Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breath of new life

Resurrected Jesus and His disciples - Artist Unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 20:19-31

TO CHEW ON: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" John 20:22

Jesus breathing on the disciples brings to mind another time God breathed on a man: "And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" - Genesis 2:7.

God as the source and sustainer of our human breath (life) is a theme that flows through the Bible (e.g. Job 33:4; Ecclesiastes 3:19; Acts 17:25). But even in the Old Testament there are inklings of a new quality of life ahead.

Isaiah 42 is a Servant Song (a prophetic reference to Jesus) where God, the giver of physical life (Isaiah 42:5) speaks of the Servant doing a "new thing." He will be a "… light to the Gentiles / To open blind eyes / To bring out prisoners from the prison…" - Isaiah 42:7.

God speaking to Ezekiel in the Valley of Dry Bones vision says, "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live" - Ezekiel 37:5.

Them comes Jesus. He tells Nicodemus it is necessary to receive Him and being reborn (John 1:12-13), and that that rebirth is necessary to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

And here we see Him performing the very act—breathing on the disciples—that God had performed when He created the first man to give him physical life. My Bible's footnote to his verse explain it simply: "The old creation began with the breath of God; now the new creation begins with the breath of God the Son" Siegfried Schatzmann (notes on John), New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1480.

Has Jesus breathed on you? Have you been reborn of the Spirit in this way? Here's how Jesus explained it to Nicodemus:
"Jesus said, 'You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit'"  - John 3:5-6 - The Message.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this life that You breathed into me when I accepted to You. Help me to let the life of Your Spirit have access to all of me. Amen.

MORE: More about the new life:
  • It makes us a new creation - 2 Corinthians 5:17.
  • It is not achieved through our works but by God's mercy - Titus 3:5.
  • Our hope is a living hope because of Jesus' resurrection - 1 Peter 1:3.
  • This life is visible and obvious to others by the way we love people - 1 John 4:7; 5:1.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson - Used with permission.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.

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