Read verses 15-21
Q: How is this celebration similar to the previous one?
A: It could not be celebrated while Israel was in the wilderness, but only upon taking possession of the Promised Land.
Q: What is this feast commonly called?
A: Originally known as “The Feast of Weeks”, it is most commonly referred to today as “Pentecost”, which means “fifty” in reference to its taking place fifty days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is the birthday, so to speak, of the Church composed of both believing Jews and Gentiles.
Q: Even to this day, what specific Scripture is required reading in Jewish synagogues as part of the celebration of Pentecost?
A: The Book of Ruth, a story about a Gentile bride who is saved by her Jewish redeemer—an Old Testament illustration of what would literally take place as witnessed in Acts 2.
Q: While not specifically proven in Scripture, according to Jewish tradition, what else is Pentecost the anniversary of?
A: It is believed to be the same day on which Moses presented the Law to Israel as given to him by God. Tradition holds that all the languages of the table of nations (seventy in all) were heard at that time in parallel to Acts 2 when everyone heard the Gospel in their own language, and whereas three thousand fell when the Law was given (Ex. 32), three thousand were saved at Pentecost, an illustration that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”. (2 Co. 3:6)
Q: How was the gap between First Fruits and Pentecost accounted for in the New Testament?
A: For forty days Christ ministered to the disciples (Acts 1:3) and for the next ten days they prayed and waited for Pentecost to arrive.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
— John 16:7
Q: What is the significance of the two loaves of bread? (v.17)
A: Called “a new grain offering” in v.16, the two loaves symbolize Jews and Gentiles baptized into one body (the Church) by the Holy Spirit.
Q: Why do you suppose that in this particular case, leaven is a required ingredient, whereas it is regularly forbidden in other cases?
A: It illustrates how there is sin in the Church on earth today.
Q: What might be important about the fact that in the Feast of First Fruits the priest waved sheaves of grain, but here he waves loaves of bread?
A: It illustrates how believers have been united in Christ by the Spirit.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
— 1 Corinthians 12:13
Q: There are three feasts in the first month of the Hebrew calendar and three in the last month with Pentecost in between. To what does the long gap between the feasts speak?
A: It depicts the Church Age. Israel has rejected her Lamb and cannot receive the Spirit until she receives her Messiah. In her current state she has no temple, no priesthood, no sacrifices and no king—all of which are addressed in the next three feasts.
Application: The bread that would come from the grain illustrates how believers would be united in Christ through the Spirit at Pentecost.