As we have spoken of before, there are many holidays throughout the year that center around the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Christian religion. We have seen that both Christmas and Easter are two of the most important international holidays that we celebrate since they focus directly on the acts and meaning of his death and resurrection. We have also touched on certain holidays such as All Saints’ Day which honor all Christian saints and martyrs who have shown their great faith in their acts of selfless sacrifice. Today, we would like to focus on another significant Christian holiday that is called Pentecost – also known as Whitsunday or Whit Sunday; significantly, the word Pentecost or pentecostē in the original Greek language means “50th day” as it is celebrated every 50th Sunday after Easter. Below, you will find some information regarding the holiday and also why it is so important to the Christian faith.
The Christian holiday of Pentecost is a day that all Christians celebrate in remembrance and honor of the descension of the Holy Spirit on the Lord Jesus Christ’s apostles and disciples in Jerusalem following the Lord Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. The day is of great importance because it also marks the first day in which the apostles and disciples that followed Christ on that day in history started to share the gospel or good news of the Lord Jesus as Jesus Christ had commissioned after his resurrection. We see this Great Commission as is recalled in Matthew 28:18-20 (English Standard Version): “Then Jesus came to [his disciples] and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me[; t]herefore[,] go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. [S]urely[,] I am with you always [– even] to the very end of the age.’” The reception of the Holy Spirit prophesied and declared by the Lord Jesus Christ before the day of Pentecost as seen in Acts 1:8 (English Standard Version) where he says, “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon” is vitally important to the Great Commission since it is the power by which people come to have a relationship with God Almighty and with his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, through the gospel. Christians celebrate this day because, in their eyes, as we have mentioned in other articles, having a relationship with the LORD is the key to giving glory to the God of all creation who has created all things for his glory and his own enjoyment. Likewise, for those who desire to enjoy life after death, sharing a relationship with God Almighty and also with the Lord Jesus Christ assures everlasting life for all who trust in the Lord Jesus as Lord and also as Savior.
Since Pentecost is in celebration of the descension of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and disciples that were in Jerusalem and were together on that day, it is important to understand the truth that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives all Christians power to witness the supernatural things of God to those who cannot understand the things of God. We see in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (English Standard Version) that “the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned;” what this means is that the acceptance of the gospel and the new life that is shared in the Lord Jesus Christ is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-13, 2 Corinthians 2:6, Romans 8:11). Without the Holy Spirit, no one can understand the things of God nor be brought into a relationship with the LORD which is accompanied by eternal life (John 3:3,5).