Jesus speaks to you all today saying that in order for the world to know that He loves the Father, He must speak His Word, send the Comforter, give us Peace, go away, and tell us all ahead of time. Thus the Father commands Jesus and thusly does Jesus act.
And when has this changed? This promise has been handed down since the beginning of time. At the Easter Vigil, we recount all the deed the Lord has done since Creation, to work salvation out for you.
Pentecost is no different. You may think that today is a Christian novelty; some pagan festival that was taken over by the power-hungry Church, in order to make more money and gain more control.
Pentecost is a divine institution and, before the Tongues of Fire incident, it was already a holy day in the same way Good Friday and Easter were also already holy days. They were all religious holy days of resting and feasting, marked pointedly by purification and redemption by God.
Troy and Amy will act out this reminder for us, confessing that it is only in the purification of their baptism that the Holy Spirit has given them the words to speak and the right spirit to believe those words, as St. Peter reminds us, “Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”(Acts 2:38-39)
Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks was the second major festival of the Israelite liturgical calendar. The “feast of Weeks” is more exactly the feast of seven weeks, for beginning on the day after Passover (Good Friday), the Israelites counted forty-nine days, then commenced the celebration of the feast of Weeks on the following day (Lev 23:15-16; Deut 16:9-10).
Because it fell on the fiftieth day after Passover, Weeks was also called “Pentecost”, that is, “fiftieth” (e.g., Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Cor 16:8). It is an agricultural festival, in which believers presented to the Lord two loaves of bread, made from fine flour, and baked with leaven, as the first-fruits of the wheat harvest. In addition to the grain offering, they offered one bull, two rams, seven lambs, along with a sin offering of a male goat, and two male lambs for a peace offering (Lev 23:15-19; Num 28:26-31). Since the first sheaf of the barley harvest was presented to YHWH on the day after Passover (Lev 23:11), and the first sheaf of the wheat harvest was offered fifty days later (23:15), Passover and Pentecost marked the beginning and end of the grain harvest.
The Israelites also celebrated the Jubilee Year during the fiftieth year following every “seven Sabbaths of years” or forty-nine years (Lev 25:8-55; 27:16-25; Num 36:4). During this year, any ancestral land that Israelites families had sold was given back to them. Also, any Israelite who, induced by poverty, had sold himself (or been sold) into slavery to a fellow Israelite regained his liberty.
Not only the people, but the land itself was “freed” from being worked, for no planting or sowing, harvesting or reaping took place during the fiftieth year. Like every seventh year, the jubilee year was a great Sabbath or rest for the people of YHWH and the land that belonged to him.
Therefore, because of the Jubilee Year, the number fifty is closely associated with the remission of debts, emancipation of slaves, and rest within God’s protective care. Like the festival held every fifty years, so the festival held every year on the fiftieth day proclaimed the following:
(1) God had freed the Israelites from slavery in
(2) He had fulfilled his promise to give them the
Holy Land, and;
(3) He provided rest for them from their labors.
Dear Christians, you now celebrate this Pentecost fully completed and fulfilled in Christ. Our own 50 days of Easter celebrating is symbolic of
released from sinful Egypt
to offer their own first-fruits in the holy land, promised by the Lord. The
days between the Resurrection of Jesus and the giving of the first-fruits of
the Holy Ghost directly correspond to what the Lord was doing in the OT.
These first-fruits, then, were what you used to offer. Now, that you have been baptized into the true Body of Christ, God offers His first-fruits to you. On this New Pentecost, Jesus places His Spirit on the baptized believer pledging that the whole person, body and soul, belongs to Him. These will then be present in you until the day of full harvest.
The Gospel has been preached to you and the fire of the Lord has descended upon this place. Where Jesus appeared in thick smoke of a furnace, giving the Law, He still appears in the fire of suffering God’s wrath in our place, on the cross. Instead of the fire consuming us, Christ has sent His fiery Spirit through water and the Word to proclaim this salvation.
For where the Law was placed on us because of our sin and where Pentecost used to be a celebration of this first covenant; the new covenant, prophesied by St. Jeremiah and established by Jesus at the Last Supper (Lk. 22:20) fulfills the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms in Himself.
Now is the time of Jubilee, where Jesus gives freedom from bondage, the gift of the holy land, and rest from labor. The Father, Who sends the Spirit, Who anoints Jesus to work these deeds is the same Spirit who came upon the apostles at Pentecost to preach freedom from sin, the gift of the
, and rest in the atoning work of
Jesus Christ. And is the same Spirit that is given to you in Baptism. kingdom of God
Baptism into Jesus Christ is a washing into the ongoing Jubilee of grace. The debt of sin is forgiven. Man is restored to the image of God. Those in bondage to death are emancipated. All this the Spirit gives to “you and your children and [to] all who are far away,”; all who are united with Jesus via the washing of water with the word of God.
As with Passover, so also with Pentecost, the Lord ordained this festival to be celebrated as a foreshadowing of what he was yet to accomplish for his people. The final “Amen” in the liturgy of the Feast of Weeks would not be sounded until that momentous day in
Jerusalem when the Spirit came in wind and
fire to announce the new covenant of grace to every nation under heaven.
Because Jesus proved His love for the Father by continuing and completing all these Festivals, the Church sees fit to continue the celebration of this OT festival, only now in its perfected, messianic form.