Why Celebrate Pentecost?

David CerulloBy David Cerullo8 Minutes

When that mighty, rushing wind swept through Jerusalem on the Feast of Pentecost so many years ago, the disciples were overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit. They couldn’t even speak without pouring out praises to God for His goodness, power, and love.

Because God was pouring out His Spirit like never before …

They could barely contain it. They could hardly even stand up. In fact, some thought they were all drunk even though it was early in the morning!

The Feast of Pentecost has always carried specific promises for God’s people, and as we celebrate it again this month, I am praying for you to experience supernatural breakthroughs like never before.

God’s power can change EVERYTHING. And His power is working in YOU and through YOU even now … to change the world.

One New Man

Although I love the story in Acts 2 about how the Spirit empowered the early church, I believe people should know that it happened on one of God’s appointed times. Pentecost literally means the 50th day because this feast falls exactly 50 days following the first Sabbath after Passover.

During this special day, the Israelites were again told by God to give an offering of their first fruits, and they also were to bring two loaves of leavened bread before the Lord:

You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord (Leviticus 23:17).

These two loaves foreshadowed the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when Jews and Gentiles would be joined together as “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15).

Pentecost still has powerful significance today, extending far beyond the Israelites’ celebration of the latter firstfruits of the Promised Land. But it’s important for you to see the timeline for this.

Christ was crucified on the Feast of Passover, and He rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits. For 40 days, the risen Jesus taught His disciples about His Kingdom (Acts 1:3). He also reaffirmed His promise that they soon would be “endued with power from on high” and “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5). Through the outpouring of the Spirit, they would be empowered to be Jesus’ witnesses throughout the world (Acts 1:8).

Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9). Then for 10 days, His followers waited and prayed until the Spirit was poured out in a very dramatic fashion:

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly 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 (Acts 2:1–4).

This was the first Pentecost of the church age, exactly 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. On this appointed time on God’s calendar, the church was born and filled with supernatural power to take the Gospel to “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

The Feast of Pentecost is also the day when the Jewish people traditionally celebrate God’s giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20), which is recognized as the birthday of the nation of Israel. Do you see how significant this is?

Israel and the church have the same birthday — the Day of Pentecost! From His people Israel and His church, the Lord took Jews and Gentiles and formed them together into “one new man” as a testimony of His glory and grace!

Look at these other parallels and contrasts between the giving of the Law and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

  • At Mount Sinai, the Law was written on tablets of stone, but in the new covenant, the Holy Spirit writes the Law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).
  • Mount Sinai was topped with fire when the Law was given (Deuteronomy 5:23–25), but in Acts 2:3 the fire rested upon the believers.
  • While the Law was given at Mount Sinai, the Holy Spirit was poured out on Mount Zion (Jerusalem).
  • At Mount Sinai, 3,000 people were slain because of their idolatry and disobedience (Exodus 32:25-28), but on the Day of Pentecost in Acts, 3,000 people were saved when they heard Peter preach the Gospel (Acts 2:41).
  • When Exodus 20 and Acts 2 are combined, we see a beautiful picture of the two primary ways that the Lord wants to guide His people: by His Word and by His Spirit!

A New Day of Pentecost

As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost this month, I will be praying for you to experience an incredible breakthrough of God’s power, much as the disciples did some 2,000 years ago. And just as Pentecost marked a day of destiny in the history of the church, I’m praying that Pentecost this year will mark a great turnaround in every problem you face.

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit empowered the church for a great worldwide outreach to the nations. The believers were enabled to speak in languages they had never learned, a sign from God that He wanted to reach people from every part of the world. This is the same vision we have for Inspiration Ministries — to be part of filling the earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

I am so thankful for your partnership in winning souls in the nations of the world, and I’m convinced that great things are ahead for this ministry we share together. As your financial seeds are blessing others with the knowledge of the Gospel, I know God will pour out His blessings in your life as well.

 God bless you,