Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22.
As followers of Christ, we are a sent people! We are a significant part of God’s plan to reach the planet with His Good News. Friends, it is so challenging to have Christ front and center in our lives! Busyness, selfishness and laziness are just some of the things that get in our way. However, when we have those times of seeing clearly that our lives have been purchased by Christ’s death and resurrection, when we are tuned in to His teachings and understand the call and the privilege He has given us, when we sense His presence in our spirits as He leads, it is the most wonderful experience in life!
In the Bible passage above, Jesus is risen from the dead as He appears among His disciples! I am quite sure they were in shock. Jesus speaks peace to them and then declares these amazing words, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 3 years of training, 3 years growing to comprehend the Kingdom of God and 3 years of seeing his power to heal, to deliver and to multiply all build to this moment! Jesus had empowered them to preach and teach, to heal and drive out evil spirits. However, what the disciples experienced after His death was new. Crucifixion and resurrection had happened! It is no small question to ask, “How did the Father send Jesus?”
The book I am using for my online evangelism training does a good job answering this question. The book, The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman, is an in-depth study of Jesus’s life. The more we understand Jesus, His message and His mission, His identity, His love, His saving power and His authority, the more we’ll understand ourselves.
Jesus breathes on them and speaks, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Here is a simple, yet unfathomable reality. Jesus empowers his disciples with the indwelling Spirit of the Living God! Here again in the rush and traditions of church life, we can miss what God is offering. The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth, tries to awaken them to this phenomenal new happening that the prophets had foretold;
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20
Friends, I encourage you with all that I am, pursue the teachings and commands of Christ and open yourselves to the filling of the Holy Spirit. The life we are called to live is a supernatural one. In our own strength, we are not able to live out the teachings of Christ. We need to be “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Jesus told us clearly to ask for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:11-13); and we see the disciples in the book of Acts filled with the Holy Spirit multiple times.
With the warmer weather coming and more and more vaccines being administered, I am confident that you and I be connecting with our churches, family and friends more and that more opportunities for outreach will surely open up. Jesus sends us out to make him known by the way we live, love and serve!