In case you didn’t know, last Sunday was Pentecost. Also known as the Shavuot, the Pentecost is a celebration of which many gather to celebrate and reflect in Israel. If you’re ever planning to visit Israel during the spring season, the Pentecost or Shavuot festivities will be something you will want to learn about and engage in as it is very much a part of the Israelite culture. Here we will learn about the Pentecost, its historical site and how this historical site was named.
What Is The Pentecost
The Pentecost is a Christian holiday that is celebrated on the 49th day after Easter Sunday. In the Greek, during this time of year, the Shavuot is celebrated which is a spring harvest festival that the Israelites have celebrated for centuries. The Pentecost, in particular, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ. This happened during the time that the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot was being celebrated which is why some thought that the disciples were drunk when they witnessed them being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Historical Site Of The Pentecost
What many people know today is the traditional site of the Pentecost, the Upper Room, which is located on Mt. Zion. Here, Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples as he often gathered here with them and of course, where the Holy Spirit fell upon them, which is what Pentecost reflects. It is also the place where the first Christian Bishops ruled the early church of Jerusalem and most of the Sacraments were instituted. Other events that took place at this site were things like the washing of Jesus’ feet, the appearance of Jesus after he was resurrected and the gathering of his disciples after he ascended to heaven. The Upper Room is considered to be the ‘Mother of all Churches’ and is presently located on the upper floor of a medieval complex that houses the Tomb of King David.
Naming The Site Of The Pentecost
There’s a story being told that there was a ‘little Church of God’ on this very site on Mt. Zion. Some think that a wealthy Christian during this time period opened up his home to be used as a church. Later in the 4th century a church was built at which point was known as the “Upper Church of the Apostles’, named after the event of the Holy Spirit falling on Jesus’ disciples. In the 5th century, this church was renamed ‘Mother of all Churches’ and was identified as the site of the Last Supper. As far as is known, both events (Pentecost and the Last Supper) took place at the same site. With all this in mind, one can see where the naming of the site of the Pentecost came from, both the ‘Upper Room’ and the ‘Mother of all Churches’.
If one wishes to visit the site of the Pentecost they need only to visit Mount Zion where they will be able to view the ‘Upper Room’ or ‘Mother of all Churches’ in its present day form. As with many historical sites in Israel, visiting such places can leave you feeling as if you are taken back in time as if Jesus and his disciples were still here today. It is a magnificent experience that one can only enjoy upon being there.