“Receive the Holy Spirit”
Scripture reading for November 18th: John 20
Key Scriptures: John 20:19-23 “On the evening of that day (Resurrection Day), the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 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. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.””
Jesus had risen from the grave on the third day after the day of His crucifixion. This was the first day of the week and the disciples were in hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. Jesus, not stopped by locked doors, appeared to them in His glorified body, yet bearing the marks of crucifixion. His first words were a greeting of peace, to comfort their fears. He then showed them His hands scared by the nails and His side opened by the spear. He wanted them to truly know it was Him, in a body that could be touched and seen. He again spoke peace to them and gave them a simple commission, sending them into the world as the Father had sent Him. To prepare them, He breathed on them and commanded them to receive in His breath the gift of the Father, precious Holy Spirit, This was the ‘Helper’ Jesus had told them about just a few days earlier in the upper room. At this, they were reborn and adopted into God’s Family and Christ’s kingdom.
John 20:26-27 “Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus back to His disciples after His death and resurrection in His glorified body. Thank You for those who got to see and believed. I have not seen, but I believe You rose from the dead and I believe that You have given me the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in me and lead and guide me into all truth and eternal life with You. You are my Lord and my God!
John 20:28-29 “Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””