All Our Eggs in One Basket
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of His glory."- Ephesians 1:13-14
One of the themes that stands out during the Easter season is the manner by which God is displayed and confirmed through His Son, Jesus Christ. God is in the business of revealing Himself and then confirming His identity, purpose, and promises through His mighty works. In the Old Testament God displays Himself to Moses from a burning bush. This high mountain becomes a holy place as the Lord Almighty introduces Himself as "I am who I am..." (Exodus 3:14). The Lord then confirms this encounter through mighty works in Egypt, highlighted in the crossing of the Red Sea.
In the same way Jesus came to the earth to display the fullness of the Father's glory, grace, and good news of salvation. John 1:14 tells us about this most miraculous arrival and announcement, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus then verified His identity through the many messages He proclaimed and the many miracles He performed. The greatest dimension of this revelation and confirmation comes through Jesus' death and resurrection.
It is when the Son of God surrenders Himself in humility on the cross that these unfolding events become an unveiling one, where a soldier cries out in Mark 15:39, "Surely this man was the Son of God!" Then the Easter story comes to light as Jesus rises victoriously from the grave, confirming the words He had spoken and delivering the ultimate blow to man's once unbeatable enemy. Much of what happens following the stone being rolled away and the empty tomb is Jesus displaying Himself to the disciples and confirming another promise, the Holy Spirit. In John 20:22 it says of one post resurrection encounter, "And with that Jesus breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit." And in Luke 24:49 Jesus announces, "I am going to send you what the Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
This Easter idea of God displaying and confirming speaks so much of the gift and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Think for a moment of the amazing technological advances that have provided means of enhanced communication, confirmation, and at times comfort to our lives. We can shop online and have the item shipped to our house. We are given a confirmation number that allows us to track the delivery mechanism and timetable of the item. We can input an address into our phones and have step by step directions that give us the most accurate and efficient route to a destination that may be unfamiliar to us.
In the same way these advanced apps aid our lives, this Easter I want us to remember how the Holy Spirit works in our lives both displaying and confirming the Lord's presence, the Lord's plan, and the Lord's promise.
The Holy Spirit provides us with TRUTH.
The Holy Spirit reminds us of the words of Jesus, guides us in the way that is best for our lives, and communicates in perfect harmony to God's Word and will. The Holy Spirit utters, stirs, and verifies the gospel of truth and the message of salvation that is found in Jesus alone. In John 16:13 Jesus speaks of this Helper's role, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth."
The Holy Spirit provides us with POWER.
This promise that Jesus speaks of is so that the disciples lives would be filled and anointed by the Lord. Through the Spirit of the Living God we can better know Him, we can better stand against the enemy, we can better abstain from the sinful desires of our flesh, we can be better witnesses, and we can better speak and act with supernatural authority. In Ephesians 6:10 we are commanded to, "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power."
The Holy Spirit provides us with HOPE.
Perhaps there is no theme greater in the Easter narrative than that of hope. For the risen Christ reveals Himself to Mary and her sadness is turned to joy. He reveals Himself to the disciples and their fear is turned into boldness. He reveals Himself to Thomas and his doubting turns into belief.
Easter is all about Jesus displaying and confirming Himself to people. And for us today we have been given the Holy Spirit as a deposit, as a guarantee, and as an anchor for our faith and futures. We may not be able to see it all, we may not have all the answers of what is ahead, and we may not even know the hour by which all our hopes become the "here" and "now". But we have the Spirit of God comforting us, reminding us, assuring us, and strengthening us in this faith journey. May I John 3:2-3 be an Easter anthem and gift of hope as the Spirit continues to display and confirm unfailing and perfect promise of God, "But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure."