Section 5: The Holy Spirit
Week 3: The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Life of Jesus
Day 4: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
Earlier we spoke of the Spirit’s role in bringing about a new humanity. Jesus’ birth moved that plan a step forward. Jesus’ resurrection represents another major step forward because the restoration of humanity is part of the larger plan to restore all of creation, and Jesus’ resurrection represents the first step in that process. Paul, for example, says that the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead will one day give life to our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11), and, at that time, creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay (Rom. 8:18-21).
We’ve mentioned the already/not yet dimension of our current experience of salvation. It’s worth mentioning again. Christ’s resurrection was a concrete visible sign of God’s plan to not only give birth to a new humanity, but to bring forth a new creation.
Life, however, has a way of constantly reminding us that we do not yet live in that new creation. The world we live in now is filled with sin and, as a result, is filled with pain and suffering.
It’s OK, even right, to feel the weight of that fact. We’re commanded to have joy (Phil 3:4), and we should because we know what God has in store for us in Christ. But God doesn’t expect us to deny reality. He knows better than we do how far this world falls short of his plans for it.
When it comes to the reality of death, for example, Paul tells us not to grieve as those who have no hope. He expects our grief to be different than the grief experienced by non-believers, but he does expect us to grieve. The same could be said about any other way this world falls short of God’s plans for it. We should grieve our sin, the sin of others, as well as the pain and suffering sin causes. The knowledge of God’s plans for a new humanity and a new creation ought to bring us joy. That same knowledge should also produce a certain sorrow. How could it be any different when we compare the way things are to the way to the way they will one day be?
List a few things you grieve over.
How does God feel about those same things? How do you feel when you place those things alongside the picture we have of God’s plans for a new creation? Does the contrast produce joy? Sorrow? A mix of both? Why?