Acts 2: 1
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life for evermore.
In Acts 1, before He ascended back to Heaven, Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem. He has promised them power and this is now ten days later.
We’re told it was the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish Festival which took place 50 days after Passover. It was one of the three main days in the Jewish calendar - Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles – the three big bank holidays, if you like, when every Jewish male was expected to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate and make an offering to the Lord.
At Passover, Jews made and offering of a lamb. And it was at Passover that Jesus, the Lamb of God gave up his life for us. Jesus took the Jewish Passover and infused it with a new significance.
Pentecost was the festival which celebrated the beginning of the wheat harvest. Again everyone would flock to Jerusalem and make an offering of 2 loaves of wheat bread to the priest. It was giving back to God a portion of what he had given to you, in gratitude for His goodness.
So Pentecost was the Harvest festival and again Jesus was going to infuse it with new meaning - this will be the beginning of the harvest of people brought into Jesus' Kingdom. A harvest was about to begin on this day which has continued now for 2000 years and included millions and millions of lives changed by the Gospel.
So, because it’s harvest, Jerusalem is packed - there's noise, celebrations, throngs of people everywhere. And we read that the disciples were “all together in one place.”
If it would have been today they’d probably have fallen out and split into three churches by now – but no, they’ve maintained a unity and they’re all hanging out together.
As we will see, God blesses unity among His people – not uniformity where we all look the same and think exactly the same - but unity, where we are united as one body in Christ. It's into this situation that He plentifully pours out His Holy Spirit. Just read Psalm 133 above.
On the other hand, lack of unity, division among Christians, will hinder the blessings of God and flow of His Spirit in our lives and churches. It also harms our witness to the wider world, because, as we will see tomorrow, when God pours out His Spirit on a united group of His people, others are irresistibly drawn into His Kingdom.