Go Tell It On the Mountain
Day 50: Peak Shavuot
Welcome, friends. We’ve made it to the top.
Here we are, at the 50th and final day of Counting the Omer. We have traveled from Egypt and stand at the foot of Mt. Sinai. We have received the Word of God and have entered into a covenant with Him. We started this journey by celebrating Passover and now we conclude by celebrating Shavuot.
The Cost of Passover
Passover does not stand alone; it is only the beginning that leads us to the mountain to worship God. Passover is about freedom and redemption but it comes with a high cost and it has a very specific purpose. The cost is in the lives of Egyptian people and animals. The cost is in the surrender of the lives of the Israelites.
The great German pastor, theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, wrote about this cost in his book The Cost of Discipleship. In our desire for freedom (grace) without paying a price he writes:
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
The cost for the Egyptians came at Passover, and the cost for the Israelites came at Shavuot. Without Shavuot, our grace is cheap. When we complete our 50-day journey and come to Mt. Sinai we are faced with the decision of complete surrender, of paying the price.
A One-Track Faith
Yeshua said (Matthew 6:24) that we cannot serve two masters. When He was tempted by Satan He responded by saying “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4:8) We may have made that decision years ago, but in reality it is a daily decision.
Do we really want to be like Yeshua? In the first century a person who became a disciple of a rabbi wanted to be just like him. To think like him. To talk like him. To walk like him, and in every way to be like their rabbi. They were fully dedicated to being just like their rabbi.
Arrivals and Departures
It is good to know that Yeshua, some fifteen centuries after Moses, sent the Holy Spirit on Shavuot to help us to be just like Him. Now we can truly worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. And when we worship Him we complete and fulfill the purpose for which we left Egypt.
That is why the Rabbi’s call Shavuot the “Atzeret” of Passover – it is the conclusion of Passover. The destination. What was started at Passover has now been fulfilled at Shavuot. Let us fully enter into our covenantal relationship with God. And thus, we begin a whole new journey.
Let us rejoice in His goodness, His mercy and His grace that He has given us through Messiah Yeshua and by the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.