Meaning of the Day of Pentecost: Acts 21
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬
The day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the early weeks of harvest. It was one of three annual Jewish festivals. The word “Pentecost” is the Greek name for what the Jews called the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks. It is mentioned three times in the Books of the Law. (Exodus 23:14-17; Numbers 28:26-31 and Deuteronomy 16:9-17) It was seven weeks or 50 days ofter the Passover. It was celebrated for seven days.
This gives us an anchor for how long the gathering in the upper room waited and prayed. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to them over a period of forty days and then ascended from the Mount of Olives. He gave them instruction to wait for the Promise of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:3-11) As I count off the fifty days between the Passover and Pentecost, the gathering in the upper room competed the fifty days. That means it lasted between seven and ten days depending on how you include the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Keep in mind, Pentecost marked the beginning of the harvest. This becomes significant. Without realizing it, they were waiting for a new kind of harvest. It would be sparked by the giving of the Holy Spirit. This would be a harvest of people continually coming to Jesus through the Gospel.
If we stand back and take a broad look, this particular day of Pentecost marked the beginning of a harvest that has lasted nearly 2,000 years. Acts 1:8 again becomes important. The giving of the Holy Spirit was going to launch the Gospel from Jerusalem and Judea to the remotest parts of the earth. Technically, this season of harvest will last until Jesus returns.
The harvest for the Gospel is always in season. I believe Jesus picked Pentecost to pour out the Holy Spirit to signify the beginning of a new kind of harvest. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is closely tied to world evangelization.
I am not well versed in the Jewish calendar and festivals, but something beautiful is beginning to come into focus. There were three annual Jewish festivals in the Old Testament. The first was the Passover where the lamb was sacrificed. The four Gospels end with Jesus as the Lamb of God being crucified on the Passover. He fulfilled the first festival.
The second festival was the feast of weeks or Pentecost. It marked the beginning of the Harvest. The book of Acts records the explosive beginning of the harvest with the giving of the Holy Spirit. The imagery of the second feast is still being fulfilled. The harvest is still happening. With the next feast, things are about to get very interesting. You may already be suspicious of what is coming with the next festival.
The third festival was called the Feast of Booths or the Day of Assembly. It is recorded in Leviticus 23:33-44. This is when all the people together to celebrate the completion of the harvest. The book of Revelation points to the Day of Assembly when the harvest of the Gospel is complete, the wheat has been separated from the chaff and all believers enter into Gods heavenly storehouse. I admit, this is very simplified look at the three festivals, but also very profound!
So where are we on God’s calendar? I believe the harvest is wrapping up soon and the Day of Assembly is about to begin. I believe we are in the last days of the harvest.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global