Luke 24 v 49. “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
These words refer in a special way to the eleven apostles (soon once again to become twelve), but also has great significance for every believer.
Jesus tells the disciples that he is about to send upon them that which the Father has promised – the Holy Spirit [John 14 verses 16, 17, 26 and Acts 1 verse 8]. This Holy Spirit would qualify them to be his witnesses. This is a very great gift, the Holy Spirit is none other than the Third Person of the Trinity. It is He who would come in Jesus’ place and empower them to be witnesses to the great message of the Gospel. But until he came, they must wait quietly in Jerusalem.
This promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, that is the fiftieth day after Christ’s resurrection, and the tenth after his ascension. Ever since then the Church has celebrated this great event. In the Old Testament the festival of harvesting looked forward to this event. It was to be experienced by the disciples and they would be clothed with “power from on high” (verse 49).
This power was, of course, not a physical power, but rather a spiritual power which touched the consciences of listeners and opened their eyes to the truth. It was the means whereby God gave to people the new birth, and by changing them from the inside. As history moved on, changes came to whole communities and countries.
It brought about personal conversion, hope, love, charity and compassion for the poor. It was indeed a mighty power.
An illustration of the power of the Holy Spirit can be seen in the preaching of Peter in Acts chapter 2 when over three thousand became believers. In fact you can trace His power in your own life as you think back to your own conversion. What made you think about Christ? What made you want Him? When did the understanding come? It may have been sudden or gradual but you are a believer today because of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you. And every day you remain a believer, you also evidence the power of the Spirit because if He was not holding you and guiding you, you would not be able to continue in the Faith.
So all of us who are believers are empowered and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We have different gifts, functions and personalities but He is at work in us all.
Thank God for Pentecost.