When it was evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Being sent is at the very core of Christianity. You cannot be a Christian and be not sent. So, go. By the same breath of God that brought Adam to life, that brought the valley of dry bones to life, and that inspired all Scripture, Jesus empowered His disciples with the Holy Spirit and sent them. Similarly, modern believers have been given the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Similarly, modern believers may know that He is with them even to the end of the age.
Look closely at the core of the disciples’ fear in verse 19. It was a fear of the ones who crucified Jesus. In a very real way, it was a fear of their peers. That same fear can grip the church today. My prayer as the lead pastor of Highlands Community Church is that our people would be filled with boldness to engage their peers rather than cloister in fearful isolation from them.
The cowardly Christian’s precious reputation would mean nothing if presented as an excuse before God in judgment. Let us exchange our cowardice for the mighty breath of God described in verse 22. Let us break out of quarantine with a holy, desperate zeal to help the lost find and follow Jesus!
With brutal honesty, are you excelling at something that is meaningless (your reputation) while failing at the one thing that is eternally meaningful (sharing your faith)?
Pray: Ask the mighty breath of God to assure you of His anointing Holy Spirit that you would bust out of your hiding place and proclaim freedom to your captors.