Pentecost and gospel mission
In Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, Thomas F. Torrance makes frequent reference to the meaning and importance of Pentecost in salvation history. On pages 263-264, he links Pentecost with the church in its gospel mission:
In...its waiting and expectation [of Jesus' return] the church is commanded by its Lord to lift up its head in thanksgiving and joy, for its 'redemption is drawing near' [Luke 21:28]. The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair, for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go. The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen savior [Rom. 8:19 f].
The church must learn to take into its mouth the good news of the resurrection and new creation, for that must be its primary note, one of limitless joy and thanksgiving. That is how the church began its mission at Pentecost where the dominant emphasis in all its preaching was the resurrection of the crucified Christ and the astounding fact that because of Christ the Spirit of God himself was poured out upon men and women. They knew that the last times had overtaken them and that they were caught up in the onward and outward thrust of the resurrection of Christ toward the new creation in which all nations and peoples [Rev 7:9] and all times would be brought to share. The involvement of the church in the suffering of mankind must never be allowed to stifle that supreme note of resurrection triumph or to smother the eschatological joy at the astounding events that have broken into history and pledged for mankind the final day of regeneration.
|Pentecost by Restout (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)|