“What is the baptism in the Spirit?” probably raised some questions for you. Here are three common questions.
This post will attempt to answer these questions.
You will recall that the baptism in the Spirit occurred on the Jewish Feast day of Pentecost in the year that Jesus was crucified (Acts 2:1-4). This was no coincidence. It was a fulfillment.
Let me explain using the example of the first of the feasts, remembrance of the Passover.
Approximately 1,400 B.C., the Passover took place, triggering the exodus of Israel from slavery in Egypt. It involved each Hebrew family killing a lamb on the 14th day of the 1st month of the Jewish lunar calendar. The blood of that lamb was spread on the door frame of a house as a sign protecting that household from God’s judgment.
Just before the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, there are numerous references to the approaching annual remembrance of the Passover. Here are two texts:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1)
Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And [Pontius Pilate] said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” (John 19:14)
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ taking place at the time of the Passover is significant. In or about 54 A.D., the apostle Paul writes to followers of Jesus in southern Greece:
Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7b).
For more insights, read or listen to “Celebrating God’s Grace in the Passover.”
The next feast is called “First Fruits.” This Feast was celebrated on the first day of the week following the Passover.
In the year of Jesus’ crucifixion, the historical event of His resurrection took place on the first day of the week following the Passover. Here are some familiar texts:
Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. … And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. (Matthew 28:1, 9; see also Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1)
Again, Paul recognizes the divine pattern. In a great chapter on resurrection, the apostle writes:
now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. ... each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)
Now we come to the next feast, celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Feast of First Fruits—the one-day Feast of Pentecost.
In the year that Jesus was crucified and resurrected, “when the day of Pentecost had come,” the historical event of the Baptism in the Spirit occurred (Acts 2:1-4). For more insights, see “Celebrating Pentecost – even if you’re not Pentecostal.”
Once again, Paul recognizes the pattern. In a chapter on the body of Christ, the apostle writes:
For [in] one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. (1 Corinthians 12:13-14)
The following diagram summarizes some parallels of these three associated feasts and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Three one-day feasts precisely foreshadowing the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Baptism in the Spirit by Jesus Christ. Moreover, and so we don’t miss the point, Paul points out the significance of these feasts fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Let me first ask another question: How does a person come into the full benefit of the historical events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection?
Answer: When a person receives Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13, etc.), that person comes into the full benefit of the historical events of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Upon receiving Christ, each person is forgiven, accepted, and enabled to walk in newness of life!
In the same manner, when a person receives Jesus Christ, that person also comes into the full benefit of the historical event of the baptism in the Spirit by Jesus. Thus, when a person receives Christ, they become part of the Church, which is Christ’s body.
We have dealt briefly with this wonderful subject, and you still may have questions.
Here are a few more resources for you:
Meanwhile, let me know what you have learned about the baptism in the Spirit from this post. How does it clarify what the baptism in the Spirit is and its importance for you? You can contact me here.
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