Thursday, May 18, 2023

Preparing for Pentecost - Part 2

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 languages. Acts 2:1-4 

Many people crowd Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish "Festival of First Fruits" which is 50 days after Passover. The Ten Commandments had been given to Moses 50 days after they had crossed the Red Sea; escaping Egyptian captivity established Passover. The city is 
full of "Jews from every nation", and as they hear this sound of "a violent wind", the masses of people seem confused because each one hears "their own language being spoken". Amazed and bewildered, we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own languages. 

As promised, the Holy Spirit fills them, flows over them, and they burn with passion for God. Peter explains the prophecy from Isaiah, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people." (Isaiah 44:3) He goes on the tell the Gospel Story of Jesus, Son of God, Messiah for all people. He tells the Greatest Story in history for a broken people, defines a New Covenant to a covenant people, reaches across generations of faith, crosses boundaries of laws. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit to God's people renews His desire to dwell with His people. This fulfillment of God's Promise begins a new era of faith.

You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (Hebrews 12:22). This New Covenant blesses God's people with grace, something the law could never do. The Helper, the Advocate, the Comforter, the Counselor, the Intercessor, the Spirit of Truth - the Holy Spirit comes from the Father and now testifies about Christ. Hundreds of years before, God had revealed himself to the Israelites, writing the Ten Commandments on stone tablets with His own finger, and now at this Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus's resurrection, God writes on the hearts of Believers with the Holy Spirit. From the birth of a nation to the birth of the church, God's redemptive plan is for them, their children, for us, our children, for all! On that day in Jerusalem, about 3,000 believed. - dho

**Pentecost is May 28th this year!

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