But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Next Sunday is the Day of Pentecost. I plan on spending this next week contemplating on the giving of the Holy Spirit to all who believe in the risen Christ. It is the promise expressed by Yeshua in the above passage, and was a momentous day in the history of the Church.
We all know the Scripture in Acts 2, in which the devout among the Jews had gathered in Jerusalem, and the Bible tells us, "there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
But just one verse prior to this, the Bible says, "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." You see, Pentecost is one of God's Holy Feasts that He divulged to Moses on Mount Sinai. It was also known as The Feast of Weeks because Yahweh instructed Moses to tell the people to count 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits, and to bring an offering of two loaves of leavened bread and roasted lamb before the Lord for the remission of their sins.
For thousands of years, religious Jews from all over the world, had traveled to Jerusalem to bring their offerings, as instructed by the Lord. It was no different on this particular Feast of Weeks. That's why the multitudes were in Jerusalem. When the Bible says they "began to speak with other tongues", I do not believe that it means gibberish, as many have assumed. In Acts 2:6, it says, "everyone heard them speak in his own language." It is clear to me that this refers to languages foreign to their native tongue; that these men would not have possessed the ability to speak a foreign language. Yet, each heard their own language spoken by someone from a distant and alien land.
The Apostle Peter is quick to stand and explain that this phenomenon is a partial fulfillment of a prophecy in Joel …. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Until this day, the Holy Spirit had only been given to specific people, according to God's will and purpose. God chose this special day, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) to pour out His Spirit on all mankind. BUT, there were conditions to this gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter explains what those present that day in Jerusalem were to do: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And so the promise is to us, as well.
I have been incredibly blessed to receive the understanding that the Lord's Feasts were instituted not only as holy convocations, or gatherings, to the ancient Israelites, but they have continued significance to us Christians, as the children of God.
As I have pointed out to you in the past, the four Spring feasts are a mirror of Christ's reality here on earth. He was crucified on Passover, buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, raised on the Feast of Firstfruits, and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks (Shavu'ot in Hebrew).
Yes, this day has extraordinary meaning to the Church. God made good on His promise to send us a Counselor in the absence of our Lord and Savior. But He showed us His promise as far back as Mount Sinai. I see that the two loaves of leavened bread are mirrors of God's plan for redemption for both Jews and Gentiles; both of whom God calls to repentance and belief. The lamb is an obvious mirror of Christ, the sacrificial lamb.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, which in reality are one continuous covenant with His own, God has given us Holy days upon which we are to reflect and glorify His sovereignty. For the next few days I will meditate what the Holy Spirit has done in my life, and next Sunday, I will celebrate this Day of Pentecost with friends as we enjoy our leavened bread and roasted lamb. We will express our gratitude for the gift of the Holy Spirit and for there revelation of the importance of this Feast. And I will renew my dedication to be a witness to Jesus Christ, as he commanded in today's featured Scripture. To God be the Glory!