Quick, what are the four main Christian holidays?
Well, there’s Christmas and Easter, for sure. Good Friday would make three. But what’s the fourth one? How about Pentecost?
In my experience, Pentecost doesn’t receive much attention compared to the other three, but it should. Consider the progression:
Christmas is when the story starts. Jesus comes to earth in physical form, a baby who will grow up and one day deliver us. Our forefathers in the Old Testament looked forward to that day, anticipating Jesus and what he would do, even though many assumed something other than what God intended.
Good Friday is the first phase in that deliverance. Jesus stepped in as our substitute to take the hit for us, to do the time for our crime, to pay our fine – all so that we could be reconciled with God the Father. Jesus did this by dying, the highest penalty, the ultimate price. After dying, what more could he give? What more could be required?
Easter is the second phase of Jesus’ one-two knockout punch. When Jesus resurrected from death, he proved his mastery over it. Since he overcame death, we have reason to believe he can do the same for us. How amazing; how glorious!
Pentecost is the conclusion to this story – and the beginning of a new one. Join me in spending this week contemplating the significance of Pentecost. Then, next Sunday, let’s do a better job of celebrating it, not as a footnote to Easter but as its climax.