Shavuot, Christianity, and the Law

As spring gives way to summer, the Jewish people prepare to celebrate Shavuot: one of the three pilgrimage festivals in Judaism. Today, it is primarily a celebration of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai marked by families gathering together to decorate their homes, enjoy traditional treats, and study the law.

Interestingly, this is very different from the original Biblical commandment regarding Shavuot. Found in Deuteronomy 16, Shavuot was laid out as a holiday to celebrate God’s provision. Today’s Jewish people instead celebrate the significance of the Torah and an opportunity to re-emphasize the law.

The Law Fulfilled

While we as Christians also celebrate and respect the law, fully understanding that we were grafted in to this beautiful history and storyline, we ground ourselves in its fulfillment found in Jesus Christ. As Jesus Himself said, His death and resurrection did not abolish the law, but fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17). We now live in the freedom of Jesus Christ, maintaining the heart posture of the law without dying by its letter. 

This marks a significant difference between the Jewish and Christian faiths. Where Jews cling to the law, believing it to be the very thing that draws them near to God we get to cling to God Himself, obeying His commands from the love relationship He established at creation and redeemed through Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension.

The Law Points to Christ

This makes Shavuot a fascinating holiday to study and learn about, as well as a massive opportunity to connect with our Jewish brothers and sisters. Throughout the world where practicing Jews take this time to highlight and celebrate the law, we can gently, lovingly share the truth that that very law was meant only to point to Jesus Christ and sustain His people in holiness, repentance, and sacrifice until He came to establish His rule and reign in our hearts, giving us the Holy Spirit in order to do what the law never could: make us new. 

Romans Seven Observed

Paul expresses so perfectly the heart cry of humanity in Romans 7, the desperate struggle between what we want to do and who we want to be and our continual failures in the flesh. By this reality the Jewish people live and die as the law serves to point out every failure and make us aware of our desperate need for redemption. By this reality too, Christians recognize the mighty chasm between who we are called to be and who we are, but instead of remaining in that sorrow we get to say with Paul “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (7:24-25 ESV). 

An Opportunity for Salvation

As Shavuot is celebrated worldwide, why not take this opportunity to reflect on the freedom and new life we’ve found in Jesus Christ, pray for those still trapped in the law, the very people God claimed as His own and longs to reveal Himself to, and, if you have the opportunity to do so, share the gospel with the Jewish people or support those who are able to?

At GCM we have people all across the globe with access to those still trapped in patterns of religion. Pray for us as we continue to reach out with this message of life! May this Shavuot be a turning point from celebrating the gift of the law to finding its fulfillment and celebrating as the original Biblical text commanded: the provision of God, this time through the perfect Lamb that died in our place, setting us free. 


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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”