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.
Do you believe that it is better that Christ is no longer in the earth in the flesh? It is expedient [a blessing] for us that He went away.
Jesus Christ came in the flesh so that we could be with God; His prophetic name is ‘Emmanuel,’ God with us. For the first leg of His journey, in order to purchase our salvation He had to come in the flesh so that He could reveal Himself in a form that we could receive… and more importantly, so that He could offer the perfect sacrifice.
Hebrews 10:5 & 10
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And now it is better for Christ to be absent from us in the flesh. I don’t think we really believe that.
Hadn’t we rather have Jesus physically with us? How often do we think of that, if only we could have walked with Him while He was here in the flesh, if only He were present now…
Ah, but that is where our practical understanding has wandered. Do you believe that Jesus is with you, right now? Yes, of course, we know that He is… but in the flesh, physically… that different.
Jesus said that it is expedient for us that He go away; it is better for us that He is no longer present in the earth physically – according to Jesus.
I have a Catholic friend who reverences the presence of Christ in the Mass to a very profound degree. Why? Because according to his understanding, he is in the PHYSICAL presence of Jesus Christ. (The church of Rome teaches that the elements of communion become literally Jesus Christ’s physical body – they therefore believe the Mass is in the literal physical presence of Jesus, for which reason they are immensely reverent.) I ask him how that is any superior to the promise of Jesus that He will be with us always unto the end of the age? That He is with us all times spiritually. His response was that it is not superior… its just different. Wouldn’t I kneel before the Lord, reverence His presence to a greater degree if He was PHYSICALLY and VISIBLY in front of me?
This makes me wonder… do we really believe that Jesus is with us? Why don’t we honor His presence as though He were with us physically? To this question my Catholic friend shrewdly replies: ‘Well… you can’t be reverent to the same degree 24 hours a day…’ True, but we can reverence the Lord’s presence at any time, and in any place to the same degree as if He were with us physically… because in sending His Spirit, He is actually far more present than He ever could be by His physical presence.
Jesus said that it is better for us that He go so that He could send the Holy Ghost. Also, according to this covenant which He has prepared in His own blood, we have full permanent access to the Holiest Place of all – and that in Spirit and in Truth:
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
We don’t have to put on special clothes, or perform a ceremony, or bring a sacrifice – the sacrifice is already made. All we have to do is come with faith in the blood of Jesus, and we are welcome at all times into the ultimate sanctuary: the very heart of God.
As long as Jesus is physically present, we would have to go to His physical location in order to fellowship with Him, associate with Him, worship Him. Praise God that we can honor His presence in the table of the Lord as we do it in remembrance of Him; but He is no more present with us in that moment than He is with us when we approach Him at any time. The distinction is our faith – it is easier for us to BELIEVE in His presence in celebrating the table of the Lord because we are put in remembrance of His shed blood, and His body given for us. The change is in us, in our frame of mind, in our faith.
But Jesus is now present with us (those of us who believe in Him) more deeply, more intimately, more perfectly than He ever could be while He was with us physically.
Why would we rather have a physical manifestation of His presence? The simple answer is that we are carnal. It is easier for our temporal mind to grasp sometime that is tangible, physically present; in front of us – something we can touch. But its better for us not to have that. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life, and peace (Rom 8:6).
1 Cor 2:14-15
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
If Jesus was with us physically, He could not be INSIDE us, He could only stand without. We couldn’t know what He was thinking… only what He said. But by His spiritual presence, we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). You can know what He’s thinking; you can know how He feels. First you have to learn not to be so carnal that you are only able to perceive a physical manifestation; we need to have our spiritual senses exercised.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Are you aware that Jesus is with you? Really? He’s more with you than He was with the Apostles while He was in the earth.
Christian spirituality is without limitations. If only we could look past the flesh, and learn to abide in Him…
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: