“As the Father has sent me, so now I send you”. Jesus told His apostles in John 20:19. You must ask yourself, “How did God the Father send Jesus?” Only then we can know how Jesus sent His apostles. Simply put, God sent Jesus to be the Annointed one….The Messiah. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus was sent to reveal the truth and to lead us to heaven. He was sent to forgive our sins and unlock the gates of heaven. You must agree that Jesus’ purpose was to get us to heaven. Right?
Well, then…we must also agree that Jesus sent out His apostles in the same way. Jesus knew He was not ”of this world” and He wasn’t going to be “in this world” for very long. He commissioned a group of dedicated men to help carry on His message. He commissioned them to do what He had been doing for the last 3 or so years of His life.
He breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit….as John continues. The amazing thing is that He then told them if they forgive sins of any, then they are forgiven. And if they retain sins of any, they are retained.
Do you understand the power in Jesus’ words?
Do you see that Jesus was giving His friends, who would carry on His church teachings, the power to forgive sins and to open the gates of heaven to people?
And in turn, Jesus wanted them to empower other men who would cary on the church teachings after them. This is how He knew that the Gates of hell would not prevail…because He gave His apostles “Power”. But how would the apostles forgive sins? Why, in those early days, would someone confess their sins to Peter or John or Bartholomew? Because of the grace of the Holy Spirit Jesus breathed on them. Jesus knew that people had to repent of their sins and be baptised. But He also knew that in order to repent, those people must tell their sins to the Presbyters who, in this early time of the church, were the apostles.
In todays world, through apostolic succession, we have priests and bishops who have a continous connection dating back to those early apostles, those first priests who preached and heard confessions of ancient Christians and forgave them their sins. So many people today do not go to confession and I cannot understand why. Some say that they can go directly to God, “why do I need a priest?” I say “sure you can go directly to God, but if you read your bible, Jesus said tell your sins to a priest. And as fas as I’m concerned, Jesus is God….and God makes the rules, not you. Get yourself to confession if you haven’t been there in a while. Be contrite, be humble, but be glad that Jesus has given His gift of forgiveness to our priests so that they may pass along Gods grace to us. God Bless You.