Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday which happens 50 days after Easter. It’s the church’s celebration of Jesus’ sending his Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ message for 40 post-resurrection days had matched his message during three years of ministry: He taught about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). But at his ascension the angels asked the watching disciples: “Why are you looking toward heaven?” (Acts 1:11).
It’s a question worth considering. Because if we look to heaven but forget the Kingdom of God – we are missing something very significant. If the good news is only about going to heaven, why did Jesus invite us to take up the yoke of discipleship?
Why 50 not 40?
Simply because there were an additional 10 days of waiting, watching and praying after Jesus returned to heaven.
The gospel accounts end with Jesus saying, “Go!” but Acts opens with Jesus saying, “Wait!” (Acts 1.4).
What was so important that Jesus in effect told his disciples, “For 10 days don’t go anywhere, don’t do anything, until you receive all that I have for you.” The answer? Jesus was telling them to wait for the Holy Spirit. He was telling them, “Don’t do anything without the Holy Spirit”. Have we remembered that we cannot work with Jesus unless we also acknowledge the Holy Spirit?
This week, as Pentecost approaches, do read again Acts 1 & 2 and recommit to living your Christian life by the power of the Holy Spirit.