Sundays of Eastertide
Eastertide is fifty day period from Easter to Pentecost. It is celebrated as a single joyful feast. Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter, and, after the Sunday of the Resurrection, they are named Second Sunday of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, etc. up to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, while the whole fifty-day period concludes with Pentecost Sunday.
The first 40 days end with the feast of Ascension, which is celebrated on the Thursday of the sixth week of Resurrection. This 40-day period is dedicated to the mystery of the various and numerous appearances of the resurrected Savior. During the forty days between His Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus Christ appeared and showed Himself to his disciples and prepared them for the task of carrying on His work and preaching His Gospel. He did this in each one of the appearances described in the Gospels (Luke 24:13-35, John 20:19-23, 24-31). Jesus Christ was on earth after He was raised from the dead, He showed Himself to many people.
1. To 500 people who saw Him at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6)
2. To Mary Magdalene (John 20:14-16)
3. To the women returning from the tomb (Matt. 28:8-18)
4. To Peter (Luke 24:34)
5. To His followers toward evening (Luke 24:33-36).
6. To the two followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-31).
7. To all the apostles eight days after His Resurrection (John 20:26).
8. To seven by the lake of Tiberias (John 21:1-23).
9. To James (1 Corinthians 15:7)
10. To the eleven (Matt. 28:16-20)
11. To Stephen outside Jerusalem (Acts 7:55).
12. To Paul near the city of Damascus (Acts 9:3-6)
The Fathers of the Church have placed five feasts during this 40-day period. These feasts are:
1. The Beheading of John the Baptist
2. New Sunday
3. Green Sunday
4. Red Sunday
5. Apparition of the Cross.
The Armenian Church has four feast days in honor of the Holy Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. The Appearance of the Holy Cross.
2. The Elevation of the Holy Cross.
3. The Holy Cross of Varak.
4. The Discovery of the Holy Cross.
FEAST OF ASCENSION
On the Thursday forty days after Easter, the Armenian Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension (Luke 24:41-53, Matt. 28:16-20, Acts 1:6-14). “Go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).
a. Jesus’ Ascension is the crown of His earthly mission.
b. The Ascension marks God’s acceptance of the Son’s whole work of redemption/reparation.
c. The work of our salvation has been accomplished,
d. Jesus’ Ascension and entrance through the gates of God, His Father’s Kingdom, opens the door of the Kingdom/everlasting life to humanity.
On the tenth day after the Ascension and on the fiftieth day of the Resurrection is the Feast of Pentecost, the Sunday of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
WHAT THE WORD OF GOD TEACHES ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
2. He has all power (Luke 1:35, Romans 15:13-19)
3. He is everywhere (Psalms 139:7-10)
4. He is alive forever (Hebrews 9:14)
5. He knows all things (1 Corinthians 2:10)
The work of the Church is done by people through the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. “There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Holy Spirit Who gives them…But it is the same God Who uses all these ways in all people” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
NAMES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17)
2. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper (John 14:26)
3. The Holy Spirit is called God’s Spirit/Christ’s Spirit (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 4:30)
4. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:3)
5. The Holy Spirit is called “God’s promise” (Ephesians 1:13)
WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LIKE
1. He is like a dove (John 1:32)
2. He is like water (John 7:38).
3. He is like oil (1 Samuel 16:13)
4. He is like wind (John 3:8)
5. He is like fire (Acts 2:3)
6. He is like clothing (Judges 6:34)
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK BEFORE THE CHURCH BEGAN
The Holy Spirit as part of the Three-in-One God has always been and always will be (Genesis 1:1). Each of the Three-in-One God had a part in making the world and in keeping it going (Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4, Colossians 1:16). The Holy Spirit inspired people and gave the Holy Writings to man, inspired people to foresee the future and understand what the Holy Writings meant. The Holy Spirit was doing things before Christ came in the flesh to this earth. The Holy Spirit did things during the time Christ was on earth, is doing things today, and will do things forever.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PEOPLE
1. He does not live in the sinner (John 14:9)
2. He works with people to make them want to put their trust in Christ (John 16:6-11)
3. He shows the world about sin (John 16:9)
4. He tells sinners not to turn away from God, but asks them to come to God (Hebrews 3:7-10)
5. He makes God’s Word alive (John 6:63)
6. He tells sinners the truth that Jesus is the One Who saves from sin (Acts 5:30-32)
7. He gives power to the Word of God as it is preached to sinners (1 Corinthians 2:4, 13, 1 Thessalonians 1:5)
8. He is the Spirit of Life making men free from the power of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
9. He takes away sin and gives new life (2 Corinthians 5:17,Titus 3:5)
10. He is the source of renewal and gives new life (2 Corinthians 5:17)
11. The Holy Spirit sets the believer free from sin and death and leads Christians to a life set apart for God (Romans 8:2,14)
12. His power was able to heal people (Acts 10:38)
13. The Holy Spirit brings fruit in the life of the Christians: love, joy peace, kindness, goodness.. and leads into all truth (Galatians 5:22-23, John 2:20)
14. The Holy Spirit leads, gives wisdom, power, comforts the Christians in prayer (Ephesians 6:18, Rom. 8:26-27)