The Floodlight on Christ

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17, ESV).

These words were spoken to comfort and encourage the disciples in the face of Jesus’ imminent death.  It was a promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity.  There are many things that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in the world today. He convicts unbelievers of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). He regenerates or causes us to become believers (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5, I Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18).

He indwells and baptizes the believer (I Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9; John 14:16; I Corinthians 12:13). He seals us (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). He imparts gifts (I Corinthians 12:7-11). He fills the believer (Ephesians 5:15-21; Galatians 5:16). And, He causes us to bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), which is the characteristics of Jesus Christ. However, the Holy Spirit’s distinctive role is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. So far as this role was concerned, the Spirit “was not yet” while Jesus was on earth. It would be only when the Father had glorified him (John 17:1, 5) that the Spirit’s work of making men aware of Jesus’ glory could begin.

In the courtyard of the last church I pastored in Texas, there is a seventy-foot tall white cross that serves both as a steeple and landmark. I was once asked why the cross was so tall.  The answer seemed so evident that I hardly knew what to say.  It needed to be seen by everyone, since it was the central focus of our ministry.  And, yet without light, at night it would nearly be invisible. Of course we had floodlights placed so that it would continuously be lit in the dark hours of the night. The intended effect is to make it visible when otherwise it would not be seen for the darkness, and to maximize its dignity by throwing all its details into relief so that you can see it properly. It also struck me that this perfectly illustrates the Holy Spirit’s new covenant role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior.

Or think of it this way. It is as if the Spirit stands behind us, throwing light over our shoulder on to Jesus whom stands facing us. The Spirit’s message to us is never, “Look at me; listen to me; come to me; get to know me,” but always, “Look at him, and see his glory; listen to him and hear his word; go to him and have life; get to know him and taste his gift of joy and peace.” The Spirit, we might say, is the matchmaker, the celestial marriage broker, whose role it is to bring Christ and us together and ensure that we stay together.

It is so tragic that so few believers accept the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.  Sometime back the Associated Press carried this dispatch: “Glasgow, Ky.—Leslie Puckett, after struggling to start his car, lifted the hood and discovered that someone had stolen the motor.” Are you trying to start your “car” without your “engine”?  Let Him light up your life today!