Today's verses are John 20:22,23: "And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." My child, in the previous verses, I had told Mary to go tell my disciples that as the Son was sent from my Father in heaven, so I am sending them into the world to proclaim my life, death and resurrection.  Now I breathe on them and tell them to receive the Holy Spirit.

What does this all mean?  First, please note what is called the doctrine of the Trinity, one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in three persons.  All three persons of the Godhead are involved in this commission to go into all the world.  The Father sends the Son into the world.  The Son breathes the Holy Spirit on his followers and sends them into the world.  The doctrine of the holy Trinity is taught thoroughly throughout the Bible.

Second, in today's verses, notice especially the work of the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.  He is the silent, shy sovereign.  He desires little attention.  He likes to work behind the scenes, most often pointing to me, to give me all the glory.

I then breathe on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit."  This was a foretaste of what they would fully receive at Pentecost in Acts 2.

More specifically, what happened here?  Now that my cross and resurrection were completed, I could give them the gift of forgiveness and my personal presence.  That is why I was sent from heaven.  Through my death and resurrection, those who believe in me have their sins forgiven.  Those who don't have the forgiveness of their sins are not forgiven.

My child, do you have my most precious gift possible, the forgiveness of your sins?  If you have this gift, your sins are forgiven.  You are declared righteous and pure before my Father in heaven.  You can now enter his presence without fear of rejection from him.  You are granted the gift of eternal life.

But if you don't believe in me, you don't have the assurance of eternal life.  As your human body naturally tries to reject anything unhealthy that has entered, so my Father in heaven, who is perfect health, must reject anything that is unholy that tries to enter his presence.

My child, if you believe in me and have received my gift of forgiveness, you are clean!  You are pure!  You are holy!  You are righteous!  You are forever forgiven of all your sins!

You can now have a personal, intimate, close relationship with my Father, through me and the gift of my presence through the Holy Spirit.  My presence in you will grant you perfect peace.  I will help you confront your day's difficulties.  I will never leave or forsake you. You can face all life's difficulties.  I have pronounced you "not guilty," having taken your sins upon myself.  Therefore, your eternal life is forever secure.

Receive anew today, both internally and eternally, my Holy Spirit.  Know you are forever forgiven!  Mostly, please know...

You can trust me today.