Devotions for the Week of April 23, 2017

Meditation for the Week of April 23, 2017 

“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.” John 20:22-23

 

Do you want someone breathing on you?  Probably not.  Sounds pretty gross, right?

What if you had stopped breathing, and someone was giving you CPR?  In that case, you’d probably be grateful if someone were to breathe on you and into you to bring you back to life.

Here in the Upper Room, on the evening of Easter, Jesus comes among His disciples.  They are alone, hiding in fear.  They are as good as dead.  And Jesus breathes life into them.

Think of when God created Adam and breathed life into Him.  Think of the Valley of Dry Bones and when Ezekiel commanded the breath to bring the bones to life.  God’s breath brings life.

In many ancient languages the words for “breath” and “spirit” are the same.  Your breath or your spirit is what keeps your body alive.

God’s Holy Spirit is what gives us life.  Not just earthly life, but eternal life.  God breathes His Holy Spirit into you, and you will live forever.

The Holy Spirit comes through God’s Word.  When you speak, your breath carries your words.  Breath, Spirit, Word all go together.  Through His Word, God breathes His Holy Spirit into you and gives you life.

Jesus promises the apostles that as they speak, sins will be forgiven.  Breath goes in and breath comes out.  The Holy Spirit goes into them as they hear the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit comes out of them as they speak words of forgiveness.

When you hear a pastor forgive your sins, you know that they are truly forgiven.  And then you forgive the sins of those who sin against you, and this forgiveness brings everlasting life.          

 

Our Weekly Prayer

Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

 

O God, breathe Your Holy Spirit into me through Your Word, that I may receive Your forgiveness and life, and in turn forgive those who sin against me.  Amen