22 And saying this He breathed on them and says to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
23 If you should forgive anyone their sins, they stand forgiven; if you withhold (forgiveness) it stands withheld
Most people like to receive gifts. At Christmas time we give and receive gifts. Probably most of the world is unaware that we do this because Christmas celebrates God giving to us the greatest gift of all, Jesus.
We like to give gifts to our loved ones to bless them, and also we like to receive gifts.
Paul quotes Jesus as saying:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” – Acts 20.35 (NLT).
God loves to give, and He demonstrates that every day.
The whole of creation benefits from the gifts that God gives to us, and James said:
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows – James 1.17 (NLT).
Therefore, we should always have a thankful heart to God for all His benefits to us. King David stirred up his own soul by saying:
Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me – Psalm 103.2 (NLT).
It is good for us all to follow his example.
As the disciples were gathered together in the Upper Room, Jesus came and stood amongst them and gave to them great gift of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to His disciples through breathing on them. This is significant, since it was through breathing the breath of life into the first man (Adam) that God created from the dust of the earth, which gave man life.
In Genesis 2.7 we read about this:
And the LORD God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person – (NLT).
As Jesus breathed on His disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, He was breathing the new life of the Spirit of God upon them.
In that moment they experienced a new spiritual dynamic in their life, and it is one that we also can share.
In receiving Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we also can experience Jesus gifting to us the Holy Spirit. May each one of us ask Jesus to breathe on us to receive the precious gift of the Holy Spirit.