What day of the week was Pentecost?


The Lord instructed the Israelites, “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain” (Deuteronomy 16:9). The word Pentecost means fifty, and it comes fifty days from the feast of First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10–11, 15–17). The feast of First Fruits was to occur on the day after the Sabbath (verse 11), which was always the Sunday of Passover week. Pentecost, then, was the day after the seventh following Sabbath (verses 15–16), which would be the fiftieth day after First Fruits and also falls on a Sunday.

Jesus died on the Friday of Passover week and had to be buried hastily before sunset, which was when the Sabbath began. His body remained in the sepulcher throughout the Sabbath day, but on that Sunday morning, when the priest was to offer the First Fruits offering in the Temple, Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of them that slept (I Corinthians 15:20).

For forty days, Jesus appeared to His disciples and then ascended into Heaven. Ten days later, the Sunday of the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers in Jerusalem. The only biblical reference to the events of Pentecost is Acts 2:1-3. At Pentecost, the disciples witnessed the birth of the New Testament church in the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The evidence shows that the First Fruits and Pentecost were always intended to fall on Sundays, without regard to the day of the month they occurred. As for the New Testament record, it is clear that Jesus arose from the dead on Sunday, the First Day of the Week, the day after the Sabbath, as the fulfillment of the feast of First Fruits. These dates were the literal fulfillment of the Old Testament feasts verifying the powerful meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ.

Unfortunately, some people use this ceremonial day as a justification for going to church and worshiping on Sunday thus ignoring the seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11).  They ignore the fact that there is not a single verse in the Bible that says to keep Sunday (or the first day of the week) Holy. Sunday is a man-made tradition (Matthew 15:9).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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