Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pentecost: A Refresher

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates Pentecost. It is tied to God's presence.

In Isaiah 11:1ff we read about the Spirit of the LORD, and we think of it as a Messianic passage, pointing to Jesus.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him -
The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and of power,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
And he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
Or decide by what he hears with his ears...

In Acts 2 through the rest of the New Testament, we begin to think about God's presence through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Here's a quick refresher about this significant event in the life of God's people:

Pentecost was the 3rd great Israelite feast mentioned in Leviticus 23. It was a harvest festival fifty days after the Passover week. This particular Pentecost (in Acts 2:1-13), however, was to have greater significance than those which had preceded it.

Old Testament Pentecost occurred 50 days after Israel left Egypt and the Passover lamb was slain.
New Testament Pentecost occured 50 days after Christ rose from the dead, the Lord being our Passover Lamb.

O.T. Pentecost celebrated the birth of the nation Israel (Exodus 19:5).
N.T. Pentecost celebrated the birth of the church (Acts 2:41-47).

O.T. Pentecost witnessed the slaying of some 3,000 souls (Exodus 32:38).
N.T. Pentecost witnessed the saving of some 3,000 souls (Acts 2:41).

The former pointed typologically to the latter.

(Liberty Commentary on the New Testament)

I wonder what God has in store for us this coming Pentecost?

Grace & peace

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