June 08, 2016

Spirit of the Messiah

Isaiah 11:1-10

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him.

—  Isaiah 11:1-2

Today’s passage, perhaps the climax of Holy Spirit passages in the Old Testament, reveals several important things about the Spirit while describing the Branch from the family line of David, son of Jesse. This picture points to the promised Messiah, Christ our Savior, filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Here we see the fullness of the Spirit’s ministry of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. All of these qualities are bestowed, first and foremost, on the Messiah, the “Anointed One,” the “Christ,” Jesus himself. And these qualities are poured out fully and permanently, not partially or provisionally.

Here we see the Holy Spirit radiantly shining entirely on the promised Savior of the world, and this prophecy looks ahead to something we can see more clearly in the New Testament: the Holy Spirit always points to, empowers, and promotes Jesus as the only One through whom we receive salvation.

The Holy Spirit empowers Jesus’ followers too. Because of Christ’s finished work to pay for our sins and reconcile us with God, we are given new life through the Spirit, who comes to live and work in us so that we can become like Christ. In this ongoing process the Spirit prompts us, too, to point to Jesus, the only One in whom peace with God can be found.

“Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.” Use my life to point others to Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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