Jn 16:7 – But 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.
In our toxic political environment we hear a lot about white privilege and American exceptionalism. I am not a politician and those topics are not what this is about but another kind of privilege and exceptionalism that we have as Christians. I have always believed that Christians have an unfair advantage in every arena that we are involved in, the Bible calls it the blessing of the Lord. In today’s verse Jesus pointed to where this privilege or advantage comes from. He was telling His followers that the result of His crucifixion and resurrection would be the coming of the Holy Spirit Who would anoint us to do great exploits in this life. Talk about exceptionalism, there is no other people who can come close to the power and favor on the Lord’s people. Here is how J.C. Ryle describes our advantage.
“If Christ had not died, risen again, and ascended up into heaven, it is plain that the Holy Spirit could not have come down with special power on the day of Pentecost, and bestowed His manifold gifts on the Church. Mysterious as it may be, there was a connection in the eternal counsels of God, between the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit.
If Christ had remained bodily with the disciples, He could not have been in more places than one at the same time. The presence of the Spirit whom He sent down, would fill every place where believers were assembled in His name, in every part of the world.
If Christ had remained upon earth, and not gone up into heaven, He could not have become a High Priest for His people in the same full and perfect manner that He became after His ascension. He went away to sit down at the right hand of God, and to appear for us, in our human nature glorified, as our Advocate with the Father.”
And there you have it; His death, burial, resurrection, and glorification made it possible for us to be anointed with the power of His presence. Since He returned to heaven the Spirit is not limited by a human body to be in one place at a time, the Holy Spirit is working simultaneously in the whole world. He is also able to function as our High Priest before the Father in heaven. I have to say, I like the idea of being privileged.