‘Receive the Holy Spirit’

‘Spirit-Filled Life : Creator Spirit’ – day four

John 20 v. 19 – 22

‘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!”
After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John begins his gospel with clearly alluding to the first book of the bible, Genesis – ‘In the beginning…was the Word (logos)…’, and his gospel is designed to show that Jesus is the Word made flesh, that creative Word which spoke everything into existence – ‘Let there be…light’ etc..

Here, as everything is made new, through the resurrection of Jesus, He gives them new energy / Spirit / life / breath, as He breathes on them. They are to be newly created, spiritually re-born.

I’d been thinking of the true gift of life someone gives through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, literally breathing life into another person.
Ironically here, it’s the One who had died who was breathing life into those who were alive (though locked away in an upper room, in fear).

The Creator Spirit brings them new life, and as we shall see at Pentecost, births the church – the body of Christ all over the earth (no longer limited to the One person, in one place).

PRAYER (from Charles Wesley’s hymn, Love Divine)

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.