Pouring, Passover and Pentecost

John Plunkett
 May 26, 2012

Here we are on the seventh weekly Sabbath day since the Wave Sheaf Offering day and, according to God’s Word, we are on the eve of the Feast of Pentecost.

In my personal Bible study in the weeks following the Wave Sheaf Offering day I try to look forward to the Feast of Pentecost as we count the days and weeks per Leviticus 23:15.  But so often, those studies keep pulling me back to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Why?  Because there is so much in common between Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Pentecost.  The strong inseparable links between Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Wave Sheaf Offering and the Feast of Pentecost were designed that way by God, I believe.

Each Christian might think of different relationships between the early spring feasts and the late spring Feast of Pentecost; but the links that come to me concern two words: “Pouring Out.”

In the sermon today, I would like to go through the subject of "pouring out" as it links the Feast of Pentecost back to the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The Pouring Out of Jesus' Life

Let’s start off with the pouring out of the life of Jesus Christ.  With this, of course, our minds go back to the Passover; and the first thing that we notice in this regard is that our Saviour willingly allowed His precious human life to be poured out, along with His essential, physical bodily fluids:

Luke 22:20:
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."

The Greek word for the English word ‘shed’ is “ekcheo.”  Various modern translations render this word as "poured out" or "poured forth."  I do not believe that it is a coincidence that the pouring out of Jesus’ life, tears, blood, gall, etc. were repeatedly prophesied hundreds of years before it actually happened.  For example, there are many examples in the book of Job, which refer prophetically to Jesus’ suffering, as well as to Job’s own suffering:

Job 3:24:
For my sighing comes before I eat, and my groanings pour out like water.

The Hebrew word for "groanings" means "cries of distress."  Jesus did pour out cries of distress during His last day as a human being.

Job 10:10:
Did you not pour me out like milk, and curdle me like cheese?

During Jesus’ torture, and murderous execution, His essential bodily fluids were drained out of His body, just like milk being poured out of a churn. 

Job 16:20:
My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God.

In all of these verses, Job is the one who is writing these things.  Similarly in the books of Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations and others, the prophetic words of the authors are expressed just as though it was Jesus Himself who was speaking.

As we continue in Job 16, we read of some things that God the Father in His agony found it necessary to have inflicted on His perfect son:

 Job 16:11, 13:
God has delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.  His archers
(Hebrew ‘rab’ which can also mean "soldiers") compass me round about, He splits my reins asunder, and does not spare; He pours out my gall on the ground.

This didn’t come to pass literally in Job’s case; but it is obviously prophetic and it did come to pass in Jesus’ case:

Matthew 27:27:
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.

John 19:34:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately came there out blood and water.

In this short verse in John's gospel account, we read two of the greatest understatements in all of scripture and of history:

The first one is with the word "pierced," which is referring to the wounds that were inflicted upon Jesus. So "pierced" in this particular case was a very large wound.

Secondly, the words “came there out” are referring to the flow of blood and water (and gall) from Jesus’ side.  Even the words “poured out” are insufficient to get the actual meaning across. I don’t mean to be bloodthirsty about these things and we will not dwell on this point; but the Message translation of the Bible translates this expression as “gushed out.”  The Philips translation uses the term “outrush.”

If you have ever witnessed an accident, or even the blood-flow that results from even a small cut in an artery, you will know that the Message and the Philips translations are certainly more accurate in this regard than the King James Version.  The spear wound must have been large enough to admit Thomas’ hand (John 20:27).  The blood, the gall, and the water really must have surged out.

Job 30:16:
And now my soul
(my physical life) is poured out because of my plight; the days of affliction take hold of me.

Isaiah 53:12:
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

So Jesus poured out His soul.  He poured out His physical life.

Psalm 22:14:
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.

This verse is an absolutely amazingly accurate description of what happened to Jesus.  The human heart is enveloped and supported by a membrane called the Pericardium, which contains serous fluid, which is similar to water (pale yellow and transparent), as this verse says.  The volume of this fluid can increase under stressful conditions.  And what could be more stressful that what Jesus went through on His last day of human life?  When Jesus’ heart and the pericardium were punctured by the soldier's spear, they released blood and “water,” and because the heart lost its normal healthy support and firmness, it "melted like wax."  The heart is usually a solid organ; but when it loses the support of the Pericardium and serous fluid, it went floppy.  That is the kind of amazing detail God’s Word can give us.

Old Testament Symbolic Pourings 

Let us move on from this and let us look at some symbolic pouring in the Old Testament era.  Centuries before the time had arrived for Jesus to pour out His life, He and God the Father had pre-arranged many associated and symbolic events to happen.  If we study the various offerings in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, we find symbolic pourings at every one of God’s Feasts, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost.

There are numerous scriptures on each of these, but I would just like to focus on one of each:

1. Blood

The first one regards the pouring out of blood:

Leviticus 4:7:
And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood of the bull at the base of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

The blood of the sacrificial animals for the sin offering was poured out at the base of the burnt offering altar.  This possibly symbolized the pouring out of Jesus’ blood into the soil of Golgotha.

2. Wine

The second thing we find being poured out in the Holy Day offerings were the Drink Offerings of wine:

Numbers 28:7:
And its drink offering shall be one-fourth of a hin for each lamb; in a holy place you shall pour out the drink to the LORD as an offering.

So, these drink offerings were pouring offerings.  Each of the drink offering was thought to be approximately one and a half litres of high quality fortified wine. This was probably very valuable at that time and they were poured out as a precious offering to God.  This has a further secondary symbolism mentioned in Matthew 26:

Matthew 26:27-28:
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.  For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

It is likely that, along with the wine of Jesus’ last Passover service, these drink offerings in the book of Numbers also symbolized Jesus’ precious blood.  

Also, please note the word "remission," which is a really relevant word in this regard.  The word "remission" comes from the Greek noun "aphesis," which can also mean liberty or release from bondage or imprisonment.  It stems from the verb "aphiemi," which can also mean send forth, yield up, or let go.  In turn, the word "aphiemi" is made up of two shorter words: "apo" and "hiemi."  "Apo" means separation, and "hiemi" is an intensive form of the verb "eimi":  to go.  These words might remind us of the explosive release of air from an inflated balloon or of the explosive "pop" of a champagne bottle when its cap is removed.  But the word "remission," when used in the Bible, is always linked with sin.  The idea seems to be that, just as Jesus’ sin-laden blood (remember that He had all of the sins of the whole world past and future, laid on His innocent head) was violently expelled from His Body, the sins of repentant Christians were violently and hurriedly expelled along with it.  

3.  Oil

The next one is oil, as used in the Holy Day offerings:

Leviticus 2:1, 6:
When anyone offers a grain offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour.  And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it... You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering.

So oil was poured on these grain offerings.  There is no quantity given for how much oil was poured on.  Perhaps it was lots.  If so, this would likely symbolize the pouring of an unlimited supply of God’s Holy Spirit on Jesus Christ.  It mentions that frankincense was added as well. Perhaps the addition of frankincense, anciently used for embalming, prefigured Jesus’ pre-crucifixion anointings. We will discuss them shortly.

4. Ashes

The next "pouring" relationship with the offerings is with the ashes of the beasts that had been sacrificed.

Leviticus 4:12:
The whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.

So here we see some of the fine details that God gave the Israelites for the sacrificial offerings.  He even gave specific instructions as to where the ashes of these burnt offerings was to be poured out.  In this case of the Sin Offering, it was to be outside the camp.   Apparently there was a special altar, outside of the camp of Israel, called the "Miphkad Altar."  Some Bible scholars believe that, at the time of Jerusalem temples, this "clean place" – this Miphkad Altar – was actually located either at, or near, Golgotha.  This again fits in so well with the prophecies and their fulfillment. For example:

Hebrews 13:11:
For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp... 

So we know that there was a special altar outside of the camp; and also later outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem – outside one of its gates (Nehemiah 3:31):

Verse 12:  Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

There is a strong possibility that the Miphkad Altar was either very close to – or even at the same place – where Jesus gave His life. This would further prefigure the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial, the pouring out of His life and even the intended disposal of His physical human remains.

5:  Water

The next point relative to the Holy Day offerings is the pouring out of water.

We will concentrate a lot more on water symbolism on the Day of Pentecost.  But for today, we will just concentrate on one scripture:

I Samuel 7:6:
So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the LORD.  And they fasted that day, and said there, "We have sinned against the LORD."  And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.

This later event is not part of the Holy Day offerings. It appears to have been a voluntary fast.  The Israelites drew water and then poured it out before God.  Perhaps the purpose of this pouring was to declare to God that they would not even drink any water that particular day, because that day was dedicated to God.  Here is what the Adam Clark Commentary says about this verse:

It is not easy to know what is meant by this, it is true that pouring out water in the way of libation was a religious ordinance among the Hebrews.  Some examples of water libations, the pouring offerings and rituals were:
1. The water and separation for the healing and cleansing of lepers.
2. The water of purification for the setting apart of the Levites.
3. The various washings, including that of the sacrifices and the washing of the Priest.

Pouring Vessels

We will now move on from those five examples of pouring in the Old Testament.  Because of this precious symbolism of pouring out which we read about so many times – the pouring out of wine, oil, blood, ashes, and of water, both during the giving of the offerings and other Temple ceremonies as well – God had His skilled artisans craft special pouring vessels which were crafted from the purest gold.  Let’s just read about them:

Exodus 25:29:
You shall make its dishes, its pans, its pitchers, and its bowls for pouring.  You shall make them of pure gold.

What I am trying to get across is that pouring was very important to God; and if it is important to God, it should be important to His people too.

Exodus 37:16:
He made of pure gold the utensils which were on the table: its dishes, its cups, its bowls, and its pitchers for pouring.

Pre-Sinai Pourings

We read all of this and we think that these pourings were instituted by God when the Tabernacle was first made.  What we actually find is that hundreds of years before God gave the Tabernacle and its sacrifices and symbols, liquid offerings were already being poured out.  The symbolic pouring of oil and drink offerings was mentioned as early as the time of Jacob;

Genesis 28:18:
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.

Genesis 35:14:
So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it.

Jacob's pouring offerings are the earliest record that we have.  But we have to wonder that, as Jacob was a relatively young man at this time, where did he get the idea that he should do such things?  We don’t really know; but perhaps such sacrificial pourings were common at an even earlier date – perhaps going back to Abraham and Isaac or even earlier.

Moving forward in time, but still prior to Sinai, we read of another very well known pouring event in the book of Exodus, when God caused the Egyptian water to be turned into blood:

Exodus 4:9:
And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land.  And the water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.

This likely is symbolic too, because as well as being the first miraculous plague on Egypt, it perhaps looked forward to the time when Jesus would change water into wine at the wedding feast – His first miracle (John 2:1-11).  In turn, the water and wine of that Cana wedding – as well as the water and wine used in Jesus’ last Passover service – may also have been symbolic of the blood and water that were poured from the dying body of our Saviour.

Pre-crucifixion Pourings

Let us go back to that time again – to Jesus' human lifetime.  Shortly before Jesus' final Passover, we read of yet another symbolic example of pouring.  This was just days or perhaps weeks before Jesus’ final Passover.  I refer to these as "pre-crucifixion pourings":

Matthew 26:6-8, 10, 12:
And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.  But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?  But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman?  For she has done a good work for me.  For in pouring this fragrant oil on my body, she did it for My burial.

This was one of the pre-crucifixion anointings of Jesus.  Some time before this there was a similar – but different – anointing that took place:

Luke 7: 36-38:
Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him.  And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.  And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.

Why were there two similar anointings?  Again, they were not the same one.  Jesus clearly said that the Bethany anointing was for His burial; and I am certainly not going to argue with Jesus Christ!  But I believe that there may possibly have been even more symbolism in it than that.  Now this is my own speculation; but I believe that if we look at it in more detail, perhaps one of the anointings was for Jesus’ position as High Priest over His New Covenant priesthood and the other was for His position as King of Kings.  Let us just briefly examine these two possibilities:

Again, the first possibility is that Jesus was anointed as the New Covenant High Priest.  One of these two out-pourings of precious ointment was perhaps the anti-type of the Holy anointing oil.  We know that there is a recipe in chapters 29 and 30 of the book of Exodus – a recipe that gives the instructions as to how to make this special anointing oil.  It was not just olive oil – as today's Church of God ministers use for anointing the sick.  There was more to it.  And it came with special instructions:

Exodus 30:32:
On man’s flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall you make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.

People have tried to copy this recipe; but God forbids us to do so.  Please note that it is not to be poured on man’s flesh.

Exodus 29:1, 7:
And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to me as priests: take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.

So, this specially prepared oil was reserved for the anointing of the High Priest, the other Priests and some of the Temple furnishings and vessels.

Leviticus 8:12:
And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

Leviticus 21:10:
He who is the high priest among his brethren, on whose head the anointing oil was poured and who is consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head nor tear his clothes;

The point appears to be that the anointing oil was poured out on to the High Priest’s head.  This seems to be symbolic of the unlimited supply of Holy Spirit which was poured out –  without measure – upon the head of our New Covenant High Priest:

John 3:31, 34-35:
He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: He that comes from heaven is above all...  For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him.  The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.

Also, the special oil being poured out on the lower-ranked Aaronic priests may be symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit being poured out on the lower-ranked priests of Jesus’ New Covenant priesthood.  You and me! We are kings and priests in training (I Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

I believe that Jesus' second pre-crucifixion anointing might be symbolic of Him being anointed as King of kings.  Jesus’ anointing as King of kings was foreshadowed by the anointing of the Israelite Kings.  The first Israelite king was Saul:

I Samuel 10:1:
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him...
{just as the woman at the Pharisees house later did to Jesus}... and said: "Is it not because the LORD has anointed you commander over His inheritance?"

We know that Saul went very wrong; but initially, he was anointed to be the commander over the LORD’S inheritance.  The word "commander" in the King James Version is rendered as "captain" and, of course, Jesus is the Captain of our our inheritance and of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10).

Now, let us read about another "royal pouring" – another royal anointing.  This was the anointing of another king of Israel, Jehu:

II Kings 9:3, 6:
"Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: "I have anointed you king over Israel."’ Then open the door and flee, and do not delay"...  Then he arose and went into the house.  And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel.'"

We see mentions of these pourings coming up over and over again in God's Word; and as Mr. Armstrong used to tell us so often, God gives us repetition when He wants to emphasize something.  Let us go back again now to 31AD.  On the last evening of Jesus' physical life, at the Passover service, Jesus had pre-arranged for yet another symbolic pouring:

John 13:5:
After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Here we read about Jesus pouring out clean water – cleansing water – very symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit – as we will discuss in more detail tomorrow on the Feast of Pentecost.

All through that Passover service, we see huge symbolism, all relating back to the many Old Testament prophecies, some of which we have already detailed today.  These are all related to the anti-types that would be poured out on Jesus during the next closing days and weeks of His human life.  Again, He would soon be pouring out His essential bodily fluids and along with them, He would pour out His human life.  Then, seven weeks after His reunification with His Father on the Wave Sheaf Offering day, He would begin to liberally pour out His Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost.

Pentecost Pourings

At long last, in our sermon today, we have arrived at the Feast of Pentecost.

On that first New Testament era Feast of Pentecost, God began to pour out His Spirit upon a relatively few chosen ones.  But, He would not have been able to pour out His Holy Spirit on them –  it would not have been possible – if Jesus had not have been willing back on Passover day, to pour out His human life.  He repeatedly stressed this fact to the disciples; but they really did not understand it:

John 16:4-7:
"But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.  And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I go away
(and in going away He had to die)
to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send it to you."

Here we have the huge link between the two spring Feast seasons –  between the Passover season and the Pentecost season.  Of course, the really big link is the Wave Sheaf Offering day, when Jesus briefly returned to His Father’s throne room in heaven, where He presented His offering to His Father.  What was that offering?  It was His human life blood which He had poured out four days earlier.

Let me repeat this. This is the big link – that Jesus had to pour out His blood and pour out His life before we could receive and enjoy the benefits of the Holy Spirit being poured out on us.

It is true that, before that first New Testament Feast of Pentecost in what we call "Old Testament times," there were a few to whom God gave His Holy Spirit.  Yes, God did give His Holy Spirit to a chosen few in the Old Testament era.  But it was only to a comparative few.

On the Feast of Pentecost in 31AD, God began to pour out His Holy Spirit more liberally on His brand-new church.  He began on the very day we will be celebrating tomorrow, by converting three thousand devout Israelites (Acts 2:5, 41).  He converted them to true Christianity through the gift of His Holy Spirit.  Within a very short time, He also began to call, convert and pour out His Spirit on some Gentiles:

Acts 10:45:
And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

This was a very big deal!  From that day forward, it was not just the Jews and the Israelites who were to be the chosen of God; but His favour and His Spirit was to be poured out upon the Gentiles also.

Going back once again to the 31AD Pentecost, three thousand conversions in one day seems to us like a lot.  However, this great, initial pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit foreshadowed an even greater pouring event, still yet to occur.  Yes, still in our future, as well:

Acts 2:16-18:
But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,' says God, 'that I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.  And on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.

If we study this scripture some more, we can see that it is actually at the fulfillment of the Last Great day that this great pouring out of God’s Spirit will take place.  It doesn’t mean to say that God’s Holy Spirit had not been poured out on the early church, or on the later eras of the church, including the church today, and also upon the church during the Millennium.  But when the Apostle Peter is quoting the prophet Joel here, the implication is that there will be a remarkable increase in the pouring out and in the flow of God's Holy Spirit at that time.  It will not be totally poured out upon "all flesh" until the fulfillment of the Last Great Day.

Joel's is certainly not the only Old Testament prophecy of the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit.  Let’s look at a few more:

Proverbs 1:23:
Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my Spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.

In this one little verse, there are at least two things that we can learn:

The first one is that, through the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, He helps us to know and to understand His Word.  

The second is that the pouring out of His Spirit on us is conditional.  We have an important part to play too; and part of that part is repentance.  Yes, we must ‘turn at His rebuke.’  And this turning is repentance.  When He corrects us, we need to turn and to repent.  This is exactly what the Apostle Peter was inspired to announce on that first New Testament Feast of Pentecost:

Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

The Apostle Peter was saying exactly the same as that verse in the book of Proverbs said.  

Let us go now to the book of Isaiah and read another Old Testament prophecy about God pouring out His Holy Spirit:

Isaiah 32:15:
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.

The context of this verse reveals that this is another prophecy of God’s Spirit being liberally poured out on mankind in the Last Days.  It talks about a ‘fruitful field' and 'a forest.’  It is like a field replete with grain or a forest thick with trees.  We have not seen this yet as far as God's Holy Spirit is concerned.  Not even in the 1960’s did we see such a great outpouring of God’s Spirit.  Yes, with our human eyes and perception, we saw quite a big one; but we have not yet seen it poured out upon "all flesh."

Isaiah 44:3:
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring; 

There is a lot of pouring going on here.  It is not just a mere trickle or a gentle pouring.  No!  These are "floods" of spiritual water. It is a great outpouring, a great gushing.  It is, comparatively, like the blast of a powerful fire hose!

These are just a few Old Testament verses that mention the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit.  Here is another one:

Ezekiel 39:29:
‘And I will not hide my face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD."

We might be tempted to think that, with regards to God’s Holy Spirit, "what you see is what you get."  We might ask, “Is the level of God’s Holy Spirit that is evident today all there is?  Is what we see today all that there will be?”  I sincerely believe that the answer is, "No" but that when it comes to the pouring out of God’s Spirit, as the saying goes, “We ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Zechariah 12:10:
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they pierced.  Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

With this prophecy about the pouring out of God's Spirit and the mention pre-figuring Jesus’ pouring out of His life, we have come full circle.  Now, we see the link back the other way – from the Pentecost outpouring of God’s Spirit back to the Passover pourings.  It is a reminder for us that the super-important event of the piercing of Jesus’ body and the pouring out of His life blood  is never ever to be forgotten; not even after God's Spirit has been poured out on us.  Yes, we must keep looking and referring back to Jesus’ great sacrifice even when we go into the fulfilment of the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. 

Why did Jesus pour out His life for us?  And why does He continue to pour out His Holy Spirit on us?  There are more than just a few reasons; but one of the main ones is because He loves us.  He says so very often, and in many scriptures.  He loves us with at least two different kinds of love:

He loves us as His affianced Bride.  Yes, collectively, we are the fiancée of Jesus Christ.  Secondly, He loves us as brothers and sisters.  So we see that He has two kinds of love for us.  As we read earlier, God's Spirit is like the holy anointing oil mixture we read about in Exodus 30.  Just like that holy oil, God’s Spirit contains all of the ingredients of all of its fruit, the first of which is love, as we read in Galatians 5.

God’s special love is mixed into His Holy Spirit – His love for us and our outgoing love to others.  He continually pours out His Holy Spirit on to us, and into us:

Romans 5:5:
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given to us.

One supernatural result of this love we possess through the indwelling of God’s Spirit is that, because Jesus was willing to pour out His life for you and me, we too must be willing to pour out our lives for our brothers and sisters:

John 15:13:
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 

Jesus did just that for you and me, as we all know.  Because we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ and we are trying to emulate Him, we need to be striving to do the same for each other.  A parallel scripture, to John 15:13, is this one:

I John 3:16:
By this we know love because He laid down His life for us and we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

God commands us to do this.  Through the apostle John here, He tells us that we ought to be doing it.  And the apostle Paul gives a practical example of doing it – as he did it.  He knew that he had to copy Jesus Christ, and to emulate Him (I Corinthians 11:1).  Yes, in this regard of pouring out his life for the brethren too:

Philippians 2:17:
Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Just like Jesus, Paul was called on to live and to die for God and for his brothers and sisters.  He was happy to do it, and he rejoiced at being able to do it.  The whole of Paul’s life after his conversion was laid down.  He literally poured out his life like the blood and drink offerings mentioned earlier.

We need to strive to do the very same thing on a regular daily basis.  We must emulate Paul as he emulated Jesus, and we must be willing to pour out our lives as offerings to God and His people.

We know that the requirement for the temple rituals and their associated pourings are all suspended for our era now.  There are indications that they will be reintroduced for a time during the Millennium, perhaps for the benefit of the human beings of that age. But, although God poured out His Spirit mightily and individually on each of His Old Testament servants, even the combined quantity of those pourings is like a mere trickle in comparison to the Holy Spirit which He has poured out, is pouring out, and will pour out on His New Testament people.  So, as we draw close to another Feast of Pentecost let us remember the words of the prophet Joel, as quoted by the apostle Peter:

Joel 2:28:
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

We can be sure that God's Holy Spirit was not poured out on "all flesh" on that day in 31AD.  Those three thousand people do not constitute "all flesh."  Nevertheless, these words prophecy with absolute surety a huge outpouring of God’s Spirit still ahead of us, during the World Tomorrow and during the fulfilment of the Last Great Day, when every single human being will be given the opportunity to receive God’s Spirit, God’s way of life, and true salvation.

Once again, when it comes to the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit, comparatively, we ain’t seen nothing yet!