Summary: An understanding of the history of Pentecost. Also a bit on living a Spirit filled life
When I think of the word, Pentecost I think of an Island that was discovered on that day in 1768 that is now one of the Islands of Vanuatu that I have flown over and that is the home of the original bungy jump, I also think of those churches where people wave their hands around, sing in the Spirit and shake a lot. Where does all this have its origins?
The festival of Pentecost was part of the Jewish calendar; it came fifty days after the Feast of First fruits which itself was celebrated a couple of days after passover
There is a parallel of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that flows through these Jewish feasts.
Passover involved the Slaying and eating of a lamb, along with herbs and bread made without yeast in every Jewish household. This was done to remember Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.
The Feast of First fruits involved, the first of the barley harvest being presented at the temple as a wave offering, called a wave offering because it was waved by the priest, to recognise the Lord’s bounty in the land. A kind of harvest festival.
Pentecost or the Festival of Weeks was celebrated as a festival of joy, as a time of showing joy and thanksgiving for the Lords abundant harvest and most importantly his giving of the law.
If we look at Jesus parallel path to these festivals we see the Passover festival as being Jesus death as the Lamb of God. His sacrifice for all of mankind.
The festival of First fruits as being Jesus resurrection from the dead, as the first fruits of those of us who will be raised from the dead at the end of the age.
The feast of Pentecost is celebrated as being the formation of the Church by God through the giving by God of the Holy Spirit. This involved igniting people to action for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
The disciples those followers of Jesus, they were gathered in one place.
Also at Pentecost there was a gathering of Jews from all over the Mediterranean and Middle East they were also present in Jerusalem, people from what we in modern terms would call Rome, Crete, Turkey, Egypt, Arabia, Libya, Iran and Syria. The known world at that time was represented.
This was a big day in Christianity.
This was kick off day for the church.
There were no buildings there were no structures in place, no leaders meetings, programmes, bills to pay or gardens to keep weeded.
There were however the scriptures of the Old Testament and there was the witness of the life of Christ. A life that testified to and evidenced the truth of God‘s presence with the Jewish people.
The Messiah, “God with us”, had come, he had now died, his resurrection had taken place; he had now returned to heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father.
The things he had said would happen, and as recorded in the gospels the Holy Spirit would now come.
In John 16 :5-11 we read and these are the words of Jesus.
5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.