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Understanding Scripture in Light of a Jewish Timeline

Ultimate Inclusion

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For many of the past posts we have talked about how God instituted inclusion of everyone from the very beginning and used the Jewish festival Shavuot to indicate that. Today, we will see the act of ultimate inclusion is the primary fulfillment of the prophecy of Shavuot. Let’s explore further.

As we have talked about Shavuot, we have gone from the beginning of the Jewish nation at Mt. Sinai where God made a covenant with Israel so, as a nation, it would be his ambassador to the rest of the world. He then gave glimpses of how Shavuot represented that through the inclusion of Rahab from the destruction of Jericho, the inclusion of Ruth as she married Boaz and became part of the lineage of King David as well as that of Jesus Christ himself. Then, we saw how God set the stage of further inclusion with the birth of Christ through the conception of Christ through Mary and the Holy Spirit.

While Christ was here on earth with his disciples, he stated he had to leave, but another Comforter, or Advocate, would come who would teach them correctly about sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn 16:8). We know that the Holy Spirit descended upon the followers of Christ on the Shavuot after his ascension (Ac 2). God made it a significant event one could not deny as he sent a mighty wind and tongues of fire to rest over each believer. Then, the Holy Spirit entered each believer, giving them words to say to those in attendance at the festival. There were people from the entire known world present in Jerusalem that day. The message by the Holy Spirit spread to the entire known world in a single day!

What was the message? It could be paraphrased in many ways, but the bottom line is inclusion. The Holy Spirit had come to become accessible to all. Christ had paved the way for this feat to be possible. Before this time, the Holy Spirit was given to certain people for certain periods of time to accomplish something God needed to have accomplished. This is why King David prayed for the Holy Spirit not to be taken away from him (Ps 51:11). Yet, that is not the case for us today. Once we believe in Christ and what he did for us and trust in him only for our future, we have the Holy Spirit forever (Ac 2:38; Ep 1:13). And what we are given today is only a foretaste of the glory of our connection with Christ which is still to come (Ro 8:23).

So, here is the ultimate fulfillment of Shavuot—the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is inclusive—not exclusive—because it is freely given to all who believe. It is a gift, a foretaste, of things to come. Isn’t that what marketers do: give a teaser of what the real thing will be like? This is what God has done for us. He gives us a taste of what things will be like. The Holy Spirit binds our spirit to his, and we find that wonderful. Yet, it is only a small token of how great things will be for us in our future. Doesn’t that get you excited? I sure hope so. The God of the universe has allowed us to be connected to him. Could anything really be greater?

Randy DockensComment