On Easter 2011, I taught a message that highlighted the Holy Spirit in the Resurrection story of Christ. The next week in a message entitled "Holy Spirit 101", I taught a condensed, simplified introduction to Pneumatology—the study of the Holy Spirit.
This blog is a very brief version of that Easter message. But, it is also the beginning of a series of 5 blog-articles I'll be posting from this message and the other one I taught after Easter.
May these bless you as you continue to better understand the glorious Holy Spirit!
Every Easter season churches herald the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And we should! However, oftentimes the Holy Spirit goes unnoticed during Easter. What most Christians tend to overlook is that Easter wasn’t just about Jesus. It was also the preface for the Holy Spirit.
During the first “Easter”, Jesus didn’t merely dress up death by bringing life from it and subsequently conquer death. He also gave the greatest gift ever…the Holy Spirit.
You can’t get to the Holy Spirit without going through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death introduces us to the Holy Spirit.
“But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.” (Jn. 16:5-7, CEV)
The Holy Spirit in the Resurrection
The Holy Spirit wasn’t just a fulfilled promise of Jesus to us, like some prize you win at bingo, or like being given a present you were promised a long time ago. The Holy Spirit had as big of a role in the resurrection as Jesus did.
1. The Holy Spirit was the mastermind behind it all—i.e. behind all the prophecies about Jesus and Himself.
“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.” (1Pet. 1:10-12, NASB)
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2Pet. 1:19-21, NASB)
2. The Holy Spirit was the promise. (Jn. chs. 14-16)
Jesus only promised two things through His death and resurrection: salvation and the Holy Spirit. Yet the Holy Spirit is the agent in salvation, the seal of our salvation, the sanctifier throughout our salvation, and the surety of our glorification (i.e. eternal redemption). Thus, the Holy Spirit is the premier promise!
3. The Holy Spirit was the power at work—i.e. by which Jesus was born by and resurrected.
“The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35, NASB)
“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” (1Cor. 6:14, NIV)
4. The Holy Spirit was the guide—i.e. for the women and disciples to go to the tomb. (Lk. 23:55–24:12)
The women that went to the tomb were among the ministry of Jesus. They cared for Him. So, after the crucifixion when they saw Joseph and Nicodemus take Jesus’ body, prep Him, and bury Him, they wanted to make sure His body was properly taken care of. Hence, it was not by coincidence or random chance that they returned that Sunday morning ready to finish anointing His body, but found the tomb empty. The Holy Spirit was the guide to the women being the first witnesses of the empty tomb, which added credibility to the integrity of the Gospels for reporting that women were the first witnesses when during that time women were not accepted as reliable witnesses.
Yes, Jesus was the focal point of the resurrection, but the Holy Spirit was the conductor of this magnificent masterpiece.
May we never forget at Easter, though Jesus is the main character, we get a quiet but momentous pronouncement of the Holy Spirit.
Hello Holy Spirit!
1. I am not a fan of calling "Resurrection Sunday", “Easter”. However I am aware, especially in America, that this is the familiar catch-all term for this season ending with the resurrection of Jesus. So that is why I am using this term.