“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
Today (Thursday, 21 May 2020) is a special day in the Christian church’s calendar. It is called Ascension Day. Jesus Christ was on earth for forty days after His resurrection, meeting His disciples continuing to prepare them for their ministry. On the fortieth day, at the Mount of Olives, outside of Jerusalem, He was taken up to heaven before their very eyes (Acts 1:9). Here on earth no-one will see Him in person until He returns to judge the living and the dead.
Jesus returned to heaven from where He came. But He promised His disciples that He will certainly be with them always till the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Since then Jesus is not with us in a physical bodily form, but spiritually, invisibly, yet very much in reality. His disciples experienced this within ten days at Pentecost, and so did so many ever since.
Why did He return to heaven? Why did Jesus say it is better for those who believe in Him that he goes away rather than stay? Because He has finished His work on earth (John 17:4). Because He went to prepare a place in the Father’s house for those who believe in Him that they may be with Him forever (John 14:1-3). Because He is interceding for us without ceasing in the Father’s presence (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Because He is in authority over all in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18).
Yet, Jesus did not leave His beloved as orphans, He has sent His Holy Spirit, who comforts, encourages, guides, and counsels us, and is with us and in us forever (John 16). Live by the Spirit to know His life and peace in full.