As I read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is with me; I feel Him and usually come away with more than a story or a piece of Biblical history. Getting through Numbers and Leviticus, recounting genealogies and the details of wars and utter destruction of enemies, can be a chore. Subject matter can be offensive and dry, but God was saving and shaping his chosen people within a very cruel and hostile humanity having minimal value on life itself, his creations.
God chose to guide and protect the Hebrews from extremely brutal and powerful nations that ravaged Israel and other small tribal nations. Customs; such as adherence to laws, scriptures, traditional feasts, holidays, and rituals; evolved as the people struggled to keep God as their hope through it all. One important tradition was the fiftieth day: pentecoste from the Greek, Jewish feast of weeks, feast of harvest, or day of first fruits. This day fell on the fiftieth day after Passover.
The Holy Spirit arrived on or near this day. For the Jews assembled there it was a sensory-emotional-physical experience as well as socially and culturally momentous. Here was the initial gift of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to them as a direct result—the fruit—of Jesus’ work, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Peter was there to proclaim in Acts 2:32-33 TEV. “God has raised this very Jesus from death, and you are all witnesses to this fact. He has been raised to the right side of God, his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he had promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us.”
Imagine being one of the Jews in the background—or today’s seeker—and you were there to see his miracles, you witnesses his death on the cross, you saw him after he rose from death, and now you have received the Holy Spirit just as he promised. Most gave their lives because of their belief in the life transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
Today we read about tens of thousands still being transformed to do the will of God in a cruel and immoral world because they believe and receive the gift that was purchased and given to them by Jesus Christ.