a coincidence. God did this on purpose. The Jubilee is tied to Shavuot for several reasons, which we will discuss today.

Pentecost of Sinai and Yerushalayim

“In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai….” (Exodus 19:1 NASB)

“All the people perceived the thunder and the 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. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.” (Exodus 20:18–21 NASB)

When Yeshua celebrated Shavuot, He reiterated many of the points we see in Shavuot. The Torah gives us instruction of how to relate to God and to one another. They were learning lessons of Torah every Shabbat up to this event, the culmination of this is Shavuot.

What are we counting when we count the 50 days from First Fruits to Shavuot?

Shavuot and the sabbatical years of the jubilee are based on three ideas: liberty, restoration and acceptance.

The seventh year is a time of rest for the dirt. Man, who was made from the dirt, is also resting.

The process of freedom is not in the imagery of the Shabbat but it is a part of the First Fruits and the Counting of the Omer.

Liberty is freedom from oppression, sin and death penalty. Restoration is about returning to one’s one ancestral place. One’s own land or dirt is represents a return to our own beginning. Our true heritage is the breath of God.

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 NASB)

Our heritage is dirt but God’s gift is the breath of life. The land of Israel was already there, God gave them the land and His spirit which made it fruitful. Dirt + water + breath of life = Man.

We all began with Adam and Eve without exception. God gave Adam and Eve the Breath of Life and we have all inherited this because of them.

If a man is bound, he is not using his life, he is simply existing. When he is unbound, he is free and he can use his life. Things that have the breath of life can move, which is a form of liberty.

‘Do you wish to get well?’

Next we will look at John 5:1-9 which was an incident that occurred during Shavuot at the pool of Bethesda. A man was paralyzed for 38 years was healed. A paralyzed man is bound, but Yeshua gave him freedom and life.

Yeshua asked the paralyzed man, “Do you wish to get well?” He is teaching the man a lesson. He is really asking the man if he wants to be free. The man replies that he can’t get to the water. He is bound in his affliction.

Yeshua frequently healed people and gave people freedom on Shabbats. I suspect this is because Yeshua’s ministry occurred during a jubilee year.

“So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”” (John 5:10–15 NASB)

Yeshua gave the man his freedom, but there was a “catch.”

The first thing the Jewish leaders noticed was not the fact that a paralytic man was walking about but that he was carrying his bed. He was not carrying this bed in his own home but in the holy city of Jerusalem, right in the area of the Temple of God.

Their consternation over the man carrying his bed did not come out of a vacuum. We see a direct parallel in Jeremiah 17:19-27.

“Thus the LORD said to me, “Go and stand in the public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as in all the gates of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the LORD, kings of Judah, and all Judah and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates: ‘Thus says the LORD, “Take heed for yourselves, and do not carry any load on the sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. “You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the sabbath day nor do any work, but keep the sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers. “Yet they did not listen or incline their ears, but stiffened their necks in order not to listen or take correction.

“But it will come about, if you listen attentively to Me,” declares the LORD, “to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but to keep the sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. “They will come in from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the LORD. “But if you do not listen to Me to keep the sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem and not be quenched.” (Jeremiah 17:19–27 NASB)

Is the violation the man’s fault or Messiah’s fault? Who is more “guilty” the student or the teacher? The teacher so the Jewish leaders confront Yeshua personally. Yeshua is sinless, He is the one who is the Lord of the Sabbath.

The man’s real burden was his sin, not his paralysis.  God does not want anyone full of sin in His Temple.

The leaders didn’t understand what the real burden is. They were more concerned about the physical burden than the spiritual burden.

“For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:16–18 NASB)

God has given the Messiah control over life and death. God gave us the jubilee. The reason we have freedom is not from our fellow man but from God.

“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:22–24 NASB)

Yeshua has absolved the paralyzed man of sin. He is exercising the judgement God gave Him. Yeshua knows the man’s real burden. The real burden was not the bed, but his paralysis and the sin that caused it. Once Yeshua took the sin away, the man was no longer carrying a burden. Jeremiah was more concerned about the spiritual burden of sin, transgression and iniquity than about physical burdens.

The Jewish leaders confronted Yeshua over the “sin” of telling the man to carry his cot. Yeshua turns the conversation and tells them that He has authority to judge mankind, not them. He is the one who has the power to cure people from paralysis, blindness and even resurrection from the dead. This power is the proof of Yeshua’s authority.

The man was given his liberty when he was able to walk again. He was given restoration when Yeshua forgave His sin.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:39–47 NASB)

The Scriptures tell us how to live, not how to die. Yeshua is in all the scriptures so liberty, restoration and acceptance come only from Yeshua.

Misuse of the Law

Let’s backtrack a little bit. The Jewish leaders used the law in a different way than Yeshua. Yeshua used the law to give freedom. The Jewish leaders used the law to oppress people.

“So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, ‘It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.’” (John 5:10 NASB)

They are trying to bring the man under their authority and their judgement. Who are we supposed to obey? We are to follow the one who has power over sin and can give freedom. Only Yeshua has power over sin and He is the only one who can give freedom.

“‘If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. ….‘So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 25:14, 17 NASB)

The Jewish leaders were trying to oppress this man who was not knowledgeable about the law. The Pharisees were the ones who were violating the law, not Yeshua. Yeshua points this out when He tells them they don’t have God because they don’t have love for God or their fellow man.

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1–4 NASB)

If you are full of sin, you don’t feel free. The guilt we feel is a spiritual concept, not a physical concept.

Peter tells the people that Yeshua was so powerful that He had authority over all life, even His own. The Jewish leaders had Yeshua killed but they could not keep Him in the grave.

Messiah did not come to enslave us to death but to give us freedom and life.

What God wants

What God wants to restore is His people. The point of Shavuot is that His people are restored to Him. What we count during the Omer is the counting of God’s people. He is getting His people back.

  • Life/Liberty = Freedom to live. We receive freedom once a judgement has been made.
  • Restoration = return to one’s heritage. Our heritage from God is the breath of life. We are dirt but we get life.
  • Acceptance = The Spirit, wind and fire.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:25–29 NASB)

Summary: Tammy.

Banner Photo: Marriage Contract for Shavuot, artist unknown, circa 17th-18th century. Currently owned by the The Jewish Museum of New York. Photo from Wikipedia Commons.

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