Minister’s Forum: Receive the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday
This Sunday is Easter Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection from the dead after atoning for mankind’s sin at Calvary. While salvation through Jesus Christ is the most important message of the Bible, I want to highlight the first Easter Sunday sermon preached by Jesus. On Sunday evening, as his disciples hid in a locked room together in fear, Jesus, in his resurrected body, appeared to them and said, “Peace be to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21, 22)
Jesus came as the Son of Man, the second Adam, to redeem lost humanity and to restore us to our original destiny to live as sons and daughters of God. The power of his life as the Son of Man came through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18). He declared to his disciples on that Sunday evening that he would send them out as his father sent him under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He was leaving to be with his father in heaven, but he would send another helper (John 14:16), and they were commissioned to “receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Book of Acts is the divine historical record of how that was to look. It began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) transforming and empowering his disciples to see, preach and demonstrate the power of the kingdom of God. It continued as this growing anointed community of believers lived in unity, fellowship and revelation, fulfilling their commission to declare Jesus Christ as the savior of the world.
The Book of Acts clearly testifies that the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit was the overriding power in the success of the early church that ultimately gained the reputation of having “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). This same Holy Spirit is available today to all who will receive him through Jesus Christ. He may be invisible and difficult to imagine, but he reveals himself to us through his effect within us, upon us and through us. He is on the Earth with a mission – to reveal the Son of God, to bring healing and transformation, and to enable us to live in the power of a new life. The command of Jesus to his early disciples is as critical to us as it was to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit!”
– Terry Edwards is a pastor at Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship.