In the Old Testament, we learn of a Jewish celebration called the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-21). It is referred to as the Feast of Weeks because it occurs seven weeks after Passover. The Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks derived from the 50 days is Pentecost.
In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the Passover sacrifice. Unlike the blood of an animal, His shed blood has the power to atone for all sins. Fifty days after his resurrection (Easter Sunday), the church celebrates Pentecost. On the Day of Pentecost, the early Christians received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, sent by Christ to empower, convict, sanctify, and seal all believers.
On the day of the first Pentecost, after receiving the Holy Spirit, The Apostle Peter preached a powerful message. When the crowd heard the sermon, they were “cut to the heart,” meaning they were convicted of sin and conscience-stricken. The people were so moved by the message that they asked Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter did not hesitate with his answer, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, NLT).
These believers and all believers, after them, receive two free gifts of God. The first gift is the forgiveness of sins (past, present, and future) and then the gift of the Holy Spirit who indwells them and transforms them. Imagine that. The Pentecostal gift was not for the apostles alone but for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who receives Jesus Christ receives both gifts.
Today, you do not need to come from the right family or have a perfect record as an upright human being. Instead, Christ died for all sinners, and he forgives all who call on him. This Sunday is Pentecost. If you are a believer, I hope you take some time to thank Jesus for salvation full and free and the amazing reality that His Spirit lives in you. And if you have never decided to follow Jesus, I pray that the truth about Jesus will “cut you to the heart” so that you can turn to Him for forgiveness and peace.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.