The Holy Spirit and the Messiah - 5 May 2021
By Carina Francke
You are stranded on an obscure island. Wandering about, looking for shelter against the elements, wild animals and the unknown, you discover a hand-drawn map on a piece of driftwood in a rock shelter. The message is faded, the writing hardly legible but at least you are able to decipher that you need to wait. Help will arrive eventually. “How many people got lost here? What if no one turns up?” These thoughts race through your mind. You turn the piece of wood around, see the faintly scribbled word, “Wait”.
This is more or less what God’s people in the Old Testament must have thought while they awaited the coming of the Messiah. Life was bitter and troublesome. Enemies threatened from all sides. When is the Messiah coming? Then they remembered God’s promise recorded by the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:1)
But they had to wait!
Tired of waiting in your rock shelter, you become aware of an uproar and angry, loud voices. You shrink back. They should not see you. Despite the noise, you suddenly hear a bellowing voice, “All you people waiting, your wait is over. You will be safe if you follow me!” Not thinking twice, you storm out of the shelter and follow his footsteps. Your rescuer has arrived!
Kings, prophets and priests were anointed with oil as a sign of God’s calling and ministry in the Old Testament. The Spirit of God worked only through them; this privilege was not allotted to all the world and his wife. But this all changed when the New Covenant came into effect after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. The Promise of the Father, namely the active presence of the Holy Spirit, became available for every believer (Luke 24:49).
The ministry of the Spirit in the Old Testament mainly focused on and pointed to the coming of the Son of God – Jesus Christ, the anticipated Messiah. Before He started his ministry, He was anointed – not with oil, but with the Holy Spirit. “… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)
Do you understand? The Messiah, Jesus has already come! With his life, death, resurrection and gift of the Holy Spirit, He opened the way for every believer to agree: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. (1 John 2:20)
Prayer: Father, thank you that we do not have to wait upon the promise of the Holy Spirit anymore. Faith in Jesus Christ has opened the door to the Spirit’s anointing. Now, we can live and serve as dependent but victorious servants! Amen