Why should we celebrate Pentecost?


On Pentecost Sunday Christians across the world will celebrate, because we remember the birthday of the church. This truth should be proclaimed with commitment and enthusiasm.

Pentecost Sunday commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first followers of Jesus. After the death and resurrection of Christ, the disciples could not really be called “the Church” yet, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and gives the resurrection life of Jesus to her. This is why we say that on the very first Pentecost Sunday the Christian Church was born when the Spirit was poured out on us who believe in Jesus.


What does the word “Pentecost” mean?
The English word “Pentecost” comes from a Greek word for “fifty” and was the name the Greek speaking Jews called the Hebrew festival “Shavuot”. Both Shavuot (Hebrew) and Pentecost (Greek) means “fifty”. This name comes from a decree in Leviticus 23:16, which instructs people to count seven weeks or “fifty days” from the end of the Hebrew Passover to Shavuot, a harvest festival celebrating the “first fruits” on the farms. It also later became the feast of thanksgiving for the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.


In the same way that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was crucified on the day and more or less during the time when the Hebrew Passover lamb was slaughtered in the temple during the Passover feast, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the very day when the Hebrews celebrated the first fruits of the harvest and the coming of the law – Shavuot or Pentecost.


God values the days of celebration he instated and gives a deep spiritual meaning to them. In the same way that Easter is the continuation of the Old Testament Passover, Pentecost celebrates the first fruits of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  We who follow Jesus may grow in knowledge, gratefulness, and commitment because the Spirit dwells in us. And we will never forget God’s great deeds of salvation.


The first fruits of the church, more than 3000 people, were saved and brought into the Body of Christ after Peter preached his first sermon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church on that day, the Hebrew Pentecost day, a Sunday.


So on Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the birthday of the Church, when God by the power of the Holy Spirit gave a great harvest of believers as a result of the “seed” of his blood that Jesus planted on the cross, his resurrection and his ascension.


We are part of that harvest – we - and everyone we will tell of the wondrous Gospel that Jesus came into this world to save sinners are part of the Lord’s amazing harvest of redeemed believers!