Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks is the third in the series of seven set apart moed’im, appointed times, in the annual feast day cycle. Shavuot is in one sense the completion of Passover in the spring cycle of Adonai’s appointed times. The moed’im of Passover begins the yearly cycle of the seven feasts, Unleavened Bread and the day of Firstfruits on which the first sheaf of the barley harvest was harvested and waved before Adonai. Firstfruits establishes the beginning of the count of the Omer leading up to Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. (Lev. 23:15,16) You shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. The reason that Shavuot is called the Feast of Weeks has to do with the designation of the seven complete weeks, six working days each followed by a Shabbat after which at the conclusion of the seventh week, after the weekly Sabbath of that week, the only Sabbath in that week, the next day is designated as Shavuot. The counting of the Omer between the time of Passover and Shavuot ties the two moed’im together. Omer in Hebrew is the word for sheaf, it is also understood to be a measure, a measure of ground grain. The measure of grain was to be presented in the Temple daily between Passover and Shavuot. Today the term Omer is used symbolically for the counting of the weeks and days. The measure of ground grain that was originally brought during the seven weeks leading up to Shavuot, at Shavuot is made into leavened bread and brought to Adonai’s altar. Leaven typically indicates that sin is present and therefore leaven of any sort was not allowed to be presented to the LORD ever, except on this particular day. The two leavened loaves represent the Jewish people and Adonai’s people from the nations, both with sin but both accepted by Adonai because of the covering of the blood of the Passover Lamb. In this way, Shavuot is the completion of Passover, the Lamb has been slain – Yeshua is our Passover and at Shavuot our acceptance is confirmed.
**Note: There is a rabbinical way of beginning the count of the Omer leading to Shavuot but since we are a Messianic congregation that believes that Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel was resurrected on the first day of the week as the ‘first fruits’ of those who will likewise be resurrected at His return, we begin our count of the Omer on the first day of the week, the day after the weekly Shabbat.
Shavuot is also known as a day of proclamation. Shavuot has been designated as the day that God proclaimed His Torah, His instructions for life. It was on Shavuot that the talmidim, the disciples of Yeshua proclaimed the Good News in Jerusalem and 3000 Jewish souls were added to those who believed in Yeshua. Today those of us who believe and do what Adonai has commanded are to likewise proclaim Him. Shavuot is a day to proclaim the victory that we have in the LORD. Believers in Messiah Yeshua are to function as priests in the world today proclaiming the excellencies of His name. We are to come into His courts on His appointed days, at His appointed times each with a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a prophecy. Through the outpouring of Adonai’s Spirit on Shavuot, YHVH restored the priesthood to those who have trusted in Yeshua as Master and Messiah. (1 Peter 2:9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Adonai had intended Israel to be a nation of priests (Exod.19:5,6) but when they shrank back (Exod. 20:18-21) Adonai made them into a nation with priests (Exod. 28:1). On Shavuot, Adonai restored the priesthood to His holy nation of believers in Messiah.
Also, the importance of Shavuot must not be overlooked in regards to prophetic fulfillment. According to the prophecy of Daniel 9:24, 70 Weeks, 70 Shavuots have been decreed to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin. At the end of 62 Shavuots Messiah will be cut off and the prince who is to come will come with a flood. Throughout the history of Israel, the understanding of this prophecy has been examined and disputed. But there has never been a time when so many events have taken place that so dramatically point to a fulfillment of Daniel’s timeline. Sixty-two years ago Israel reemerged as a nation after 2000 years of dormancy. That is unheard of in the history of the world. This year, 2010 marks the completion of the 62nd year of Israel’s existence as a nation. On Shavuot we will enter into what would be the 63rd year but scripture calls this coming year, if Daniel’s prophetic timeline applies to this season as the 1st year of the last 7 years, or as most people know it as – the years of Tribulation. Shavuot has a predominate role in end times prophetic fulfillment, it will be on Shavuot that the proclamation of what is about to come will be made. Selah.