Everybody observes holidays. You will not find a people anywhere who do not have unique days of celebration and remembrance. We got this tendency from our Maker.
It is significant to note that the living God instituted seven holidays (holy days). These are called “the feasts of the Lord.” This phrase makes it clear that these days are God’s days. They belong to Him, and He has chosen them for His eternal purposes. In fact, the Hebrew word that we translate “feasts” means appointed times.
While the feasts are mentioned all throughout the Bible, you can find each of them all in chronological sequence in Leviticus 23. There is mystery and an order and a beauty to each of these feasts. But above all, the feasts are telling a story – the greatest story, of what God has done, what He is doing, and what He is yet to do. It really is glorious.
Here are seven things you might want to know about Pentecost.
1. Pentecost is the “birthday of the Church.” Check out Acts 2.
2. This is the fourth of God’s feasts, known as Shavuot (“Weeks”). God’s people were told to count seven weeks from Firstfruits (the third feast), and then on the “day after” this feast was to be observed. 49 days plus one and you have 50 days. Pentecost means fiftieth.
3. Jews celebrate God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the exodus.
4. It was on Pentecost that the Holy Spirit fell upon 120 believers gathered in an upper room, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. Pentecost came 10 days after Jesus ascended. The Son of God rose from the dead on Firsfruits, then spent 40 days with His disciples talking about the Kingdom, before He disappeared into the clouds. Ten days in a prayer room later, and all heaven broke loose. And the best is yet to come.
5. The Pentecostal movement gets its name from this New Testament event.
6. The Christian Pentecost was marked with diversity. People from all sorts of languages and cultures were gathered. While the Tower of Babel separated the people with languages and then into cultures, the day of Pentecost united them.
7. The Pentecostal, Spirit-filled movement was marked by unprecedented racial and cultural diversity. The revival lead led by William Seymour, a one-eyed, black man endued with power from on high. In a world strangled by racism, this movement saw blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asian following the leadership of a son of slaves.