The Sunday Mail
Today marks the day of Pentecost, which will see some churches celebrating the Holy Spirit.
Theologians believe that from Easter Sunday to the day of Pentecost, there are 50 days.
Christians believe that Jesus – the Son of God – was crucified as an atonement for their sins over 2000 years ago.
He was laid in a tomb in modern day Israel but on the third day, the Bible says, He rose again.
As a result, Christians celebrate Easter, which commemorates His death (on Good Friday) and Easter Sunday (resurrection day).
From resurrection to the day Jesus ascended to Heaven, He lived for 40 days and promised that the Father would pour out the Holy Spirit on the disciples who were gathered in Jerusalem.
Exactly ten days after Jesus had been promoted to take the right seat on God’s throne, the Holy Spirit was released to the disciples to empower them to preach the gospel of good news.
Acts 2 verses 1-4 says, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Christian author Dr Brilliant Pongo said there were various explanations to the Pentecost but one important aspect was the miraculous speaking in foreign tongues by the apostles.
“In addition is the bold and incisive preaching of Peter to a Jewish audience. The effect of the sermon was powerful, as listeners were “cut to heart” (Acts 2:37) and instructed by Peter to “repent and be baptised” (Acts 2:38),” he said.
“The narrative concludes with 3 000 souls being added to the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers; apostolic signs and wonders. We are, however, seeing a drift from this in today’s churches where many just refer to themselves as Pentecostal churches.” Dr Pongo added that the Pentecost was significant even in the Old Testament because it was one of the Jewish feast days.
He said the only biblical reference to the actual events of the Pentecost were in Acts 2 verses 1-3 when the disciples were all gathered together, just like they were during the Last Supper with Jesus.
“At Pentecost, the disciples witness the birth of the New Testament church in the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell with all believers. Thus the scene of the disciples in a room at Pentecost links the commencement of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church with the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry in the upper room before the crucifixion.” United Family International Church (UFIC) spokesman Pastor Prime Kufa said on the day of Pentecost, Jews celebrate the Feast of Weeks while Christians mark the day as an important date in their history.
He said, “We all know that Jesus died on the 1st Sabbath of the unleavened bread and the first manifestation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened 50 days after His death.
“Traditionally, the Pentecost was a Jewish feast known as the Feast of Weeks, a post-harvest festival marked seven weeks and one day after the first Sabbath of the unleavened bread.
The Greeks called it Pentekoste, meaning 50th day.”
Righteous Revival Ministries founder Apostle Tawanda Chikeya said the day of Pentecost empowered the apostles to spread the word of God, despite the persecution from the Roman Empire rulers.
He explained that before God released the Holy Spirit, the apostles were hiding and scared in the aftermath of the crucifixion of Jesus.
“But the fear disappeared after the day of Pentecost. The apostles became martyrs and died for Jesus,” said Apostle Chikeya.
Religion of Church of Christ’s Pastor Mutandwa Ndoro said it is important for Christians to celebrate the day of Pentecost as it is in line with the scriptures.
“Jesus instructed the apostles not to depart from Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit.
It’s the day apostles were empowered to start the church,” he said.