Why is Pentecost Important?
Last week we talked about the four main Christian holidays. In succession, they celebrate that Jesus came to earth (Christmas), died so we could live (Good Friday), overcame death to prove his mastery of it (Easter), and having completed his mission, he gave us a gift (Pentecost). Pentecost is the conclusion of the Easter story.
Here’s the progression of events leading up to Pentecost:
Jesus Goes Home
Having completed his mission here on earth, Jesus returns to heaven (Mark 16:19).
Jesus Prepares a Place for Us
As followers of Jesus, we look forward to the time we will join him in heaven and spend the rest of forever with him. As we wait for that day, he is getting ready to welcome us (John 14:2-3).
Jesus Listens to Our Prayers and Intercedes for Us to God the Father
Jesus Sends Us His Holy Spirit
This is the climax; this is Pentecost. When Jesus returns to heaven, he does not abandon us; he sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us. The Holy Spirit is God’s presence in us, an essential aspect of putting our faith into action (John 16:7).
Pentecost reminds me of these things, foundational to my faith: that we will one day join Jesus in heaven, that we can pray to him now, and that we can live in concert with the Holy Spirit every day.
Today is Pentecost. Even though I’ll go to church, I don’t expect they’ll celebrate what this day means; they may not even mention it. This is a travesty, which is why I’m remembering it now.
Today, whether privately or with friends, I hope you’ll celebrate Pentecost and all it means.
[Read more about this in Peter’s upcoming book, Jesus’s Broken Church.]
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.