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March 14, 2024
4 “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 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 go, I will send him to you.
Though Jesus’ followers are filled with sorrow at the prospect of Jesus’ departure, he informs them that it is to their advantage that he goes away. It is only by leaving that Jesus can send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to us. When the Holy Spirit comes, he will “convict the world” (verse 8). But why is that a good thing? We tend to think of God’s judgment in negative terms. Why would we want a God who judges the world?
As the Psalms attest, the judgment of God is a very good thing for those who are wronged and have no hope of legal redress. If no human authority is willing to defend one’s case, then the only option is to appeal to God himself. God reveals himself as a God of justice who will put right everything that once went wrong. The Holy Spirit will serve as our Helper or Advocate. When no one else will, the Advocate will come to our defense.
What comfort can we draw from the fact that the Spirit is our Advocate?