The Holy Spirit and Power


John 20:19-23

The Gospel appointed for today from John, does not elaborate on the event of Pentecost. It is an Easter text relating what happened the first Easter evening. But what happened Easter evening was the beginning of Pentecost.

This Gospel tells us what transpires in the giving of the gift of the Spirit. At Easter He gave the gift of the Spirit when He breathed on the disciples. The word “Breathed” bring to mind the Old Testament text of Genesis 2:7; “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” And in Ezekiel 37:9: “Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the breath, (Breath of life) “Thus says the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

As the life of Adam was imparted by God’s breath, so the gift of spiritual life to the apostles was imparted by Christ’s breath. The phenomenon was a foretaste of the broader outpouring which took place at Pentecost in Acts 2.

The disciples were commanded to receive the Holy Spirit, and this reception was an anticipation of the Pentecostal outpouring.

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