We’ve spent the past 13 weeks or so studying the person and work of the Holy Spirit. As we head into the advent season, we will see the Holy Spirit is at the center of the story of Christ’s birth. In fact, we cannot even understand Christ’s role as Messiah without understanding that He comes as the Spirit-anointed One. One of the places this is foretold of the Messiah is in Isaiah 11.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Jesus is distinct from all of Israel’s previous deliverers in that He possesses the fullness of the Spirit’s power. Although fully God, He chose to live as a man fully dependent upon the Spirit’s power and leading. Previous leaders in Israel had been anointed with the Spirit (Moses, Samson, David, etc.), but each one had moments of turning away from the Spirit’s leading to trust in himself. Only Jesus lived perfectly in step with the Spirit, and in perfect obedience to the Father.
That is why His coming is good news for us. He is the deliverer we need, who took on flesh and blood and lived the righteous life we could not live. In obedience, He gave himself on the cross in place of sinners like us, securing full atonement for our sins.
Jesus embodies the Spirit-filled life. If you ask what it looks like to walk by the Spirit, the answer is always the same. It looks like Jesus.