Something More

John 20:22–23:
“He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the
sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any,
they have been retained.’”

Observation: Mary
had been first to arrive at the tomb. Finding it empty, she ran in a panic to
tell Peter and John that His body had been taken. Returning again, she first
saw two angels where His body had lain, then she saw and recognized the risen
Christ Himself; in response, she clung to Him. Later Jesus appeared to the
hiding disciples. He simply spoke peace to them, and their fear turned to
rejoicing. His next words were these: “Receive the Holy Spirit,” and
immediately thereafter, He commissioned them to minister forgiveness of sin to
those who would turn from it.

Application: What’s going on here? Mary’s rising
panic turns to joy when she sees Jesus, and she clings to Him.The disciples’
fear turns to rejoicing when He appears and speaks peace to them. But notice that
something more was required if they were to be truly
transformed by Jesus Christ
: they had to receive the Holy Spirit.

In her flesh, Mary clung to Christ. Surely this is an easy
response to understand, but it was inadequate. And surely His disciples’ fear
was understandable. Mary had reported seeing the resurrected Lord, but all the
disciples could discern with their five senses was that His body was gone and they
surely would be blamed.  But His
unexpected appearance in their closed room changed their fear to rejoicing when
He said, “Peace be with you.”

But I must understand this: clinging
to Christ, however passionately, is not enough.
I can cling to passing
flotsam in a raging flood, but that does not by itself deliver me from the
torrent, and it will certainly be of no use whatever when the next flood
occurs. I may be joy-filled by His command to be at peace, but that alone does
not transform me into an effective instrument in His hands. No, something more
is needed: to receive the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit authority, the authority to
forgive sins or to retain them, was what the Lord knew they had to have to
survive the ordeals ahead. Clinging grows tiresome; high emotions wane.  But Holy Spirit life is fundamentally
transforming. He carries me beyond clinging, beyond the emotion of the moment,
into a profoundly useful future.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the unimaginable love that
caused Jesus to give His life for me. And thank You for Holy Spirit’s anointing
that empowers me to live life for You. Fill me afresh today, Lord, with Your
Holy Spirit, that the fruit You have called me to produce would everywhere be

2 Responses to “Something More”

  1. Sue Sillavan says:

    Dave, I would like a Bio, of yourself. Are you a minister? What faith? Not that I have disagreed with any thing I have read, I just like to know who you are that I am agreeing with. I have ordered two copies of your book . Thanks.

  2. Hi Sue! Thanks for asking. I’m not a minister in the sense of a trained leader of a tribe of people, but I am very committed to my local church…a spirit-filled Southern Baptist Church here in Woodland Park, CO. I met the Lord in grade school in a conservative central Kansas Methodist church and now, at age 61, find myself celebrating and honoring the various expressions of the body of Christ. It seems He uses many venues to bring people to Himself. I am actively involved in a weekly home fellowship, and love to praise and worship Him, whether in a group setting or alone.

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