“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
John 20:20-22, ESV
We have an eye-witness account of the most fantastic and amazing event in all of human history! The risen Jesus, who definitely is not dead flesh, appears in a room that the disciples have hid out in. He is flesh and blood, as real as you or me. The disciples are pretty much freaked out by this. “What is this–who is this?”
The risen Lord walks in with 22 eyes fixed on him. He is confident, and walking with resurrection authority. He holds out his hands–they see for themselves the wounds the nails made. He lifts his robe, and they kneel down to see for themselves the holes. In spite of His brutal wounds, He is still approachable and affable. He indeed is Jesus!
The disciples are ecstatic! They are emotionally overwhelmed, and are spontaneously laughing and crying and leaping around the room. It’s like they just won the World Series! Pure and unadulterated joy pulsates through them. He is very much alive! He Lives!
In this intense moment, he speaks–they become quiet. He “injects” peace into their hearts and minds with a simple command. Peace is a vital ingredient in the heart of a disciple. It is quite valuable, especially coming off the lips of Jesus. He directs them to complete the work–it is the work the Father gave him to do. He extends the torch of responsibility and calling.
The excited emotion of the moment must now put on ‘work gloves.’
Jesus does something peculiar. He leans over each disciple and exhales on them. His breath is saturated with resurrection life, and they inspire into their lungs the life of a risen man! They now carry his ‘life essence,’ and in the light of Jesus’ previous statement, they will need it.
When God created Adam, he gave him his life. Life is more than existence, it is the energy to “live.” When you really experience the resurrected Jesus, you will need more than good and noble ideas. You need him, you will rely on his breath. Jesus breathes on his witnesses–those who have been picked to follow. His breath fills our lungs, the oxygen enters our blood stream, it powers us on a cellular level. You can never, ever be the same. Never.