HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7
For three years, Jesus lived those days with His disciples. He had literally been “God with them” non-stop. For three years they were convinced this man was the Messiah in every sense of the term. During that time, Jesus had said a lot of amazing things. But there is perhaps nothing more amazing than what He said in the Upper Room, as they were about to take the Lord’s Supper prior to His crucifixion. There they were, breaking bread with the Great Jewish Hope. And in an instant, their dreams were seemingly crushed.
As Judas left to betray Him, Jesus told His beloved disciples that not only was He going to die, but He was also going to leave them. Can you imagine how they must have felt? But in order to understand the deep significance of what He meant we must read between the lines. He said that the Holy Spirit is so important that it would be to their advantage for Him to physically leave them, so the Spirit could come live inside them. He, in essence, told them they would be better off having the Holy Spirit inside them than to have Jesus beside them. And the same is true of us today.
There are two problems among Christians when it comes to the Holy Spirit. On one hand, there is an under-appreciation of Him. There is an ignorance of just how important the Holy Spirit is in the life of a Christian. On the other hand, there is an under-appropriation of the Holy Spirit. Too many believers live in defeat rather than victory when it comes to sin. Believers walk in fear rather than by faith. Many live in the weakness of the flesh rather than in the strength of the greatest power on earth.
The disciples never could have believed it would be to their advantage for Christ to physically leave them. But that is exactly what He told them in that Upper Room. Why was it to their advantage? Because while Jesus was with them, the Holy Spirit would be in them. Jesus could show them how to live, but the Holy Spirit would enable them to actually do it. “But if I go, I will send Him to you,” Jesus promised them. And that is exactly what He did.