The Festival of Pentecost was originally one of the two ‘harvest festivals’ established by Moses to serve as a benchmark for the people of God to give thanks for His provision and care for their physical bodies with food.
The “Festival of the First Fruits” marked the beginning of the harvest. On the day that the first swing of the Sycle cut down the first bunch of wheat or barley, the people of God stopped to give thanks for the harvest.
Then, they went about bringing in the sheaves until the barns were full and the harvest was complete. They counted 50 days from the “Festival of First Fruits” which was about the time it took to complete the harvest before John Deere. On the 50th day from ‘Firstfruits’ the people of God gave thanks to God for the harvest in festival called “Pentecost,” “Pente” meaning fifty.
God’s people are people who give thanks to God for their daily bread. The festival of “Pentecost” was one of several commemorations that ‘defined’ the people of God, so much so that Moses commanded that every able bodied male was required to celebrate Pentecost at the Temple.
So when we hear that “there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men FROM EVERY NATION…” we know why they’re there.
But on this particular Day of Pentecost, it was a different kind of crop and a different kind of harvest that was to be celebrated in a celebration that continues to this very day and that continues to define the people of God.
On Good Friday, the crucified body of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was taken down from the cross and buried. And three days later, He arose. And Easter is the celebration of the ‘FIRST FRUITS.’ And then 50 days from Easter comes the Day of Pentecost when the people of God celebrate the harvest that follows the FIRST FRUITS, which is still in process, even has we have witnessed together here this morning in the baptism of William Seliga.
There are two important aspects about the New Testament, Day of Pentecost and the work of the Holy Spirit that I would like to hold up to you today. Both of these aspects of Pentecost have to do with ‘transformations.’ And both are absolutely critical to the harvest of men and women, boys and girls, who are continually brought into the holy barn of the church until the Last Day comes and the Lord announces that the harvest is complete.
Apart from both of these ‘transformations’ which the Holy Spirit works and there would be no harvest at all. There would be the death and burial of Christ and the resurrection of Christ, but even this would produce no harvest apart from the work of the Holy Spirit Continue reading