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Travelujah_ / Historical Sites / Commemorating Pentecost on Mount Zion
Commemorating Pentecost on Mount Zion
Just outside of Zion Gate is a cluster of religious sites that will be especially popular in Jerusalem this week as Jewish and Christian feasts converge and bring to light these locations on Mount Zion.
The Jewish Feast of Shavuot (Weeks), celebrated by Christians as Pentecost, begins on Tuesday evening. The holiday comes 50 days after Passover and Easter.
The site of the Upper Room is a memorial to Jesus’ Last Supper and the place the disciples waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, both of which are believed to have occurred in the general vicinity.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” Acts 2:1-3
The site is also holy to the Jews as the traditional location of David‘s tomb. Mount Zion Church, with the Last Supper and Upper Room, is one floor above David’s tomb. The building where both are housed was built in the 12th century.
Entry to all locations is free of charge and pilgrims to all sites respect the others’ religious observances.
The word Pentecost is from the Greek, meaning 50. The word is based on the scripture in Leviticus 23:16: “Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.” Fifty days also elapsed between Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Shavuot is one of the three annual pilgrimage feasts to Jerusalem, along with Passover and Tabernacles. Consequently, Jerusalem was filled with devout Jews on the day the disciples received the Holy Spirit and when Peter stepped outside and spoke to thousands of people of the testimony of Jesus.
By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah
Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting to the land.
- The fifty days is from Easter, or better the Feast of the Wave Sheaf or firstfruit ; 50 days from Jesus' resurrection, not from Jesus' ascension. The only present debate is whether the 50 day count starts with the day after the normal sabbath or the day after the special sabbath of Passover. If it is the normal Sabbath, then Wave Sheaf and Pentecost would always fall on Sunday.