17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams. — Acts 2:17 NLT
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was a beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel in the Old Testament. God contiues to pour out His Spirit on His people even today. This will continue until Jesus returns to take all of His children home. Then the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and satan will reign. When will this be? Only God the Father knows. If we are saved, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, we will be ready. What does matter is how we spend our time until then. When we accepted Jesus, we were saved and we are still saved. Works will not make us more saved, they are an outward sign of who we serve as Master and Lord. The works we do here are also how we earn our rewards in heaven. We are not to live as we used to live, but through the direction of the Holy Spirit and studying of God’s Word, we are to determine those things that please God and do those things only. When we see sinful things going on, we are to expose them, not participate in them. We must learn to live wisely and not as fools. We are to spend our time, not in grumbling, whining and complaining, but in joyfully serving the Lord doing everything He asks us to do wherever He has planted us. The nosies we make should be joyful and give glory to the Lord.
1 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. — Acts 2:1-4 NLT
Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavout (Hebrew for “Weeks”). Shavout was the celebration for the giving of the law to Moses at Mount Sinai. That occurred fifty days after the Passover in Egypt. It was now the fiftieth day since the Passover had been celebrated in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was given at this time confirming the New Covenant of Grace and the beginning of what we call the “church” age. When the Bible says that we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5) but we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), the verses are referring to the strength and direction that we receive from the Holy Spirit who abides in us. He gives us the words to say and the ability to say those words. We need to make plans, study and be prepared to always give a reason for our hope in Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:13), but we should always be flexible enough to make an adjustment in our plans. Why? Because we can’t plan for every conceivable event but the Holy Spirit can and does. It is He Who will give us the exact words to speak and the strength to speak them in any situation. (Luke 12: 11-12). Just be obedient and trust the Holy Spirt for strength and safety.
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! — Luke 24:35-37 NLT Appearances
All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people. As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened. The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them. Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive! Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb? Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth. It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?” Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth? Aren’t we just as doubtful? Could this story really be true? Does such love exist? We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended. Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.
5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” — Matt. 28:5-7 NLT
AN ANNOUNCEMENT — JESUS IS NOT HERE!
AN EMPTY TOMB — COME! SEE WHERE HIS BODY WAS LYING!
GO! TELL HIS DISCIPLES! HE IS RISEN!
JESUS HAS WON THE VICTORY!
ACCEPT IT! BELIEVE IT!
RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!
YOU ARE NOW A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF GOD!
REJOICE FOREVERMORE! PRAISE HIM CONTINUOUSLY!
33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. — Mark 15:33 NLT
3 I dress the skies in darkness, covering them with clothes of mourning.” — Isaiah 50:3 NLT
At noon on Friday, the sun was hidden as nature mourned the approaching death of our Lord and Savior. At three o’clock on Friday afternoon, the Light of the world was extinguished. It was a time of deep darkness and mourning for all of nature and the followers of Jesus. It seemed that satan and his demons had won a great victory. At three o’clock, the natural light reappeared. Could this have been a sign that the Spiritual light would also reappear, that all was not as it seemed to be? A heaviness lay over the people and the land. Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night was a time of grieving and wondering. Could they have been wrong about this man, Jesus? Was He not really the Messiah? A time of fear, could they be the next to die? For a moment, imagine that you are one of the disciples at that very time. Look at the situation through their eyes, not knowing the final outcome of this event. Take the time to imagine the scene on the cross and mourn the death of your teacher and closest friend. His promise that He would always be with them must have seemed pretty hollow about then. Would your faith have carried you through this event? What would your reaction have been? Would you have been able to remember and believe all the promises at this particular point? Would you still beilieve that He would arise after three days? Now, back to the present. Will our faith carry us through what God has in store for us now? When temptation stares us in the face, will we give in? Knowing the whole story, how will we respond to the times of darkness and mourning in our lives? Will we remember that there is hope? Will we remember that “joy comes in the morning”?
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. — Matt. 27:50-53 NLT (Read The Whole Story)
After the Lord’s Supper was completed, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. Jesus took His three closest friends and went a little further into the Garden. Leaving them there, He went a stone’s throw further and began to pray. In our darkest hours, we are sometimes separated from those who love us, left alone with just us and our Father. It is then that we can pray effectively and fervently. Jesus prayed so fervently that He sweat great drops of blood. Then Judas came with the religious leaders and soldiers. He came to betray Jesus with a kiss. A kiss, not of affection but of deceit and deception. What had begun as a farewell celebration for Jesus ended in a long night and day of sorrows for Jesus.
A night and day of being denied by His friends, a night and day of being persecuted and falsely accused, a night and day of being mocked, beaten and spat upon. The culmination was HIs being hanged on a cross until He gave up His spirit. Nothing short of God’s love could cause a person to submit to such indignation and punishment. Especially when that person was innocent of any sin. So, why would He do it? He did it for you and for me. We weren’t there physically, but every sin we ever committed or ever will commit was there separating Jesus from HIs Father for that short space of time. Unthinkable! Unimaginable! That anyone could love others so much that they would agree to suffer a death that was so horrible it defies imagination.
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did for us.