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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is the Holy Spirit Better than Jesus's Physical Presence?

Photo Credit: John Nyberg. Used with permission.
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. - John 16:7

I used to wonder why Jesus left us here on earth, proclaiming that it was better for Him to go and leave the Holy Spirit with us. I was dumbfounded. What could be better than Jesus's physical presence? I had always thought how wonderful it would be to have Jesus here on earth still- to be able to speak to Him face to face, to have my questions answered automatically, to not have to wait for an answer to prayer. There would not be much to pray about if the one who could answer your prayers was right there with you- so why did Jesus say it was better for Him to ascend to Heaven? I believe the answer lies here in this passage about the Holy Spirit:

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17

That's just it. The Holy Spirit dwells with us forever- from the time we are born again as Christians til we die- His presence is always with us. The people of the Old Testament weren't as fortunate as we are. The Holy Spirit descended upon few people and for a short period of time in the Old Testament. After Christ died and rose again, He sent us the Holy Spirit to help us in our Christian walk. Not only have we received such an amazing gift, but if Christ were to have stayed here on earth in His physical body, we wouldn't have Him with us as our constant companion 24/7. Jesus was in bodily form, therefore He was unable to be with everyone at once. He stayed in the land of Israel. Think about all those who didn't get to see Jesus who lived in the same time period. Wouldn't that be depressing? Wouldn't our hearts be sad and lonely if we knew Jesus were dwelling in Jerusalem this very day and thousands of miles stood in the way of us going to Him? And even then if we traveled for a week to visit Him, we'd have to come back and do it all over again, constantly. Would we even have the reassurance of seeing Christ if He was wanted just as much by others as by me? No, we would not. And I am glad that Jesus knew best and sent the Holy Spirit. We don't have to worry about crowds drowning out our voice or petition, or wondering if we will ever have the chance to meet Jesus on earth. We have the Holy Spirit to intercede for us and guide throughout this life. And isn't that wonderful?

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