May the fourth just passed and with it, many Star Wars fans dressed up, watched the films, had parties and celebrated this beloved franchise. Ask any Star Wars fan to give you a quote from the movies and almost definitely someone will say, “May the force be with you.” I was trying to get a number as to how many times this phrase is said in the films, but all I found was that “the force” is mentioned 91 times in all six films. Many people like to draw comparisons between ‘the force’ and the Holy Spirit. This was my inspiration for this post. As you notice, I am a little late in posting, but better late than never!
Speaking to Judas (not Iscariot) Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid …” John 14:23-27 ESV
In this passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus is promising the Holy Spirit to his disciples. The same way Luke Skywalker did not understand the force is the same way that, at this point in Scripture, the disciples did not understand Jesus or his true mission. The disciples thought that Jesus was going to establish a physical kingdom on the earth and overthrow Rome. They had not grasped the concept that he was to be the savior of the world through his death on the cross and resurrection. Jesus kept talking about leaving and the disciples were left scratching their heads.
At times it seems like when reading the Gospels, Jesus is speaking to the disciples the way that Master Yoda spoke to Luke Skywalker. Yoda was the Jedi Master and teacher of Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader who were both at opposite sides of the force. Darth Vader was originally a force for good, but was turned and was operating in the Dark Side of the Force. Ben Kenobi, or Obi-Wan, operates on the Light Side, or positive side, of the force. Luke did not fully understand the power that he possessed or how he could use it for good. Jesus is promising his disciples a comforter; a guide, the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit will ‘teach [them] all things.’ The Holy Spirit alive on the inside of all who believe in Jesus as savior and all who claim him as Lord. This is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. It is easy for people to compare ‘the force’ to the Holy Spirit, but there is one big difference. In the universe of Star Wars, there are two sides to the force, Good and Evil. 1 John 1:5 tells us, This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. There is no other side to our ‘force’ who is the Holy Spirit. John goes on from this verse to say, If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
When we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness! That is the power of the ‘force.’ The Holy Spirit is what we receive as believers. When Jesus died on the cross, it erased the records of those who believe. Each time we mess up, and ask God to forgive, he says, “OK, that’s one.” Next time we mess up, he says, “OK, that’s one.” God forgives and forgets, the slate stays clean. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
Nothing you have ever done or will ever do can disqualify you from receiving the Holy Spirit. Whosoever believes will have everlasting life. When you are a believer, and you receive the Holy Spirit, you will be operating with ‘the force’ alive inside of you.