The spirit like a dove (Matthew 3:16)

"And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him." - Matthew 3:16

First of all there will be a further update on my family once I know more. Things are sort of unclear right now.

This morning I read this verse and I've been wondering a bit about this. In some depictions an actual dove descends and rests on Jesus' shoulder. But I wonder why it doesn't say, "The Holy Spirit descended on him AS a dove," rather than "like." I'm learning Greek and I'm seeing that there is some leeway in some of these words and I don't really know what the situation is for this verse - it's not so much my point.

Certainly we use a dove to represent the Holy Spirit (I actually have a tattoo of a dove on my shoulder for this reason) but think about all this meant. I wonder if before this instance a dove signified beauty, purity, gentleness, etc... It's my understanding dove's were seen as kosher at the time of Jesus and one of the few birds acceptable for sacrifice (correct me if I'm wrong on this), so it appears that at least purity would have been understood.

I don't really know why I'm dwelling on this, but its occurring to me that we're pretty short on symbols for God for the father (besides maybe and alpha and omega together), and that the Holy Spirit makes it's first appearance as a symbol.

I'm also thinking about how awesome the Holy Spirit is, and what an unbelievable gift it is from the Lord. This morning when reading this I was also processing just how much I neglect my need for the Holy Spirit and how it's a whole 1/3rd of the trinity. I cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit, only the Holy Spirit can. Even Jesus had the Holy Spirit descend upon him.

Lord send your spirit to rest on us. We need you.