North Star Stories

Notes from the author:

Donna Westover

May...on the modern calendar, no official celebration is mentioned. Not today anyway, but there use to be. It's called Pentecost.

In the Old Testament Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks,
a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law from Jehovah to Moses at Mount Sinai. In the New Testament, Pentecost was taking place when Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit.

Just as it was no coincidence that Jesus was crucified during the Feast of Passover, it was no coincidence that the Holy Spirit was sent to us during the Feast of Weeks. The introduction of the Holy Spirit at that specific time was a direct sign that we are no longer under the Law given to Moses, but under grace, given by the shedding of Christ's blood. Yes, we are to abide by the law, but we now have a Mediator to plead our case. We can now stand before the throne of God, our sins covered by Christ's own blood, and be judged by grace, not solely on the Law.


After his resurrection, Jesus did not immediately ascend into Heaven, but he stayed here on Earth for forty days, preaching and ministering to those who would follow him. (He didn't just rise from the grave, he stayed here and talked about his death, but more importantly, the power of his life, and to live our lives as believers through him. (If there was any doubt that he actually rose from the dead, that family stole his body from the grave...think on this fact...he was seen by thousands after his resurrection and before the ascension.)


It was when his time here had been completely fulfilled, he ascended into Heaven in his glorified body. A few prophecies were fulfilled by this event:


As the only conqueror of sin and death, He ascended to receive the glory due Him (Philippians 2:8-11); He ascended to be our Mediator and High Priest; (Hebrews 9:24); and He ascended to prepare a place for us (John 14:2). Today, he is seated at the Father's right hand, which means, as he said, "all power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).


But with his ascension, did he leave us? Were we left to walk in our faith alone? Absolutely not!


One most important prophecy was fulfilled ten days after his ascension; the introduction of the third person in the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).


The Biblical narrative of Pentecost is given in the second chapter of the Book of Acts
:


And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, one stood up among them and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy ("I will pour out my spirit").


Peter stated that this event was the beginning of a continual outpouring that would be available to all believers from that point on, Jews and Gentiles alike. (The Holy Spirit and the gifts he gave were what the disciples needed to fulfill the Great Commission given by Jesus, "Go ye into all the world...")


Ten days after Christ's ascension into Heaven, he sent us the Holy Spirit. Our Comforter, Our Guide, the One who convicts the sinner and the Christian alike. The One who carries our prayers to the throne of God when our hearts are too heavy to whisper the words. The One who takes our hand when it's our time to "walk through the valley of the shadow of death." But let's not forget, he is also the One who gives the Christian the courage to stand for our faith; the fire to speak the truth; and the direction when our way seems dark. He is the One who equips us for the spiritual battle and reminds us "we are bought with a price."


So I propose we Christians put Pentecost (Sunday, May 15, 2016) back on our calendars and observe it as a day of celebration; to worship the "silent" but powerful third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. His coming to earth to care for us, to comfort us, to convict the wayward Christian and the unrepented sinner is the completion of the presence of the Trinity in our human lives, he is the completion of our salvation.


Honor him.


Because He lives,
Donna

 

Donna Westover lives and works in Colorado.