But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. John 15:26
The Old Testament consistently speaks of our Lord's promise to send His Helper, the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, the promise is fulfilled. The coming of the Helper caused such a sound, like a mighty roaring windstorm, that the people in Jerusalem gathered to see what was happening. They were bewildered because those upon whom the Holy Spirit came were speaking in the native languages of all the crowd. When Peter explained what was happening, he referred to Joel 2:28-32. He told the crowd they should not be surprised because this was predicted long ago.
Joel was not the only one to prophesy the coming of the Helper. Speaking through Isaiah, the LORD said, "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants." (Isaiah 44:3) In Isaiah 36:26, the LORD promised to give His people both a new heart and a new spirit. Ezekiel 39:29 says "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants." Even Proverbs 1:23 promises, "If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you."
In our reading today, Zechariah gives us a foreshadowing of the coming of both the Holy Spirit and the Messiah. In Zechariah 12:10 the promise of a spirit and grace and mercy will be poured out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Some translations say "the Spirit" rather than "a spirit." The gift of the Spirit enables those who look at the One they pierced with a great morning. Their grief is described as the bitter weeping of a couple mourning the death of their firstborn child. Even though this mourning is familial, the entire nation will mourn. Zechariah 13:1 says on the day this event occurs "there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness."
When I was young, we sang a song in which the first stanza said,
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath the flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."
Immanuel, God with us, was the One pierced, and those who understand that fact have been blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit to see and know Jesus as Immanuel, Savior, and LORD.
On Christmas Day it seems appropriate to think of this most excellent gift of all time. James 1:18 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." The Father's gift to us was His Son, sent for an undeserving world, so that those who believe in Him would be cleansed from sin. Amazingly, we are not just cleansed but adopted as children loved by the Father as He loved His Son. (John 17:23)
Jesus, also, spoke of a gift that seems appropriate to think about during this Christmas season. In Luke 11 Jesus explains prayer. In it, He describes how an earthly father desires to provide what is beneficial to his children. His closing statement is another of those incredible promise’s believers find in Scripture. "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
My prayer for you and your family this Christmas morning is that the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe would bless you with the gifts that only come through His Holy Spirit. I pray that you may see the One who was pierced as the payment for your rebellion against the Father. That this awareness would lead to mourning that turns to joy at the fulfillment of all the promises of the Living God.