The commissioning of the followers of Jesus is fueled by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We can’t succeed apart from the presence of God in our lives. Jesus himself said in John 15 that apart from him we can do nothing. With him, we are ‘sent ones’ in the world…
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon his followers this day as what appears to be a temporary measure. The indwelling of the Spirit would happen in Acts 2. For now, the breath of Jesus would suffice.
Breathe on me, Lord. I could use your presence and power in my day today… Couldn’t you? Well, the Spirit is resident in each person who believes Jesus to be savior. Our invitation for the Spirit to overwhelm our lives today will be enough to open the door.
Jesus sent them just like the Father sent him. Take the message into the world. He even said they had the power to forgive. This is a powerful statement and needs to be understood in light of their apostolic role in founding the church and the power and presence of the Spirit. As they were so controlled and aligned with God, their granting of forgiveness would have been a confirmation of God’s own forgiveness.
I see that happen in my own life. Oftentimes our role in the church is to remind people or inform people of what God has declared and how it relates to their situation. The word of God provides much clarity on these matters. In many cases we help people see and get onto God’s path.
‘I am sending you,’ Jesus said. Are you embracing your mission? Are you surrendered to the Spirit? Today is the day!