Jesus is not here. But someone else is.

by Jun 26, 2012

From Evangelical Convictions by Greg Strand:

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the center of history—the most important moment of all. But the question arises: How does all of this relate to us? How could something so far away in space and time affect our lives here and now?

This is far different from the kind of effect that, say, Alexander the Great had through the natural course of human events, for Christians claim that Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplished God’s saving purpose. Jesus Christ now brings new life to all who trust in him and leads them into an eternal relationship with God. How could what happened in the particularity of this one man in that one historical moment have a significance that transcends space and time?

Jesus himself anticipated that question in his final words with his disciples on the night before he died (see John 14-16). He was departing from them, and in one sense, he would no longer be with them. But he assured them that they would see him again (John 14:19), that he would continue to love them and that they would know that love (14:21). Furthermore, because he lived, they, too, would live (14:19). Those who love him will be loved by the Father, he said, and he and the Father will come to them and make their home with them (14:23). Jesus even said to them, “you are in me and I am in you” (14:20).

What is the nature of the relationship Jesus describes here? How can he be with his disciples even after his death, resurrection and ascension? The answer must be found in Jesus’ words of promise: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15- 16). This Counselor, this Spirit of truth, is none other than the Holy Spirit (cf. 14:26).

Here Jesus is assuring his disciples that though he will be leaving them physically, he will be forever with them spiritually through the personal presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, this other Counselor, unites us with Jesus the Son and so draws us into a personal relationship with God as our Father. In this way the barriers of space and time are overcome, and the life of the one man, Jesus, touches our lives today. God’s gospel is applied by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This Sunday at Harbor we begin an 8-week preaching series on the Holy Spirit, where we’ll be digging deep into Scripture to see how God applies the gospel to our everyday lives through the power of the Spirit. Join us!