Summary: Giving a background to the events of the Day of Pentecost, and ending with a challenge for us today.
THE DAY OF PENTECOST WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
Everyone loves to celebrate Christmas, they may not know the true meaning, or even care about it, but even the most pagan of people celebrates Christmas - it is an occasion for ‘a good time’!
When it comes to Easter, the world recognises it as having some sort of importance, at least for Christians. However today is Pentecost and most people have no idea what today Pentecost signifies. To many, today is simply part of the Spring Bank Holiday. Even within the Church there is genuine ignorance concerning Pentecost and what actually occurred on that momentous day in history. So:
What Was It All About?
Well in the Old Testament days
IT WAS AN OLD TESTAMENT FEAST DAY
Feast Days were an important part of the life of the Israelites, as they were special days which reminded them of the way the Lord had helped them as a nation. Passover was to remember the deliverance from Egypt, but Pentecost was to remember the Way the Lord helped them in the providing for them each year with a harvest. These Feast Days helped them remember, but also they were occasions of acknowledging the Lord’s help in their lives.
Exodus23: 14-17 “Celebrate a festival in My honour three times a year. 15 Observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Passover). As I commanded you, you are to eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, because you came out of Egypt in that month. No one is to appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also [observe] the Festival of Harvest (Pentecost) with the first-fruits of your produce from what you sow in the field, and [observe] the Festival of Ingathering (Tabernacles) at the end of the year, when you gather your produce from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD. [Holman]
That is how we have the name Pentecost, and what it was meant to commemorate, but that was then, what about now?
Why Do We Celebrate It?
Our reason for celebrating this day is because of an amazing event that occurred as the Jewish people gathered in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost to remember the goodness of the Lord in providing the harvest. As they were so gathered, and the fearful disciples waited in an upper room, as the Lord Jesus had told them to, something really incredible happened - God the Holy Spirit came into the room where the disciples had gathered and changed them!
We celebrate this day
To COMMEMORATE THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Acts 2:1-4 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. [NIV]
This is where we have a problem, for even amongst those who are truly Christians, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the Holy Spirit. How can we celebrate His coming if we do not know Him?