There are a number of popular celebrations on the Church calendar. The biggest and most popular of course, is Christmas. People understand they are celebrating the birth of Christ. This Sunday, June 4th, is Pentecost, but many wonder what it’s really all about.
When it comes to Pentecost, what exactly are we remembering? We hear that it’s all about commemorating the descent of the holy spirit upon the Apostles. That event, along with details of what followed is recorded in Acts Chapter 2.
But was that original Day of Pentecost of even greater importance and significance than the birth of Christ? Is it possible it was the greatest event to date in the history of mankind? What’s the real significance of what occurred to those twelve Apostles?
What Happened In The Garden?
In order to gain a greater appreciation of what occurred on the Day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2, one needs to understand what happened with Adam and Eve in the Garden. Adam was told that if he ate of the tree in the midst of the garden he would surely die. If you’re familiar with the record then you know both Adam and Eve ate of that fruit.
Yet, if you continue reading, they both lived for many, many years. But God had said, “In the day you eat, you will surely die,” meaning that very day. In taking a closer look at how God originally designed human beings, one can see that Adam and Eve were formed, made, and created with two life forms: soul life, and spirit life.
The absence of life is indicated by the word, “death.” What died that day for Adam and Eve was the spirit life that God intended for all human beings to have. It was the spirit life that enabled them to have a close personal relationship with God.
When they lost spirit life, they still had a physical body and soul life. But they had lost their connection with the Creator. And, this loss of spirit life was passed on to all men and women. This was a cataclysmic event, with devastating consequences on all of mankind.
Through the centuries there have been hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, wars and other devastating events. But what happened in the Garden when Adam sinned was the worst disaster for human beings that has ever happened.
Even though there were only two people immediately affected, the consequences would be felt by billions and billions; the consequences would affect every single human being ever born, with the exception of Jesus Christ.
Not understanding what happened when Adam sinned is one of the main reasons there is a lack of understanding of what happened on the original Day of Pentecost. People fail to see the connection. But after the fall in the Garden, God set in motion a plan to redeem mankind, which would include restoring His spirit to human beings.
During the process of God’s plan, you can read about how God did give certain individuals His spirit on a temporary basis; but it was not available to any and all human beings. It took the completed work of Jesus Christ, the savior of mankind, to fulfill all that was necessary.
Jesus taught his followers on many occasions about the coming of holy spirit. It was a major topic at the last Supper. And after he was resurrected, the first time he got together with his disciples he talks to them about receiving the holy spirit. On the day of the ascension, right before he left, the very last thing he talked about was about receiving the holy spirit.
A New Beginning!
Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost contained a number of references to God’s gift of holy spirit. He concluded his message by exhorting those listening to change their minds, get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and that they too would receive the gift holy spirit. About 3,000 accepted the invitation.
The great significance of that first Day of Pentecost is that it was the beginning of holy spirit for all of mankind. That was the day when God officially made His holy spirit available to anyone who accepted Jesus as lord and believed God raised him from the dead. Peter in fact, later referred to this day as, “the beginning.” It was truly a new beginning for mankind!
And while Adam and Eve could and did lose the spirit of God, this time around, God made it permanent. He has given us all eternal life, which means you cannot lose it. The reason God wants everyone to have His spirit is so we might have a close personal relationship just like He had with Adam and Eve in the Garden before the fall.
What a great day in the history of mankind Pentecost was! God has opened the door for anyone and everyone to receive His gift of holy spirit. Now it is up to us to learn how to utilize and operate this gift of holy spirit that God has freely given us.