Shavuot: Shadows of the Savior

You shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the Lᴏʀᴅ your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lᴏʀᴅ your God chooses to make His name abide (Dt. 26:2).

As Jerusalem and the Temple came into view, the ancient pilgrims sang for joy. It was the Festival of Weeks, or Shavuot. The Israelites carried on their shoulders beautiful baskets filled with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates (Dt. 8:8). In the Temple court, the faithful gathered to read of God’s goodness in delivering them from bondage and providing a rich land and boundless blessings (26:5–10).

As Jewish people celebrate this festival on May 29, Christians might do well to remember that it is also Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and give thanks for our redemption through our Jewish Savior.

Deliverance
The act of remembering Passover was part of the Shavuot ceremony. All of Israel’s blessings began with Passover and deliverance from Egypt. For Christians, the basis of all our joy today and our hope for tomorrow is rooted in the fact that “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7).

Land
“He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’” (Dt. 26:9).

God kept His promise. The land and Temple were theirs to enjoy. Today the true spiritual Temple of God resides within each believer (1 Cor. 3:16). Therefore, we have a sure inheritance that is better than anything on Earth; we have a “heavenly country” (Heb. 11:16).

Blessing
“Behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lᴏʀᴅ, have given me” (Dt. 26:10).

The offering of firstfruits was a small token that symbolized the Jewish people’s continued trust in God for promised blessings yet unrealized. Jesus is the present source of all good things for all believers, and we continue to trust in Him to deliver all that He has promised, both for this life and the next: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).

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