The Mysterious Holy Spirit | Part 2: Christ in Me (John 14-17)
Welcome to Real Life. How did the cross—an instrument of punishment and torture—become a symbol of hope, holiness, and peace with God?
It's Preparation Day for Passover. Jesus and his disciples just finished the Last Supper. Within 24 hours, he will be crucified. In those final hours, Jesus tries to prepare his friends for his departure.
The disciples are upset and confused. The ministry is flourishing. Just last Sunday, when their Lord entered Jerusalem on a donkey, crowds welcomed him, waving palm branches, and shouting, “Hosanna (save us)! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” It doesn't make sense. Why would Jesus allow himself to be arrested and killed now?
He tells them,
“It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7 emphasis mine).The Trinity, one God in three persons—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—can be difficult to grasp. Each member has differing functions, yet all are equal in essence and power. The disciples were beginning to understand the relationship between the Father and the Son. But after Christ’s death, they would need to rely on the Holy Spirit.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18).
_____“Peggi, I don’t understand what’s happening to me. All I can think about is the Lord. All I want to do is read the Bible,” Terry told me over the phone one night.
“Oh, don’t you know what that is?” I replied. “That’s the Holy Spirit at work in your life.”
“Wow! That’s the proof (that God does exists) that everyone’s looking for. But, they won’t get it until after they put their faith in Christ.”
One week earlier, Terry was born of the Spirit. (See “The Mysterious Holy Spirit | Part 1: Born of the Spirit.”)
Undoubtedly, the most mysterious member of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit only came upon select individuals for specific tasks: like Moses delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage or Elijah calling down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel. Why only a few? God's holy presence could not dwell with sinful man.
That’s why Jesus came to die. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he exclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”! He shed his blood to pay the penalty for sin and bridge the sin gap between man and God.
That's the miracle of the cross. Jesus, the innocent One, died for me, the guilty one.
Believing in Jesus Christ means believing he took my place, my punishment, on the cross. And when I take that step of faith, he credits me with his pure-sinless-righteousness. Only then, can I enter the presence of a Holy God. And only then, can his Holy (Spirit) Presence enter me: Christ in me—the hope of glory!
Hosanna! Blessed is He who came in the name of the Lord!
Take it further:
- Postscript: At the moment of Christ’s death, the temple curtain (which separated man from God's presence) was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). The way to God was now open. Hallelujah!
Fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples received the Holy Spirit. They spread the Good News around the world that Jesus came to save!
The cross—once an instrument of torture and punishment—has become a universal symbol of hope, holiness, and peace with God.
Christ's sacrifice marks the turning point in world history: A.D. stands for “Anno Domini” which means in the “Year of our Lord”; B.C. stands for “before Christ.”
- Learn more about the Holy Spirit in Forgotten God by Francis Chan.
- Find Peace with God.
Image: Diego Velázquez,1599–1660 (public domain)
 Colossians 1:26-27
 John 1:29
 Colossians 1:27