Why Jesus left (cont.)
The Bible speaks of three main reasons why Jesus’ departure was to our benefit…
One) Jesus left to initiate the coming of the Holy Spirit. Having already covered the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, in Chapters 6 and 7, we will make only a few brief comments here. Jesus said something most interesting after telling His disciples that it was for their good that He would depart from them. He said, “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (from John 16:7b)
Jesus had to leave before the Holy Spirit could come. The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is mandatory for disciples of Jesus. In fact, in the final days before Jesus ascended back to heaven, He warned the gathered disciples to “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) This “clothing” from on high, was the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2)!
Jesus’ words (in Luke 24) were spoken after they had spent years with Him, learning everything He had to teach them, and observing all He had done. Apparently, even the training of the Master was not enough to accomplish the task ahead of them – only the infilling and indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit of God could enable the disciples to do what needed to be done.
Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit “will not come” until He left them – and Jesus plainly tells them that life, when the Counselor has come, will be better than if He were to remain with them. This is because the Holy Spirit will come to empower Jesus’ disciples to accomplish God’s purposes – and the Holy Spirit will come to lead, guide, inform, and counsel disciples as to the will, provisions, and purposes of the Great King. The disciples’ role within the great plans of the King, and within His Kingdom, cannot be fulfilled without the aid, guidance, counsel and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Knowing the facts about God and His ways will not accomplish this. Training in the truth and ways of God will not accomplish this either. Even the actual physical presence of Jesus will not accomplish what needs to be done. Knowledge and training are no substitute for the abiding presence of the Most High in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He is the One Who fills and enables disciples to live in the fullness of God’s plan, provisions, and purposes.
The Holy Spirit imparts the ways and truth of God into the depths of our spirits. The Holy Spirit is the only One Who can empower us to live just like Jesus lived, and enable us to walk as Jesus walked. Being just like Jesus, our Master, (Matthew 10:25) is the unmistakable goal. The Holy Spirit alone is God’s prescribed way of enabling human beings to reconnect with their divinely-designed purpose of revealing God, and perpetuating His rule on this earth, once again.
Divine purpose requires divine power to produce divine results – and only the Holy Spirit can enable and empower human beings with divine power. This is just as Jesus said: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The infilling of the Holy Spirit and His abiding presence is for our good. He is necessary and essential to God’s purposes in us – and is the means of our benefit and advantage.