In this podcast episode, Chris Rivers, Jim Taylor, and Brian Darnell discuss the significance of Pentecost in the context of the church. This conversation explores the historical context of Pentecost and the importance of the Holy Spirit's coming to dwell within believers individually and the church as a body.
- The word Pentecost means “fiftieth” and refers to a feast that was celebrated in Israel 50 days after Passover. The festival was a one-day harvest festival where the Israelites celebrated the first grain harvest. In the book of Acts, Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, empowering them to preach the gospel in different languages.
- After Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, his followers were waiting and praying for the promised arrival of the Holy Spirit. When the day of Pentecost arrived, they heard a rushing wind, and fire descended and divided, resting on each disciple. They spoke in tongues, and people from different nations heard God's message in their own languages.
- Fire symbolizes God's presence, and this visible fiery presence of God was now not just in one location, but was divided among all people. It was a significant reversal of how people had encountered God for millennia. Previously, all nations had to come to the temple in Jerusalem to get close to God, but now God disperses himself to all nations. Instead of a separation and a thick veil in the temple, there is now direct access to God without any barriers.
- The significance of the Spirit coming on Pentecost fifty days after Passover reminds us of the fruit or harvest of Jesus' work. Jesus came, lived a perfect life, died in our place, and rose again. Through our faith in him, his righteousness is imputed to us. Wherever God dwells has to be a holy place, and the only way God can inhabit a sinful person is through faith in the work of Jesus. So, the harvest of Jesus' work comes to fruition by the Spirit coming and living inside believers. Through Pentecost, believers become the new temple of God.
- As a result, Pentecost is not just another day on the calendar that comes and goes every year, but a day worth celebrating and reflecting on what it means to have the Holy Spirit living inside us as believers.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- How does understanding the historical context of Pentecost change your view of the holiday?
- What are some implications of the Spirit indwelling you that you haven’t considered previously?
- How does understanding the Spirit’s corporate indwelling of the church change how you think about the gathered church and biblical community?
- How can we honor the significance of Pentecost in our church and personal lives?
If you have questions about this episode or you have an idea for a future episode, please visit the podcast page and click on "Ask Chris and Scott."