In His ascension, Jesus returned to His Father marking the completion of His work here on earth. The final view for Jesus’ followers at that time was not of a crucified and distressed Christ but rather of a beloved elder brother with His hands raised in blessing for His followers.
In His final departure from this earth, Jesus “led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God” (Luke 24:50-53).
What a beautiful, loving and comforting final act of our Savior!
Why did His followers return to Jerusalem? They went back with great anticipation to await a gift from the Father that Jesus had told them would come. Jesus had told them, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
They were to wait in Jerusalem to be clothed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is an ascended King who still loves to lift His hands up in blessing for His own
God is still clothing His children today with the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. So while faced with the absence of His physical presence, God’s people now enjoy the comforting guidance and strengthening of His spiritual presence dwelling in them through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave hope that His Father “will give you another Helper, that [it] may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, [which] the world cannot receive, because it neither sees [it] nor knows [it]; but you know [it], for [it] dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18).
The central truth of the Holy Spirit is found in that phrase, “I will not leave you as orphans.” In other words, Jesus is saying don’t think for a moment that when I leave that you’re going to be on your own. Please don’t allow your hearts to be gripped by fear. I must leave you, but I will not leave you as orphans. I will provide for you.
Remarkably, Jesus even went so far as to say that it was even to their benefit that He leave them. “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 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 depart, I will send [it] to you” (John 16:5-7).
How could Jesus make such a statement?
It is understanding that the Christian life is not to be marked by defeat at the hands of fear and loneliness. We are not supposed to be living continually with anxiety and worry.
Jesus’s sacrifice and His resurrection changed the Christian’s posture in approaching the struggles of this physical life
There is no doubt that we may suffer hits in this life, but we need to understand that God through our Christ Jesus has had victory, and has opened up the ability for us to live in the Spirit of that victory.
The Greek word translated “Helper” is parakletos. When translated “Helper” or “Comforter,” it refers to the Holy Spirit. However, in the one passage where it is translated “Advocate,” it refers to Jesus as our Advocate with the Father. The verb form of this word is para-kaleo, translated in the King James Version of the New Testament in various ways such as “beseech,” “comfort,” “desire,” “exhort,” “intreat” and “pray.” A third form of the word, paraklesis, is a noun translated “consolation,” “exhortation,” “comfort” and “intreaty.”
Parakletos means literally one “called to one’s side” or “to one’s aid” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, “Comfort, Comforter, Comfortless”).
So while fear and despair will always remain with us as children of God, these feelings will never reign. By the very virtue of our union with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, we are able to wage warfare against those feelings that are meant to destroy us. Therefore we approach the struggles in our lives from the vantage point of the victory that Jesus Christ has already achieved. That same victorious Spirit is available to us!
But when you consider the disciples, it seems that they became consumed with the thought of their impending loss. Sorrow had filled their hearts and had crowded out every other consideration.
The disciples were going to have to find and live in the fullness of this power that Jesus was providing through the Father. So it has been that in every generation of the Church. It is equally vital that God’s people today learn to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Have you been thinking of giving up, stopping or slipping back?
Remember, the same power from on high that has opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf and straightened the crippled legs of the lame is available to you. It is even the same power that was used by Jesus Christ to raise a friend Lazarus back to life!
So do you think any distress is too great for His almighty power to comfort in your life?
Don’t miss the discovery of God pouring His Holy Spirit into the fragile nature of your journey here on earth!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).