Read John 16: 12-16
Let’s pause for a second here and consider the circumstance. Although I still laugh at the ignorance of the disciples to some of Christ’s teaching, you simply cannot overlook the differences in culture and time period in general. What would it have been like to be sitting there hearing Jesus talk about the Holy Spirit?
Seriously, think about it … you’ve never heard anything about it whatsoever. Christ is talking about some spirit that will soon be inside you. Can you imagine the confusion there? What about the worries? It would be only human to feel somewhat ill at ease about this, especially when they have NEVER heard this stuff before. And I am guessing that during this culture’s time period two thousand years ago that the thought of a spirit coming inside you probably set off an even more fearful reaction.
My perspective today comes from the Holy Spirit. He will try to speak truth into the disciples as best He can. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit wasn’t even born yet until Christ died, yet its plan was in place and its force could be felt. Let’s rewind to the eve of the original Last Supper on this Maundy Thursday to delve into the mind of a force so amazingly powerful that I cannot find anything to supersede it.
Fear not! Wipe that worried look from your face and replace it with a look of pure joy and elation. This Holy Spirit He speaks of? This Spirit of truth? It is indeed a good thing. Christ is with you now, but as He just said above, He cannot be with you forever. That is where I come in. Wanna know a secret? I don’t mean to brag; I merely speak the truth, but I am wondering if My power is even larger than Christ. The truth is, I AM Christ.
Thomas, I can see it in your eyes, brother. Don’t doubt me. Hear me out. I know it is difficult to wrap your mind around this, but I am indeed Christ’s spirit inside you all. Let me explain. There are twelve disciples, right? Well, eleven now. We won’t count Judas since he already made the choice to betray.
Thomas: Huh? What? I thought he was just getting stuff ready for the Passover. Wait a second!
We’ll get to that later. Where was I? Oh yes … I am indeed inside you all. Just like the blood that flows through your veins, like the organs needed to survive, I will likewise fill your soul. Christ cannot be here forever, but guess what? I can! I can live on forever until the end of time, until the Big Guy upstairs says it’s all over. Nobody, not even Satan himself, can defeat me. Yes, his powers are strong, but I am stronger. Just check out Revelation!
Peter: What the heck is Revelation?
Oh, sorry. I am letting my passion foretell the future. It is a scripture canonized in the Bible that you know nothing about yet … but the world will know! Later on! Back to where I was before … I will fill you all with Jesus Christ’s spirit. He will be with you always. All you have to do is listen to that urge inside you that leans you to become more godly, more perfect. More like Him!
Thomas: Wait a second. How can Christ be inside me? That’s just messed up. A man cannot fit inside another man. I mean, Jesus has me by at least two inches and probably five to ten pounds … well, after this Passover meal, probably equal in weight–darn, this bread is GOOD!
Thomas, would you stop for a second? Put down the bread. Stop doubting. Listen!
Thomas: I will not believe this until I see it.
Why must you doubt?
Thomas: Seeing is believing.
And how sad is that. There is something called faith that you are lacking. Can I speak now without being interrupted?
Thomas: I suppose …
Thomas … I love you with all my heart. Let me put this to you in plain words as best I can. First of all, I see why you doubt. You’ve never felt this before. This is so foreign to you. The Holy Spirit is not even born yet! I will be inside you soon, and don’t worry either. Christ will tell you more about it later. Through me, through my guidance, He will speak to you daily. Even after He is gone to heaven to be with his Heavenly Father.
That is where I come in, brother. Every time you are tempted by Satan, I will be there inside you telling you what to do. You certainly have free will to do as you wish, but I strongly advise you listen to me. To doubt me is to doubt Christ Jesus himself, and you wouldn’t want to do that would you?
Well, that was kind of a rhetorical question there, Thomas, but thanks for sounding off in the middle of my speech here. I do appreciate your passion and enthusiasm behind that statement there. Peter, I wonder if a little of you is spilling into dear Thomas here.
Peter: I’ll take that as a compliment. Get back to what you were saying …
Thank you, Peter. Lovely segue. As I was saying … and this is the part where nobody says anything, alright. Just trying to make that clear.
Peter: All clear.
(The Holy Spirit is staring Peter down with a disapproving glance now.)
Peter: My bad.
(Peter gets bopped softly on the head by John. All of the disciples now lean forward and listen.)
Christ is leaving you all. Soon. I won’t say when, but it is right around the corner. The moment He is gone, the moment He goes to be with His Heavenly Father, I will take His place. We’re tag-teaming. He’s out, and I’m in. Forever. Done! Now, Christ will come back again some day, but don’t even begin to ask when that will happen. Nobody knows the day or the hour. It could be tomorrow or 60 thousand years down the road. But fear not because in His absence, I am with you. Always.
Think about that for a second. Just let it soak in. I know you need time to ponder these thoughts. They’re deep. They’re confusing. Let me give you boys some wait time here. (The Holy Spirit does for about a minute, causing the disciples to whisper to one another in confusion, then finally turn back.) It’s a big thing. I know! I would be thinking the exact same thing, but you have absolutely no need to fear. Your fear will be crushed by the power of God, by the power of Christ … by their combined power! I withhold this power within me.
Don’t doubt me. Don’t you EVER doubt me. To doubt me is to doubt the Lord Himself, and to doubt the Lord … yeah, just don’t go there. God wants men of faith. You are believers. You are the first true Christians! Christ may be gone, but NO! I AM HERE! I AM HERE! (The Holy Spirits passionate shouts cause a few nods, a few encouraging pats on the back, and a few shouts).
Oh, yes, my friends, I am here. And nothing can defeat my power. NOTHING! Satan? That guy has nothing on me. Is he stealthy? You better believe it. And he isn’t going away either, so you had better listen to my urge inside you to do what is right, what is noble, what is godly. How do you know this? Ask yourself this simple question. (The Holy Spirit then pauses and whispers softly, letting every word linger.) What would God do? What would Christ do? Would they be happy with what I am doing?
Another tip … If you are thinking of yourself first, think again. Christ said it best when He said whoever is last is first and whoever is first is last. Be last. It’s okay to be a servant to all. But most of all, gentlemen, you now have a charge. This will provide hope for humanity! And guess what? Christ isn’t here to tell His story. YOU ARE! YOU MUST TELL OTHERS ABOUT HIM EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. AND IF YOU WAVER, PICK YOURSLEF BACK UP, ASK FOR FORGIVENESS AND MOVE ON. NOBODY IS PERFECT! NOT EVEN THE VERY BEST OF YOU IS! THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO IS PERFECT, AND I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHO THAT IS!!!
(Shouts are heard all over now. The Holy Spirit drills it home. Can you tell I used to coach?)
YOU ARE GOING TO GO THROUGH HELL FOR HIM, BUT IT IS ALL FOR HIM. FOR CHIRST! THE SAME ONE WHO IS GOING TO SACRIFICE HIS LIFE FOR YOU HERE VERY SOON! WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THAT LEGACY? WILL YOU LET SATAN WIN? SOUND OFF NOW, I ASKED YOU A QUESTION!!! WILL … YOU … LET … SATAN … WIN?!?!?!?!?
Everyone together: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
THEN GET OUT THERE AND SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS MAN!
(They all burst out the door, and Christianity is saved. Ever thought about these men? Think about them right now. Guess what? They are my heroes, and they should be yours as well. Without their courage, sacrifice, and charisma, we would not be who we are today. We are Christians, and I hope you’re proud of it. So, what are you going to do about it? Keep your religion to yourself. That’s boring. Be bold! Step out! Get out of your comfort zone and do something today to spread Christ’s legacy. You and I? We’re modern day, disciples, baby, and we have a job to do. Get it done! Alright … I’m spent! It is ten till 11:00, and I’m out. It is going to be a GOOD Friday tomorrow. Call me crazy. I just have a feeling!)