HOPE IN OUR WORLD
Read: John 20:19-23
“19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (NIV John 20:19-23)
Study: Everything the disciples had believed seemed lost. Jesus, their leader and would-be Messiah was dead, and now his body was missing. The disciples hid, afraid the Jewish authorities would come after them next. But no one had stolen Jesus’ body. He was still their Messiah, in ways that reached beyond their wildest dreams. “Jesus…stood among them”—it was really him, alive, and they were filled with joy. He gave them his peace, his purpose, and his power. Have you ever been “commissioned” to do something that seemed beyond you? Jesus told the disciples, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.” We may think, “Isn’t that God’s job?” The answer is, “Yes. Jesus ‘breathed’ the Holy Spirit into them (and us), and usually does his work through us.” How can you take part in Jesus’ work of offering God’s forgiveness to others, and of warning them that sin is a serious, deadly disease?
Pray: Lord Jesus, I do not want to live a life that just goes through the motions. I ask that today, and every day, you will breathe your eternal life into me, empowering me to live the life that is truly life. Amen.