top of page

Passover and Pentecost: Brings Us In (part 4)

Post Title: The Second Act of Creation

Pentecost (Shavuot) is essential to kingdom people. Without it, we fail to understand our high calling fully, and we fall prey to the temptation to delegate our spirituality to professionals. Ultimately, without it, we are missing some of the most meaningful truths about our great God. I want to give you three characteristics of the LORD and his purposes that the feast of Pentecost teaches us.

1.​ ​HE​ ​IS​ ​AN​ ​​IN-BREAKING​ ​GOD​

The LORD,​ ​by​ ​his​ ​initiative,​ ​broke​ ​into​ ​human​ ​affairs​ ​and​ ​showed​ ​himself​ ​as​ ​sovereign. ​​It​ ​was a​ ​cosmic​ ​event that​ ​happened​ ​at​ ​Sinai. The​ rabbis​ ​call​ ​it​ ​the​ ​second​ ​act​ ​of​ ​creation.​ In the​ ​first creation,​ ​he​ ​made​ ​the​ ​world. In​ ​the​ ​second​ ​creation, he​ ​made​ ​a​ ​holy​ ​nation that​ ​was​ ​to​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​the​ ​redemption​ ​and​ ​the​ ​blessing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​world.

In​ ​the​ ​first creation,​ ​he​ ​made everything​ ​by​ ​his​ ​word,​ ​turning​ ​chaos​ ​into​ ​order.​ In the​ ​second​ ​creation, he gave​ ​his​ ​word​ ​that​ ​transformed the​ ​least​ ​of​ ​the​ ​peoples​ ​into​ ​a​ ​holy​ ​nation,​ ​a​ ​kingdom of​ ​priests.

His​ ​word​ ​turns​ ​chaos​ ​into​ ​order;​ ​his​ ​word​ ​takes​ ​the​ ​least​ ​and​ ​turns​ ​it​ ​into​ ​a priest.

And​ ​his​ ​word​ ​will​ ​do​ ​the​ ​same​ ​for​ ​you​ ​and​ ​for​ ​me. Are you getting this? You​ ​are​ ​a​ ​priest! Yet too​ ​many​ ​of​ ​you,​ ​like​ ​me,​ ​are​ ​sitting down​ ​on​ ​the​ ​job.

2.​ ​​​​​HE​ ​IS​ ​AN​ ​​INDWELLING​ ​GOD​

The LORD​ ​is​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​a​ ​people​ ​who​ ​will​ ​bear​ ​his​ ​image​ ​and bless​ ​the​ ​nations​ ​in​ ​his​ ​name. This God is in search of man, that is his perennial purpose. Therefore​ ​salvation—in the​ ​context​ ​of​ ​Pentecost—is​ ​not ​some​ ​escape​ ​to​ ​another​ ​world,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​free​ ​pass to​ ​heaven. Salvation is​ ​a​ ​summons​ ​to​ ​serve the​ ​Sovereign​ ​of​ ​the​ ​universe.

If you​ ​are​ ​not​ ​responding​ ​to​ ​the​ ​call​ ​you​ ​are​ missing​ ​out on the blessing.

Pentecost​ ​teaches​ ​us​ ​that​ ​salvation​ includes responding to and serving​ ​God​ ​here​ ​and​ ​now. His kingdom​ ​is being realized in​ ​this​ ​world. The reward​ ​of our​ ​salvation is​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world​ ​to​ ​come. God saves us​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​rule​ ​and reign​ ​over​ ​us​ ​through​ ​his​ ​revelation. And through us, he wants his​ ​world to​ ​come​ ​into​ ​its​ ​divine​ ​calling​ ​and purpose. The bottom line is this; he​ ​is​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​a​ ​people​ ​to​ ​dwell​ ​in,​ ​among, and​ ​through.

3.​ ​​​​​HE​ ​IS​ AN ​​INCLUSIVE GOD

All​ ​of​ ​Israel​ ​saw​ ​these​ ​events. This​ ​was​ ​not​ ​some individual​ ​mystic experience​ ​upon​ ​a​ ​high​ ​mountain having a spiritual hallucination after fasting for​ ​forty ​days. All​ ​Israel​ ​heard​ ​the​ ​word​ ​of​ ​the​ LORD go forth.​ ​​​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​cosmic​ ​event,​ ​not​ ​some​ ​private​ ​revelation.​

The​ ​sages​ ​say​ ​Torah​ ​was given​ ​specifically​ ​in​ ​the​ ​desert​ ​and​ ​not​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Promised Land. Why?

Because it​ ​was an​ ​open space where​ ​anybody​ ​could​ ​​come. The Torah of God is​ ​given​ ​in​ ​a​ ​public​ ​place for all. You and​ ​I ​have​ ​been​ ​brought​ ​to​ ​Mt.​ ​Sinai in Jesus, we​ ​have​ ​been​ ​brought​ ​to​ ​that​ ​place where​ ​we​ ​have​ ​been​ ​joined​ ​together​ ​with​ ​Israel.

We read in Leviticus​ ​23:17 how​ ​two​ ​loaves​ ​with leaven​ ​are​ ​to​ ​be​ ​waved​ ​before​ ​the​ ​Lord​ ​at​ ​Pentecost,​ ​in​ ​marked​ ​contrast​ ​to​ ​Passover​ ​in which​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​leaven.

a. At​ ​Passover​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​lamb without​ ​blemish​ ​that​ ​is​ ​sacrificed. Jesus is our​ ​Passover​ ​lamb (1 Cor 5:7).​

b. At​ ​Pentecost​ ​it​ ​is​ ​to​ ​be​ ​you​ ​and​ ​me​ ​– ordinary​ ​people,​ ​the​ ​greatest​ ​and​ ​the​ ​least.​ ​​​We​ ​all​ ​have leaven​ ​and​ ​sin​ ​in​ ​our​ ​lives,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​are​ ​still​ ​to​ ​be​ ​offered​ ​up​ ​to​ ​God.

I see the two loaves as a picture of​ Israel​ ​and​ ​the nations that join the new covenant in Jesus.​ ​​​Because of the​ ​one Lamb, two loaves​ ​are​ ​offered​ ​up​ ​before​ ​the​ ​Lord​ ​as​ ​a sacrifice​ ​of​ ​service,​ ​of​ ​worship​, as ​an​ ​offering​ ​unto the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. With this in mind, listen afresh to these texts from Ephesians that were foundational for Paul.

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Then he uses this​ ​imagery​ ​of​ ​how​ ​the​ ​two​ ​have​ ​been​ ​joined into one​ ​in​ ​the Messiah.​ ​​​

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

So far, so good. But to what end you might ask?

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

Here​ ​he​ employs the​ ​same temple language​ ​that​ ​Peter​ ​uses! We are saved to serve as a kingdom of priests. We are to be a holy nation unto the Lord. Hallelujah!

There will always be those who say, "Well,​ ​all​ ​I​ ​care​ ​about​ ​is​ ​getting​ ​saved​, getting​ ​some​ ​blessings,​ ​and going​ ​on​ ​to​ ​my​ eternal ​reward."​ For you, I pray that God​ will send​ ​a​ ​Moses​ from​ ​the​ ​mountain​ ​to cast​ ​down​ ​the​ ​covenant​, smash​ and pulverize ​the​ ​idols​ ​of​ ​our​ ​existence and say, "Take​ ​eat,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​your​ ​God."

Paul has encouraging words for those who say, "Oh Lord, I am not sufficient for these things." In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Read more: Previous Post | Next Post


Want to go deeper? Click here to explore audio seminars by Dwight A. Pryor.

Interested in taking one of our dynamic online courses? Click here.


This study is from a professionally produced transcription of the audio recording. It was edited for readability by the team at JC Studies.

Dwight A. Pryor (1945-2011) was a gifted Bible teacher of exceptional clarity and depth who earned the friendship and admiration of both Christian and Jewish scholars—in the United States and Israel—as well as the respect and appreciation of followers of Jesus around the world. His expertise in the language, literature, and culture of Israel during the life and time of Jesus and the early church yield insights that nourish every area of faith and practice.

Dwight founded JC Studies in 1984 to edify the people of God. Click here to explore over fifty of his audio and video seminars.

bottom of page