When Jesus Exhales
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Most of us have seen or heard of the movie Waiting to Exhale that starred Whitney Houston, Angela Basset, Wesley Snipes and an all black cast of stars. This movies was based on the book by author Terri McMillian and it focused on a woman who had reached at point in her life, where she felt she wanted and needed a male companion. She wanted a husband. She wanted children. She wanted a family that she could call her own. She had reached a point where she was ready to exhale. Ready to get to the next phase of living. Ready to exhale the bondage of loneliness. Ready to exhale the entrapment of not having a love life. Ready to exhale all of the problems that are associated with dating and looking for that special someone. And many of us in here, both male and female, have at one time or another, reached that point in our lives where we felt like we needed to exhale. Have I got a witness?
We needed to take a deep breath and then just exhale all of our worries and cares out with that deep breath. And we need to understand tonight that exhaling is all about letting something out. It’s about getting rid of something that’s on the inside of you.
When you exhale you let out all of the air that’s contained within your lungs. But with that exhale, you also get rid of some germs. You get rid of some virus bugs. You get ride of all of the nasty little nuisances that build up and attack your immune system. And if you breath on somebody else they will inhale all of the germs that you exhale. They will pick up all of the stuff that you are dropping off. And if they are not careful, they’ll find themselves with your virus. ….with your flu bug….with your germs.
And my brothers and sisters, we have to be careful about who is exhaling on us. Am I right about it? Some folk will exhale all of their problems on you. They will breathe problem after problem on you and will make every efffort to bury you in problems that they should be dealing with. They will exhale their bills on you. They will exhale their bad credit on you. They will exhale their unemployment on you. They will exhale their homelessness on you. And if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself burdened down with somebody else’s burden all because they decided to exhale on you. Have I got a witness?
But I know a man who will exhale something good on you. For in our passage of scripture tonight, we find that the disciples of Jesus had assembled together behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. The had fear for their lives because they felt like the Jews would also come after them to take away their very lives. But the Bible tells us that it was while these disciples were assembled together, while the doors were still closed and locked, Jesus showed up. Have I got a witness?
And how many of you know tonight that if you are rooted and grounded on the Word of God, when you find yourself in a position where fear is trying to overtake your life, Jesus will show up. When you’ve locked yourself up tightly and securely and won’t let anybody else in, Jesus will show up. When you don’t know whether to go right or to go left, whether to run or to hide, you better know tonight that JESUS will show up.
And it will be as if He has risen from the dead a second time. Because it doesn’t matter if you’ve reached the point where you think that he is dead in your life, He will still show up. And in this 20th Chapter of the Book of John, Jesus does just that. He shows up. He appears to his disciples after he had risen from the dead.
And can’t you imagine how startled the disciples must have been when he showed up? Here they are behind locked doors. The roll call had already been taken. Everyone except Thomas was present and accounted for. But all of a sudden there appears someone out of no where. But it was not just anyone that showed up. But it was their friend….it was their teacher…..it was their confidante whom they had buried on the Friday before. Oh can’t you imagine heap of black folk, locked in a room, and a dead man shows up? I think that would be enough not only to startle some folk, but also to scare the living stew out of some others. Am I right about it?
But Jesus bid peace unto them. I believe tonight that it had to be this bidding of peace that calmed down this room full of disciples. Because I am reminded tonight that when Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, and the storm of wind arose, tossing the boat to and fro, the waves started beating buckets of water into the boat. And even though Jesus was onboard the boat, the Disciples became afraid. They became so fearful that they were about to perish that they went to the back of the boat to wake up Jesus. But when Jesus got up. All he had to say was “peace be still.” And the Bible tells us that the wind and the waves stopped all of their raucous. And I know tonight that if Jesus can calm the raging sea, surely he can calm the fears of men. If you are going through trials and tribulations in your life, Jesus is saying “Peace Be Still.” If you are burdened down and can’t see a way out of no way, Jesus is saying “Peace Be Still.” If you have your back up against the wall and are ready to call it quits, just run to the back of the boat and wake up Jesus. Surely, he’ll wake up and say “Peace be still.” If there anybody here tonight who knows that Jesus can bring peace in your life, you ought to look at your neighbor and say “Neighbor, Peace is on the way.”
It was there in the room with his disciple that Jesus not only identified himself by showing them the scars in his hands, his feet, and his side, but he also gave them their first commission. For I can hear Jesus saying that as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And I want you to know tonight that it doesn’t matter where Jesus shows up, it doesn’t matter what time it is when he knocks on your door, it doesn’t even matter who is with you when Jesus shows up. But when he shows up you better be ready and willing to go. Have I got a witness?
You’ve got to be just like Isaiah, when the God asked him “Who shall I send” and “who will go for us,” Isaiah said LORD, Here am I, send me. But know for myself that some of us will be just like Jonah. When the LORD tells us to go, we’ll be going in the wrong direction. But even Jonah came to his senses after GOD prepared a great fish, had the fish swallow Jonah whole, and left him sitting in the belly of the fish for 3 long days. It took all of that before Jonah would cry out to the LORD and the Bible says that the LORD heard his cry. And Jonah knew when God told him a second time to go down to Nineveh, that he’d better get to going. Am I right about it?
But what I like most about our scripture tonight is that after Jesus appeared to the disciples. After he put peace back into their minds and their hearts. After he told them that they would have to go out into the world. IT was then that he breathed on them. But unlike a the kind of breathing that we would give one another, full of germs and bacteria, Jesus gave them a heavenly breath. He exhaled the Holy Ghost upon them. My brothers and sisters, I’m glad to know tonight that even if Jesus plans on leaving, he’ll never leave you alone. Have I got a witness?
And it’s funny to me that there was a time when Baptist where afraid to talk about the Holy Ghost. They were afraid because they didn’t know what it was. They didn’t know its purpose. They didn’t know what benefit having the Holy Ghost would bring. But I glad to say tonight that I believe in the Holy Ghost.
The way black folk act about the Holy Ghost reminds me of a story of some children who lived near a cemetery that was located near a little old country church. These children would often play near a hedge adjacent to the graves and, and while there, the could hear the preachers at the church conducting service. Well one day, they got together and decided to play funeral. They dug up a grave and they buried a make believe casket. Then one of them, serving in the role of preacher began to invoke prayers to the almighty God. And as the story goes when he finished his prayer, he ended it by saying what he thought he had been hearing the preachers say. He said: "In the name of the father, And of the son, And in the hole he goes!" And just like these children, there are Christians who don’t know any more than them of what the Holy Ghost is all aboutt. Have I got a witness?
First of all, tonight we need to understand our need for the Holy Ghost. We need the Holy Ghost because it gives us a special kind of Boldness. I allows us to speak about Jesus without fear. It allows us to make noise praising GOD when everyone else is too cute, trying to be silent. Acts 4:31 tells us that when the saints had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. So the Holy Ghost gives us boldness.
The Holy Ghost also give us Power. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told his disciples that they would receive power after the Holy Ghost had come upon them. Have I got any Bible readers to witness for me tonight?
The Holy Ghost also gives us a special kind of Closeness with God. Jesus called it a comforter. And how many of you know tonight that anything or anyone that is able to comfort you has to be close to you. For a baby a mother’s comfort is his place of refuge. For a husband or a wife, their spouses comforting words, or heartfelt hug can be all it takes to turn some cloudy skys blue again. Am I right about it?
And we need to understand that there was a reason that Jesus breathed or exhaled if you will, the Holy Ghost upon his disciples. You see the Holy Ghost is the breath of God. When God breathes on you his breath gives you life. For I heard over in the book of Genesis that when he breathed on his creation called man, Adam became a living being. And even when you think there’s no life left, God can still breathe on you and cause you to live again. If you don’t believe me, then as old man Ezekiel. For I can see Ezekiel looking out over a valley of scattered dry bones. And the LORD told Ezekiel to prophesy to those bone that they might live again. But when he prophesied to the bones, the Bible tells me that there was a shaking and a rattling and all of the bones came together, bone to his bone. Have I got a witness?
But it was not until Ezekiel prophesied to the wind that GOD stepped in and breathed life into the bones. And they became a mighty Army. Ain’t the Lord Alright?
Not only is the Holy Ghost the Breath of God, but it is also the river of God. Have you ever notice that where ever there is a river you will find all kinds of grass, trees, and other plant life as well as animal life. This is because the river nourishes and provides life to living things. And just like the songwriter says: trees that are planted by a river of waters shall not be moved. Am I right about it?
I what I’ve noticed most about river trees is that they bear good fruit. If you unfruitful in our walk with the LORD, it’s because there is no living river flowing through your veins. If your church is a dry church, it’s because there’s no river nourishing your soul. But oh, when there’s a river flowing in your life, when there is a river flowing in your church, that river will flow for you, to you, and from you. Have I got a witness here? d. A barren church is in need of an interruption.
I’m feeling alright tonight. Are you feeling alright. You ought to say Yes Yes oh Yes. Great God almighy.
The last thing I need to tell you tonight is that the Holy Ghost is also the Fire of God.. Just like fire it will melt your heart. It will burn up the soul. It will get you to moving. Yes it will.
And when that fire is burning, you’ll know it’s there. You’ll be just like Jeremiah talking about that fire shut up in your bones.
And I don’t know about you tonight, but I’m glad, I’m so glad that I’ve got the Holy Ghost burning down in my soul. Ain’t the Lord alirght?
But most of all the Holy Ghost is power, power, wonder working power. It gives me power to be a witness for the LORD. Yes it does.
Power to hear God’s voice.
Power to love like God loves.Power to be holy even when evil is all around me.
Power to believe and have faith in the LORD.
Power to pray even when I don’t know what to pray for.
When the Holy Spirit is present, worship becomes exciting.
God will use us in spite of our talents.
Lives will be changed.
Hearts shall be touched.
So brother preacher, you’ve told us all about the Holy Ghost, you even told us that Jesus will exhale it upon us. But tell me preacher what must I do, to get this Holy Ghost. Well, first of all, you must be SAVED. And once you are saved, you have to obey the will of GOD. Oh LORD. Then, you have to want it; thirst for it; and desire it. Then you must ask for it, in the name of JESUS. And then you must drink of that living water to accept it. Finally, you must have faith that you will receive it. Yes you do.
And then JESUS, JESUS, Oh JESUS will exhale on your life. Do you know him….have you tried him……