Pentecost

Do you think of the law and the Spirit as two totally separate things with two totally separate purposes?  The upcoming feast of Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) connects the law and the spirit in a way that definitively helps to put that notion to rest.

On the first Pentecost after Israel had been redeemed from Egypt (Exodus 19), God began speaking His instructions (the law).  It was a day filled with trumpet sounds and fire. The people couldn’t bear to hear any more, so they asked Moses to be their intermediary (Ex 20:18-21).  Moses received the rest of the instructions by himself and brought them back written on tablets of stone.  The day he descended the mountain with the tablets, he found the children of Israel engaging in idolatry, and 3,000 of them died (Ex 32:15-28).

On the first Pentecost after the Savior ascended back to heaven (Acts 2), God poured out His Spirit.  The room was filled with the sound of rushing wind and flames of fire.  Peter stood among the crowd who was assembled to celebrate the feast and explained how the scriptures pointed to Yeshua, the Savior. The hearers were “cut to the heart” by the word, and on that day 3,000 were saved.

Those who heard God’s instructions (from God’s own mouth,  no less!), had hard hearts and did not obey the words they heard. They were lost.

But those who had ears to hear and were humble enough to respond, had soft hearts. They were saved.

God’s plan has always been to have a people whose hearts were soft enough to receive His words.  The whole point of the New Covenant was to form a people who would receive and internalize His instructions.

“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

He accomplishes this through His Spirit.

“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:27).

Did you catch that? The Spirit’s job is to cause us to walk in our Father’s statutes and be careful to obey His rules.  Isn’t that amazing?!

And so we see in this amazing feast day of Pentecost that the law and the Spirit work together to help us to be a people set apart for His purposes, to glorify and magnify His awesome name! Praise Him!

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