After Jesus was raised from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and:
He breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ “John 20:22
How does this breathing of the Holy Spirit differ from the disciple’s filling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?
Baptised into the Body of Christ:
When Jesus breathed the Spirit onto them, this was Jesus giving the breath of life to His Body – the church.
This is comparable to what happened to Adam after he had been formed from the dust of the earth.
the Lord God .. breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.”Genesis 2:7
Jesus breathed on them as one body and they became a living church.
This breath of the Holy Spirit is spoken of in Corinthians:
For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”1 Corinthians 12:13
This verse appears to not be talking about the baptism of the Spirit to give power, but the Spirit baptising us into the church so that we become the living Body of Christ on the earth.
[i] Photo credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections opens in a new window.