In his drama “The Trial of Jesus”, John Masefield has the centurion Longinus report to Pilate after the crucifixion of Jesus. Longinus had been the officer in charge of the execution, and after his official report, Pilate’s wife calls the centurion to come and tell her how the prisoner had died. Once the account is given, she asks, “Do you think he is dead?” Longinus answers, “No, Lady, I don’t.” “Then where is he?” asks Procula, to which Longinus replies, “Let loose in the world, Lady, where neither Roman nor Jew can stop his truth.”
The Christ we serve is alive and living in us! Kierkegaard was once asked what the greatest miracle in scripture was? The questioner was expecting to hear “walking on water”, healing the blind, etc. Kierkegaard’s response was, “That God loves us.”
Matt 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Dr. Paul Brand was speaking to a medical college in India on “Let your light so shine before men that they may behold your good works and glorify your Father.” In front of the lectern was an oil lamp with its cotton wick burning from the shallow dish of oil. As he preached, the lamp ran out of oil, the wick burned dry, and the smoke made him cough. He immediately used the opportunity. “Some of us here are like this wick,” he said. “We’re trying to shine for the glory of God, but we stink. That’s what happens when we use ourselves as the fuel of our witness rather than the Holy Spirit. Wicks can last indefinitely, burning brightly and without irritating smoke, if the fuel, the Holy Spirit, is in constant supply.”
When Jesus said, “I am he,” in the Biblical story, the Bible says they (Disciples) drew back and fell to the ground. None of the other evangelists (Matthew, Mark & Luke) mentions this very important circumstance. Our Lord chose to give them this proof of his infinite power, that the solders might know their power could not prevail against him if he chose to exert his might. Satan cannot defeat Christ. The world cannot destroy Christ. However, Christ can allow Himself (God) to die for the world. At the breath of God they are destroyed; at the blast of his anger they perish. (Job 4:9) Thus by the blast of God they might have perished, and by the breath of his nostrils they might have been consumed.
Pentecostals refer to this passage as being “slain in the Holy Spirit.” When Peter is on the rooftop in Joppa, he is slain by the Holy Spirit. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. (Acts 10:10) Paul is slain by the Holy Spirit in the temple in Jerusalem. “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance….(Acts 22:17) Being slain in the Holy Spirit is when the power and presence of God is so great that it overwhelms the physical body. Moses had been in the presence of God so many times that his face began to glow.
Moses started wearing a veil over his face to protect the people. Being in the presence of God changed Moses physically.
Do not pray for more of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity and is not in pieces. God is one! Every child of God has all of Him, but does He have all of us?
A strange event occurred on September 17, 1997 in Bologna, Italy. Bob Dylan sang and played for Pope John Paul II. The occasion was a religious congress for young people. It was a chance for the 77-year-old pontiff to spend time with young people. When he spoke to the crowd of 20,000 the Pope referred to a classic Dylan song: “Blowin’ in the Wind.” The Pope said the answer was indeed blowing in the wind, the wind that is the breath and life of the Holy Spirt. He answered the query of another Dylan song, “How many roads must a man walk before he becomes a man?” The pope said, “I answer you, ‘One! There is only one road for man and it is Christ who said, ‘I am the life.”
Think of it – the very presence of God, living inside each one of us! God who is omnipresence (everywhere), omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and eternal lives in us. You and I don’t understand how this is possible. And the reality is that we don’t have to fully understand it, to benefit.
The seed planted in us at our baptism does several things: The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. The Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation. Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline, for instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channeled through the engine of a car in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power. The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; his presence was like “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God’s power, but he also works through the church through this institution, God began to tap the Holy Spirit’s power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power.
If you have the Spirit without the Word, you blow up. If you have the Word without the Spirit, you dry up. If you have both the Word and the Spirit, you grow up.