How incredible would it be to have lived in the time when God was speaking to prophets, leading Israel in a pillar of fire, and working powerful miracles against the gods of Egypt? What would it be like to love in the time of Jesus, walking with the disciples, seeing Jesus heal the sick, raise the dead, and feed the multitudes? Would we get out of the boat like Peter did? Would we bring a small boy with some fish and bread forward like Andrew to see what Jesus would do with so little? How powerful would it be to hear the words of Jesus from his own lips?! When would be the best time to live: Before Jesus, with Jesus, or after Jesus?
Jesus tells his disciples that it is better that he leaves so that the Advocate will come to them. Jesus has a very high view of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. Because the Spirit has come they will have strength to not fall away when they are put out of the synagogue or when people try to kill them. The reality of the Holy Spirit being inside of us is that God is within us. God was with Israel by placing his presence in the Temple. God was with Jesus by placing his Spirit on him. We receive this same Spirit when we are baptized. We no longer have to go to where God is because he has come to us. This reuniting with his creation is a small sample of the reality of us being with him in the New Creation after the resurrection.
A time is coming when the disciples will be alone. Scared. Rejected by the world. Scattered. It is going to be excruciatingly painful for a while but that pain will be a distant memory when their grief is turned to joy and the Holy Spirit is placed within them. They will then be in the new reality of God being with his people again anticipating the time when that reality will be fully realized in the resurrection of the Saints. Christ has conquered death. He has overcome the world. Take comfort in this reality. Even though the world may be celebrating the death of God, as Nietzsche in the 19th century famously claimed, “God is dead,” we know that this is not the reality. Things may look grim at times but take heart! Christ has overcome the world!