“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.””
When Jesus rose from the dead, He returned to His disciples to encourage and commission them. However, the disciples were mourning their chosen King who was crucified. He even was handed over to the Romans by one of their friends. Not only were they mourning their Rabbi but also they were living in fear of persecution by the Jews. It is interesting to note that when Jesus revealed His identity to the disciples, He came bearing peace. Sometimes in our lives, when we are rocked by sad and shocking news, we need to invite Jesus into our situations and allow Him to being peace. Peace is not an emotion, peace is a person and that person is Jesus Christ. And His peace makes us glad, as it did for the disciples.
Jesus goes on to commission His disciples, and by doing so, sends them out into the world to share the good news of His salvation. However, as promised, He leaves them with a parting gift. Jesus knew that in and of their own strength, the disciples would fail. Jesus breathed on His disciples giving them the Holy Spirit. This is the same breath that breathed life into mankind from the beginning of time. When Adam was without life, God breathed His Spirit into his nostrils and gave him life. Here, Jesus breathes His Spirit into the disciples and gives them life; Life to be able to fulfil the great commission.
Our new birth is a fruit of the breath and peace of God in our lives and situations. It is this breath that gives us the strength to preserve through life’s hardship, and to fully fulfil the great commission that was given to all the children of God, not just the disciples. May Jesus breath His life giving Spirit in you and fill you with His perfect peace!