May 25, 1977- moviemaking forever changed that day. You may think that’s good and you may think that’s bad, but either way…it’s true. The original Star Wars was released. I was finishing up my sophomore year of high school in May of 1977 (which either makes me really young or really old…depending on your perspective!) and couldn’t wait to see it! The funny thing is that movie theaters ONLY agreed to show it because the studio threatened to withhold the movie The Other Side of Midnight if they didn’t!
No matter what revisionist history creator George Lucas offers now, the original movie was NOT envisioned as the beginning of a franchise! He barely got the first one made and distributed. But the overwhelming success of that movie, later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope, guaranteed future installments. That fact led to May 21, 1980, when the second installment, The Empire Strikes Back, was released. And THAT movie (considered by many to be the best of the series) produced arguably THE best “reveal” in movie history.
Late in the movie, our hero, Luke Skywalker, is trapped by the evil Darth Vader. After hacking Luke’s hand off with his light saber (NOT a very nice thing to do!), Darth says, “Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.” Luke replies, “He told me enough. He told me you killed him!” And then…Darth drops the bombshell! “No…I am your father!” Bum, bum, buuuum! The first time I saw it…May 21, 1980…you could hear a pin drop! “No…WAY!” Mind. Blown!
The most shocking “reveal” in movie history was a well-protected secret. Very few people knew about it until the movie was released. Even the actor in the shiny black suit, David Prowse, didn’t know. He was the BODY of Darth Vader, but not the voice. So, Prowse spoke lines as they filmed, but they were NOT the lines we heard in the finished cut. Those were provided, of course, by the iconic James Earl Jones. When they filmed, Lucas told Prowse to say that Obi-Wan killed Luke’s father, setting up the greatest “reveal” ever!
We are in the midst of 7 weeks of digging deeper into exactly Who the Holy Spirit is. Each week, we focus on one word- a name that describes the Holy Spirit. The first week, we talked about the fact that the Holy Spirit is the Author. Week 2, we considered that the Holy Spirit is the Encourager. Week 3, we looked at the Holy Spirit as Indweller. Last week, we considered the Holy Spirit as the Intercessor. AND TODAY, WE LOOK AT THE Holy Spirit as the Revealer.
1Corinthians 2:12-13 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
The Holy Spirit is the direct link between God and humanity. Jesus promised that, after the resurrection, His Holy Spirit would come to guide us into all truth. Since the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we’re able to better understand truth. Why? Because we have the very mind of Jesus Christ, in the Person of His Holy Spirit, within us.
Let’s be honest- often our actions, even the ones that make us look our best and most pure, most altruistic, are nothing more than a veil to hide the truth- from not just others, but ourselves. We regularly put on a mask to hide the reality of who we are from the world. But the Holy Spirit isn’t going to stand for that sort of self-deception for long!
We are SO vulnerable to the weight of sin, to the constant gravitational pull of the world. It’s always there, singing its siren song and trying to lure us onto the rocks of self-doubt and sin. We tend to think that the opposite of evil is good. And that seems reasonable. I mean, I’ve seen enough Law and Order to know about “good cop, bad cop”! But it’s really NOT. We can do “good” for entirely the wrong reasons. No, the opposite of evil is truth. Being honest about who we really are…and about the sin in our lives…is the opposite of evil. The Holy Spirit doesn’t simply want us to “do good”. He wants us to first offer full disclosure of our sins. He wants us to confess our sins to Him. He will then forgive us and wipe those sins away. THEN we are compelled to “do good”- NOT to improve our image but as a response to the revealing of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Great Truth Revealer. But truth in this case doesn’t mean rules and regulations. It’s not about “church doctrine”. Instead, it’s about the revelation of God’s facts…God’s truth. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth…about us! Unchangeably, unrelentingly and inevitably, the Holy Spirit shines His light on our thoughts and actions…the deepest recesses of our hearts. Everything we have and everything we are is revealed. No matter how we might dress it up for the rest of the world, the Holy Spirit pierces through the smoke and mirrors and reveals who we really are. His goal is to tear down the facade we work so hard to create. As He does that, an amazing level of self-knowledge is the gift we receive. It IS a gift, but it can be a painful one to receive.
Everything we need can be found at the base of the Cross – at the feet of Jesus. It’s THERE that we are washed clean by His shed blood. And how do we know that? What is it that tells us…convicts us…to come to the cross of Jesus Christ, seek redemption and become a new person? The Holy Spirit. There is a Christian band called Big Daddy Weave who recorded a song called Christ Is Come. The bridge to the song includes these words:
“Prince of Peace, Yeshua, Messiah, the Son of Man, Holy One, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Great I Am, Comforter, Counselor, Author and Finisher, Divine Truth Revealer, Deliverer, Healer- You are God!”
The Holy Spirit IS the very essence of God, sent down from Heaven to not just live WITH us but to live IN us. He comes to reveal God’s truths to us. What is He trying to reveal…to you?