“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 NIV
As we consider all that was unfolding during the time that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, let’s look at the surrounding situation that those who followed Jesus were called to face.
It must have been a truly emotional time for them. I can imagine the confusion that they had to deal with, the questions of doubt and uncertainty and yet while they were sifting through all the mess and chaos, God was about do to something incredible in their lives and in their world.
Fifty days before this as they assembled at the cross, they could not have imagined that this very hour of brokenness was going to quickly fade and they themselves would be walking in a demonstration of the power of the One they now were seeing lying limp with nails in his body, and a crown of thorns on his head. They could not have seen that all of this, was going to release into their personal lives a shift from a God who walked with them, to a God who dwelt in them, but it would require a letting go of what was and all they seen as the way it needed to be done in order to embrace what was ahead.
Pentecost brought change
Up to this point, the followers of Jesus still embraced the idea of the law being their way to life and it was the only system in place until Christ the passover lamb was crucified and took on our sins once and for all. The thing is, while this was GOOD NEWS, it still required a letting go of the old in order to receive what Christ had done. Continuing to return to the annual sacrifice when it was not necessary would only keep their hearts in a place where ritual and religion would replace relationship and personal journey with God.
Pentecost was bringing to the world and to those who encountered it the Holy Spirit who wanted to be a part of the daily and moment by moment journey of our hearts. The once a year thing was left up to someone else to make atonement for me. The work of the Holy Spirit would bring conviction of sin to my life immediately and because I loved Him I would seek to allow all sin to be immediately brought to the foot of the Cross.
It also began something new. The Church. While we let go of what was, God is birthing the new thing that He wants to do. We can fight it, or embrace it. For those who embrace where He is taking us, we will receive all that we need to enter in and be supplied.
Pentecost brought power to tell your story
Pentecost brought into the life of everyone who received what God was doing, the present indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He came, and brought power into the weak to be strong and to rise up and be witnesses to the Truth of who Christ was. The Holy Spirit fell upon people, but in falling lived in the life of the believer and gave them everything they needed to tell the world around them what they had heard and seen of Jesus. This is true in our lives today. We are not called to testify of what we don’t know but of what we have seen and heard…rather of who. We all have experienced God work in our lives. I don’t need to tell what God has done in you. I need to share what he has done in me and as I do, no one can take away my story. It is my journey with God. It makes me who I am.
Pentecost is about the promise of His return
Pentecost is also about the promise of His return. When Jesus left, He said to his disciples and all who stood there, the same way that I go, I will return. They were watching Jesus depart. They were losing what they had known for the past number of years, but He made a promise to them. I am coming back. This is the blessed hope for every believer. He is coming for us Church. While many have spoken that he will not come, we have a promise…..from his very mouth. He will return. He has never failed on one of his promises and he will not fail on this one either. We need to keep our eyes fixed upon Him and look up because our redemption draws nigh.