Imagine being one of the disciples on Easter Sunday. The past few days have been marked, not only by the tragic death of Jesus, but also by your own spectacular failure. After spending so much time with Jesus, watching him perform miracles and hearing him speak about God’s mercy, you deserted him in his hour of need. But now Jesus has risen and is standing right in front of you. Seeing him again, alive but still wounded, brings back these memories. You cringe inwardly and wait for him to upbraid you for your unbelief—again. But instead, he says the last thing you expect: Peace be with you. (John 20:19)
No condemnation, no anger, not even a mild rebuke. Just pure meek- but-powerful mercy. He still loves and treasures you. All he is concerned about is that you find peace.
Your heart melts. You want to express your gratitude and praise, but words fail you. Then, Jesus says something else unexpected: As the Father has sent me, so I send you. (John 20:21)
God had just sent Jesus back to you as a sign of his love and mercy. And now Jesus is sending you to do the same thing? How can you possibly show such love and be like Christ? Sensing your confusion, Jesus breathes on you: Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22) Once more, your heart melts. The Holy Spirit is pouring God’s love and mercy into your heart. That’s how he is sending you out: forgiven, filled with his love, and equipped to share that love.
Jesus is sending you too, just as the Father sent him. He is breathing his Spirit into you, just as he did for his disciples. Embrace your mission today on this great feast of Pentecost. Embrace the Holy Spirit.