John 16:8 – When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. (NIV)
Some people think that the work of the Holy Spirit is just to infuse everyone with dynamic energy so that worship services, ministries, and missions can be made more effective, positive, and amazing. Far too often, we have this idea that the Holy Spirit is the fizz in our spiritual lives that makes us feel better as Christians. But from this passage today, Jesus reveals to us that the prime purposes of the Holy Spirit are to convict us of our sin and disbelief, to show us what righteousness is, and to judge the world for its failures to accept Christ.
If we think about it deeply, we begin to realize that this is what Easter expresses to us. On Maundy Thursday, the night in which Jesus was betrayed, we all feel guilty because we recognize that any one of us could have been Judas. We say that we love and worship Jesus, but how many times each day do we cast aside His counsel and throw away His words?
On Good Friday, we are shown what righteousness is when we see Christ crucified on the cross. We see our Saviour dying for the world, and we realize that it is only His goodness that prevents God from destroying the world again.
Then on Easter morning, we experience the almighty power of God and Christ's authority over the world, the flesh, and the devil. They tried to keep Christ dead forever, but His righteousness prevailed so that this world and its Satanic prince are judged for all of eternity.
And how do we know that these things are true? Through the work of the Holy Spirit, because He takes away the veil that covers our hearts and minds. He opens the doors of understanding; He brings us to that sacred moment of recognition, revelation, and realization because He confronts, convicts, and afflicts us with these eternal truths.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, You are more than we can understand and wilder than anything we can control. You enter our hearts and minds, penetrating our thoughts and ideas. We are afraid of You because of the truths about ourselves that You reveal. Come into our lives and help us to accept Your holiness, knowing that it will challenge and change all of us. In Christ's sacred name, we pray. Amen.