The days of spiritual preparation, following Jesus’ ascension, culminated in the events of Pentecost. The first verse tells us that on that day, just before the Holy Spirit was poured upon the disciples, they were all together, of “one accord”, in one place (Acts 2:1).
In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the second of three major feasts that every male Israelite was obligated to attend. It was held fifty days (in Greek, pentekoste, fiftieth day) after Passover. During that feast the Hebrews presented to God the first fruits of their summer harvest as an offering of thanksgiving.
It is likely also that by the time of Jesus the Feast of Pentecost included a celebration of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, as well (Exod. 19:1). Thus, we see here the continued importance of God’s law as part and parcel of the Christian message regarding Jesus, whose death offers everyone who repents forgiveness for their violation of God’s law. No wonder one of the crucial texts regarding the last days deals with both the law and the Gospel: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12, NKJV).
Also, as with Mount Sinai, when Moses received the Ten Commandments (Exod. 19:16-25, Heb. 12:18), numerous extraordinary phenomena occurred at this Pentecost. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4, NKJV).
Read Acts 2:5-13. What is the significance of this amazing event?
Pentecost was to be a joyous feast, a feast of thanksgiving to the Lord for His bounties. Here, perhaps, is the reason for the false accusation of drunkenness (Acts 2:13-15). God’s power especially is seen in the miracle of speaking and hearing in diverse tongues. Jews from all over the Roman Empire who came to Jerusalem for this feast heard the message of Jesus, the Messiah, in their own languages.
In a unique way, Pentecost helps undo the dispersion of the original human family and the formation of ethnic groups, which began in earnest at the Tower of Babel. The miracle of grace begins the reunifying of the human family. The unity of God’s church on a global scale testifies to the nature of His kingdom as restoring what was lost at Babel.