Jn.20:22 – “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'”
Have you ever tried to place yourself in the disciples’ shoes (or sandals) that first Easter evening when Jesus suddenly appeared in the room? Think about it; apparently the doors and windows were shut tight, there was no knock on the door, Jesus just suddenly was there, standing in the room and looking right at them. He was more than a spirit or a vision; He was there physically. He showed them the holes in His hands and feet. That’s when their world was changed. Not only was the Resurrected One there with them, He breathed on them. They felt His breath, but knew instantly this was more than just human breath- they were receiving the very breath of God pulsating with life. They were alive, really alive, for the first time. Here is how Lenski describes this.
“The breath of Jesus was, indeed, no mere symbol of the Spirit, nor was the act of breathing a mere symbolical act that only represented bestowal. While both the Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma mean “breath,” and to expel the breath thus naturally symbolizes the Spirit even as the water in Baptism is a symbol of cleansing, and the bread and the wine in the Lord’s Supper are symbols of heavenly food, yet in both of these sacraments, in this act of breathing by Jesus, whatever may be considered a symbol becomes at the same time an actual means of bestowal…..The breathing of Jesus indicates that the Spirit comes from him. The Spirit who is “breath” comes by the breath of Jesus.“
This is where faith comes in; we release our faith at water baptism and something changes in our lives. In the same way faith is involved with communion. It is by faith that we see more than juice and crackers and we receive an impartation of life. Is it possible that we can receive the Spirit just like the disciples did? I believe we can. We sense His presence by faith, and we breathe in His presence by faith. One breath of heaven’s air and we come alive. This is the life we were born for. This is the life than we long for. This is the life that will keep us in this confusing age. So today, just stop for a moment and breath in by faith. You can also be filled again with the Holy Spirit.