This month, we remember one of the most glorious events in the history of the church—namely, Christ’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This event is recorded for us by Luke in Acts 2. We read of the miraculous sights and sounds witnessed on that day (vv. 1–11). We hear Peter’s amazing skill and boldness in preaching (vv. 12–36). We marvel at the tremendous fruit of that day (vv. 37–47). All these features of Luke’s account are truly glorious. But Pentecost also testifies to us that God’s promised times of repair and restoration have come.
As theologians have helpfully observed, the Old Testament promised that the coming Holy Spirit would bring worldwide repair and restoration. Of course, we know that the Holy Spirit was at work before His outpouring at Pentecost. He has always been at work—in the world, in His Word, and in the souls, hearts, and minds of believers. But on Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit signaled the end of the age and the inauguration of “the last days” (v. 17).
In Acts 2, Peter explains the meaning and purpose of the events of Pentecost. We usually associate the events of Pentecost with the activity of the Holy Spirit. But interestingly, as Peter preaches the first Pentecost sermon in Acts 2, his sermon is all about Jesus Christ. Peter’s main point is that the Pentecost events testify to the world that Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning at the right hand of His heavenly Father. Jesus our King has received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father and has poured the Spirit out on the church (v. 33). For Peter, these events are all the proof we need that Jesus reigns now as the King of glory. The former days of promise have passed away, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The new order of the last days has been established in Him. God’s people are living in the era of Christ’s Spirit-wrought repair and restoration.
In these last days, the world is being repaired and restored in the same manner in which it fell and was broken. Dennis Johnson is helpful in pointing out the two stages of fall and redemption, brokenness and repair. In the fall, Adam first died spiritually on account of his sin. Only after spiritual death had already come upon him did Adam die physically. And because of Adam’s spiritual fall, physical brokenness extended from mankind to the whole created order.
But according to the wonder and glory of God’s redemptive plan, Jesus came into this world and by His death repaired our spiritual brokenness, bringing us from death to life and bringing us into the family of God. Christ will one day extend His repair and renewal from our spiritual lives to our physical lives in the resurrection of our bodies and eventually to the whole created order. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit signals that the last days have come, days of repair and restoration in Christ. And therefore, in light of the restoration to come, “we do not lose heart” (2 Cor. 4:16–18).