Christians everywhere spent this last weekend celebrating the Jewish feast day, Pentecost.

From the Book of Genesis to the Book of Acts, mankind’s legendary forfeiture of his holy, royal estate along with his crushing defeat of spirit are penned from the inkwell of lamentable regret. God’s image-bearers, now separated from the Spirit (Life) of their Creator and His purpose for them, find themselves as nomadic pilgrims traveling a circuitous journey of struggle – living lives that are checkered with folly and failure; dying in wildernesses and in wanderings.

Although it seems that the majority of mankind’s storied history is a narrative filled with the hubris of sin making us exiles from God, our humiliating failures did not eclipse brilliant bursts of grace and notable demonstrations of hope. Throughout the Torah, the Judges, the Prophets, and the Kings – we see heroes of faith rise to exhibit exhilarating acts of patriotism and display extraordinary conviction in the belief that God had not abandoned His image-bearers on earth and specifically, His chosen…Israel.

From the reign of Pekahiah, Israel had been faithfully warned about the inner well of man’s sinful nature. Her trio of courageous messengers had warned her not to think her God to be a Cosmic Pushover whose love was impotent of wrath and His grace a soiree of easy-living and wishful-thinking. Israel’s atmosphere was electric with scathing denunciations and judgmental pronouncements.

The Prophet Micah reached into the womb of the future and pulled into his Old Testament reality a version of a New Testament saying, “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1). Israel gloried in the name “House of Jacob,” but did not live worthy of it. Israel was mischievous to cling to a name when the thing for which it stands had disappeared. To be named God’s people and not be His people is a crime against His Truth. It’s a robbery of His honor. It is a practiced lie against the Holy Spirit. It’s defamation against the character of God. And…this is the universe in which Israel dwelt.

How terrible it must be to live as Judas, ever kissing your Christ with betrayer lips.

And yet, it is in the dirge of Israel’s reproach that these fallen sons of Jacob are promised a future as a prevailing Prince with God. The Lord God looks upon His sin-sick, soul-rotten people and speaks to them about the Spirit of the Lord.

Why did God choose to speak to Israel from the province of the “Spirit of the Lord?” Because restoration can only come from the direction of the Holy Spirit.

It is interesting to note that it is on the fiftieth day after the Feast of Firstfruits that the signal of God’s new work is expressed among the nations of the earth. In Leviticus 23, we learn the calendar of Jewish Feasts, and each of them outlines an aspect of the work of Jesus Christ. Passover is a portrait of Jesus’ death. The Feast of Firstfruits is a portrait of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and fifty days after the Firstfruits is the Feast ofPentecost.

It is significant that the Feast of Firstfruits took place on the day after the Sabbath following Passover, on the first day of the week. Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week and “became the firstfruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20).

The Feast of Pentecost was fifty days later – seven weeks plus one day. So then, Pentecost also took place on the first day of the week.

On the Feast of Firstfruits, the priest was commanded to wave a sheaf of grain before theLord; but on Pentecost, he was to present two loaves of bread. Two loaves! Why two loaves, you ask? Because at Pentecost, the Holy Ghost baptized the believers and united them into One Body. The Jewish believers received the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and the Gentile believers received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the home of Cornelius in Acts 10.

When the reality that God had poured out His Spirit (the Spirit of Jesus) upon all flesh (the Gentiles), the terror of Love’s grace fell like a colorful crown upon the hideous head of traditional religion. When the Holy Ghost arrived with cloven tongues as of fire on Pentecost, all that was secured by ‘caste’ was condemned. All that ‘prejudice’ laid claim to was propitiationally prosecuted. All of those to whom ‘racism’ looked to rally were pronounced ostraka apo agape. All of those who served ‘injustice’ for pleasure were covenantally cured. Pentecost birthed ‘in praise’ what the Spirit of Firstfruits raised.

The Pentecost Priest waved two loaves. One for Jew….and one for you and me! That’s why Peter could boldly proclaim, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  Acts 2:38-39

The Pentecost Priest is waving for you…come and dine…receiving your Bread!

Be blessed and favored with the eternal flames of His salvation!

Wendell Hutchins II

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