TO CHEW ON: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" John 20:22
Way back in Genesis we read, "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" - Genesis 2:7.
Here, as we see Jesus breathing on His disciples, we can't help but notice the parallel and ask, what is happening? A footnote in my Bible explains:
"The old creation began with the breath of God; now the new creation begins with the breath of God the Son" - Siegfried Schatzmann, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1480.
Another article says:
"...here on Easter night the disciples do, in fact, receive the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2). Jesus' word is direct and unequivocal: 'Receive" and in doing so the disciples are 'born again' by the Holy Spirit's regenerating work in them (Romans 8:11-17) - Scott G.Bauer, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1481.
Doesn't this 'breath' reference also bring to mind John 3, where Jesus talks to Nicodemus about the new birth?
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" - John 3:8.
Have you felt that breath on your nostrils? Have you breathed it in? Are you spiritually alive, so that you can say "The Spirit Himself bears witness with my spirit that I am the child of God'? (Paraphrased from Romans 8:16)
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your breath of spiritual life. Please nourish that life in me by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
MORE: Made alive = regenerated = born again
"When we were dead God made us alive. How did He do this? Jesus' answer in John 3:5-8 is that we are born again by the Spirit. And Paul wrote that God saved us 'by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit' - Titus 3:5. The word regeneration means 'born again,' so our new birth is again ascribed to the Holy Spirit." - Jerry Bridges, The Transforming Power of the Gospel, Kindle Location 1354 (emphasis added).