Today we reflect on the Day of Pentecost, as it is one of the most significant moments in the life of every believer.
As Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, and they would receive power when the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, had come (Acts 1:8), He was pronouncing the unfolding fulfillment of the prophecy God inspired the prophet Joel to declare. What once was concealed was about to be revealed. In the 2nd chapter of the book of Joel at the 28th verse we find the words, "In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams." Peter recalls and rehearses this prophecy as he preaches its fulfillment to the multitude after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
God had made an all-inclusive, yet exclusive declaration, that would confirm the end of one age, and mark the beginning of another. Through the outpouring of His Spirit on all flesh, represented by every nation that would believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God was empowering His Sons Daughters, and Old men to live holy lives - victorious over the power of the enemy, as they executed the task given them in the Great Commission to go and teach all nations everything Jesus taught, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Matt.28:29
To clarify, Pentecost, transliterated from the Greek to mean fifty, was initiated fifty days after the blood of the Passover lamb was shed and spread on the door posts of Israelite families that were slaves in Egypt, so that God would Passover their firstborn (Exodus 12). While Passover pointed toward Jesus, the once and for all sacrificed Lamb of God whose death was the propitiation for the sins of humanity. Pentecost was marked by the giving of the law to children of Israel. Violation of which brought death, or separation from God. The law was given as a set of guidelines by which they would live with God and one another.
Eternal life is then appropriated by faith in the resurrected son of God who fulfilled the conditions of the Law once and for all. God sends the Holy Spirit, as promised, the Comforter who fifty days after the crucifixion of Christ comes with Power to usher humanity into a new beginning, the dispensation of Grace, on the Day of Pentecost! Where the Israelites had been given the Law, the people of God - Jesus' Church community have been given Grace through the outpouring of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to live in line with the will of God with one another. In the Old Covenant God wrote the law on tablets of stone. In the New Covenant God puts His law in the minds of humanity, and writes the law on the tablets of our hearts. Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10
When we think of Grace, we often think only of unmerited favor, but it is also a divine enablement of power for the people of God to live as citizens of God. So the day of Pentecost also marks the beginning of the Church as an empowered community and a movement to grow the Kingdom of God divinely empowered by God. Peter preaches under this empowerment, and 3,000 accept Jesus Christ! Acts 2
As you can see, there are powerful parallels between the Old and New Testament, and they emanate beautiful patterns that communicate God's unfolding plan for our lives.
We invite you to join us as we explore those patterns right here at Faith Works Christian Fellowship in a Bible Study on the "Tabernacle of David," "What does Pentecost really mean?" and the soon coming, "Written on the Hearts of His People."
May our continued reflection and celebration of this victorious season be glorious. Until next time, may the Lord God bless you real good!
In His Service,
Pastor Emery Barber