As Christians we believe that Jesus was the greatest human being to ever live. In fact, if we believe fully and truly in the Gospel we know that Jesus was the greatest and most powerful human on this earth. But one thing that I have to come to realize that a lot of Christians look over is Jesus’s humanness. I think that it is so easy for us to say that Jesus is 100% divine and 100% human, but focus more on his divinity rather than his humanity.
However, if we look at Christ as more divine than human we are misunderstanding the Gospel because if Jesus wasn’t fully human he wouldn’t have been able to redeem us. This would mean that his death was meaningless (that is, if he wasn’t fully human; but GOOD NEWS, he was/is). On the other hand it is still important to recognize that Jesus is still fully divine because if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have the power to redeem us. I know, it’s a hard picture to grasp.
After Jesus died and rose again, he appeared to his disciples. He said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you”. The passage continues, “And when he has 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,'” (John 20:21-23). Let’s dissect this a bit.
The first verse in this passage, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” is Jesus telling his disciples what they are to do now. It is Jesus telling them that their job isn’t just to follow him anymore, but it is to go and do what he did in the name of the Father. Jesus is calling them to mission. God sent Jesus to earth so that people may come to know who God is, and that is exactly what Jesus is telling his disciples to do. He is sending them out into the world to tell people who Jesus is–who God is.
This is where it gets really cool. When Jesus breathes on the disciples they are anointed with the Holy Spirit. Let’s go back to the idea of Jesus being fully human really fast. Since Jesus was human, his divine power was limited to what a human could do, but he was able to do the miracles that he did through the Holy Spirit that was inside him. (This is a really complicated subject and I don’t understand half of it, but I rest in the understanding that in order for us to be saved Jesus had to be fully human and fully divine; I know, it’s hard to make sense of). And Jesus just gave his disciples (YOU & ME & all of those who believe in Him) the same Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that casts out demons, the same Holy Spirit that healed the blind, the same Holy Spirit that raised people from the dead. That Holy Spirit is inside of YOU!
That means that you have the power that Jesus had. Now before you start calling me a heretic, let me explain what I am not saying.
I am not saying that we are equal to or above who Jesus is.
I am not saying that we have power like some might understand the power of witches and warlocks today.
I am not saying that we can go and do whatever we want with this power.
But what I am saying is that when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit in his disciples and he told them that he was sending them just as the Father sent him, he was giving us his authority. We now have God living inside of us.
Are you still with me? The power of Jesus, the same power that we see in the New Testament is now a part of you. You now have access to that power. TO see kind of what that looks like, let’s look at that last verse, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” Whoah! That is a powerful verse. With great power comes great responsibility and this verse clearly identifies that. We now, because the Holy Spirit is inside of us, have the authority to truly forgive sins, but we also have the power to withhold forgiveness. Okay, stop. Some of you may be thinking, “No, no, no, only Jesus can forgive,” and you are absolutely right. What I think this verse is getting at is the fact that we can tell our friend that we forgive them for hurting us, and that forgiveness has power behind it–it has meaning. I think that it means if you choose not to forgive someone, it has weight, and it will speak volumes to them, in negative ways. Because we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, our words carry great weight and we can use them to forgive, as Jesus did or we can use them to not forgive.
But there is something else that the Lord is telling me that this means and that is because of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we have the power to tell the enemy he has no power. Jesus had completly authority over Satan while on earth (and he still does). The enemy has to listen to the power and word of the Lord, and that Lord is inside of YOU! And just to clarify once again, this does not make you Lord, or anything equivalent, but you are given the power to revoke evil.
Some of you may be struggling right now. Some of you may be hurting right now. Some of you may be turning to evil, but for some reason you ended up here. Let me tell you something: God has given you the authority to tell the devil that he has no power over you. The devil has to listen when you speak in the name of Jesus. You don’t have to be bound by your pain, your sin, your addiction, your pride, your greed, your corruption, your lust, your cruelty, your loneliness, your brokenness, because YOU have the power of Jesus living inside of you to tell the enemy no. Let me say that again, YOU have the power to tell Satan no. YOU have the power to turn him away. You have the power because God gave you the power. And you know whats even cooler? The devil hates that you have this power, because this is the power that He wanted. This is the power that he coveted so much, that it turned him away from God, that it kicked him out of God’s presence. And when we use the voice that praises God (the voice Satan has lost and hates oh so much) to tell Satan no, he. can’t. stand. it. He hates it, but God, he loves it.
Whatever you are going through right now. Recognize that you have the power of God inside of you. Don’t limit it. Recognize that this power lasts for eternity and not just once. Thank God for his grace, mercy, and love. Thank God that he has breathed upon you the Holy Spirit. Thank God that he is always with you and that he will never leave you.
You are never alone friends. And remember, sin has no hold of you, because you (yes, you!) have the great power of Jesus living inside of you.